BENDIGO Bank Spirit faces a daunting start to the Women's National Basketball League season in this Friday night's match on Townsville Fire's court.
The stand-alone clash pits reigning champions, Bendigo against last season's runner-up. Tip-off is at 7.30pm at Townsville RSL Stadium.
The build-up for the Bernie Harrower-coached Spirit included a 12-point victory against China on Friday night at Bendigo Stadium.
Games on Saturday are Canberra against Sydney, Adelaide takes on West Coast, and Dandenong plays Logan.
Final game of the round is Melbourne's clash with Sydney on Sunday at Knox.