THE pieces of the Bendigo Bank Spirit’s puzzle are coming together a month out from the WNBL season.
The Spirit squad, apart from import Kelsey Griffin, ramped-up preparations at a pre-season camp at the weekend.
Recruits Sara Blicavs and Tessa Lavey trained for the first time and impressed coach Bernie Harrower.
“They both picked up the (offences) we were running really well,” Harrower said.
“It’s only a matter of getting used to the way we run it and the wrinkles we put in and our style of play.
“It will take them a little while to get used to it and us to get used to them, but they both looked quite good and both showed at different times really good signs.”
Elyse Penaluna is still fighting back from injury and is a chance to play in the WNBL season-opener at Townsville on October 4.
But the Australian Opal won’t be rushed back after playing only once for the Lady Braves this South East Australia Basketball League season.
“It’s all about having her for the second half of the season and not so much trying to rush her back at the start of the season and then have her in and out injured all year,” Harrower said.
The Spirit will also need to manage the workload of its players still involved in SEABL finals.
About half the squad will play for the Lady Braves and Knox in conference finals this weekend.
If both teams win, they will meet in next weekend’s championship game and the players won’t get a break between SEABL and WNBL seasons.
The WNBL has scheduled a Spring Shield pre-season tournament at Dandenong for September 20-22.
The Spirit then takes on a Chinese national team at Bendigo Stadium on Friday, September 27.
Kelsey Griffin’s WNBA season with the Connecticut Suns ends on September 15 and she could be back in time for the Spring Shield.
Kristi Harrower’s playing future remains up in the air, but she continues to train with the Spirit.
“She’s on court, she’s just seeing where she’s at and what she wants to do, but there’s been no decisions made yet about what she’s doing,” Bernie Harrower said.