Stars re­turn for WNBL grand fi­nal

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

THE star wattage for next Sun­day’s WNBL grand fi­nal is set to soar, with Bulleen’s Jenna O’Hea and Can­berra’s Suzy Batkovic both ex­pected to re­turn from in­jury.

Bulleen guard Kylie Reid re­mains in doubt with a rib in­jury, with the Boomers con­tact­ing lo­cal AFL clubs in a bid to gain knowl­edge to ac­cel­er­ate her heal­ing process.

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Can­berra kept alive hopes of a third straight grand fi­nal win over the Boomers with an 83-78 pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal home win over Bendigo on Satur­day.

The seven-time cham­pi­ons man­aged to over­come the Spirit with­out call­ing on Batkovic, who also missed their two pre­vi­ous games with an el­bow in­fec­tion.

The Opals star suited up for the game, but re­mained on the bench, though Caps coach Car­rie Graf was adamant Batkovic would def­i­nitely play in the sea­son de­cider. ‘‘ Ab­so­lutely,’’ Graf raid. ‘‘ She will have a full week of prac­tice with us and be ready to go full tilt in the grand fi­nal.

‘‘ Putting her back in is def­i­nitely go­ing to be a plus for us, par­tic­u­larly with the size of Bulleen, the size ob­vi­ously of ( Liz) Cam­bage and ( El­yse) Pe­naluna

‘‘ They’ve got ( Rachel) Jarry back in their mix, so they are a big team and to have Suzy’s size back in there is go­ing to be crit­i­cal for us.’’

Bulleen coach Tom Ma­her said Batkovic rep­re­sented a 20-point dif­fer­ence to Can­berra

‘‘ With Batkovic to come back, they are for­mi­da­ble,’’ Ma­her said.

Ma­her was op­ti­mistic guard O’Hea would play in Mel­bourne ON Sun­day af­ter be­ing side­lined for four weeks with a knee is­sue.

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