Lynx star and three Wild­cats in Games sides

The West Australian - - SPORT - Brid­get Lacy

Three Perth Wild­cats and a Perth Lynx star will strive to de­liver twin gold medals for Aus­tralia at the Com­mon­wealth Games next month.

The sport makes its re­turn to the Games af­ter the Boomers and Opals took gold in 2006 in Mel­bourne, with high ex­pec­ta­tions both will de­liver again.

Wild­cats Damian Martin, An­gus Brandt and Jesse Wagstaff joined West Aus­tralian Cameron Glid­don in the 12-man Boomers squad for Gold Coast.

Wagstaff, Martin and Brandt are firmly fo­cused on keep­ing their hopes of a hat-trick of NBL cham­pi­onships alive against the Ade­laide 36ers to­mor­row night.

“We’re in the midst of a pretty im­por­tant play-off se­ries but hugely proud and pumped for Damo and Gus as well,” Wagstaff said.

“It’s ob­vi­ously pretty rare (to com­pete in a Com­mon­wealth Games) and es­pe­cially on home soil. The chance to walk away with a medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games, that’s a huge hon­our. I guess there will be a bit of ex­pec­ta­tion but we’ll em­brace that.”

Lynx for­ward Alice Kunek will fly the flag in the Opals squad af­ter Perth co-cap­tain Sami Whit­comb missed out on se­lec­tion, de­spite be­com­ing an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen last month.

Only one nat­u­ralised player could be in­cluded in the squad, with star for­ward Kelsey Grif­fin win­ning the race.

“I ab­so­lutely love playing with Sam and she had such a great camp, so she was re­ally un­lucky to miss out but ob­vi­ously Kelsey had a great Asia Cup and Kelsey is an in­cred­i­ble player, so it was prob­a­bly a re­ally hard de­ci­sion for them to make,” Kunek said.

“Sam is such a great per­son and player but I’m sure there will be many op­por­tu­ni­ties for her in the future.”

Kunek, who is hop­ing to sign a new con­tract with the Lynx soon, de­nied Aus­tralia were feel­ing the pres­sure go­ing in as hot favourites to win gold.

“If we just go about our Opals busi­ness and live the val­ues and stick to our game style, the re­sult will take care of it­self,” she said.

Pic­ture: Sharon Smith

Alice Kunek

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