THE Bendigo Bank Spirit will take aim at back-to-back pre-season titles this weekend in a bid to get up to speed for the start of the WNBL season.
Spirit coach Bernie Harrower's pre-season training plans were largely put on hold as the Bendigo Lady Braves and Knox went all the way to the SEABL championship game.
The veteran coach only has a short time with his squad before they tip-off their WNBL championship defence and Harrower will use the Spring Shield, starting Friday, to ramp up preparations.
"We want to make a good account of ourselves because the team that plays this weekend might be the team we take into our first game," Harrower said.
"If Elyse (Penaluna) is not ready to go first up certainly it will be the team we take in."
Penaluna, import Kelsey Griffin and Kristi Harrower are all in doubt for the Spring Shield.
Penaluna is on the comeback from a long-term knee injury and her primary aim is to play in Townsville in the WNBL season-opener on Friday, October 4.
Griffin arrives in Australia on Friday, just hours before Bendigo's 6pm Spring Shield tip-off against Sydney.
Her international clearance is yet to come through, which could rule her out of playing any matches at the tournament in Dandenong.
The Spirit is also fixtured to take on Canberra at 7pm on Saturday night before a play-off match, depending on results, on Sunday.
"She gets in on Friday morning so we’ll just play it by ear on whether we play her or don’t play her," Harrower said.
"With a little bit of luck we could have her by Friday."
Kristi Harrower is yet to announce whether she will play this season, but she has continued to train with the Spirit and could suit-up in the Spring Shield.
"We’ll make some decisions on Kristi later on in the week. We’ll train this week and see how she feels and then take it from there to see if we suit her up or not," Bernie Harrower said.
All nine WNBL clubs will play at the Spring Shield, plus an invitational team. All matches are at Dandenong Basketball Stadium.