BEWARE the desperate opponent.
That will be the message from Bendigo Bank Spirit coach Bernie Harrower before the WNBL leaders hit the court for Sunday's home clash against Sydney Uni.
The Flames, coming off a heart-breaking one-point loss to Adelaide, sit on the verge of seeing their finals hopes extinguished.
At 5-7, Sydney has to win at least one, but probably both of its matches in Dandenong on Saturday night and Bendigo on Sunday to stay in the finals race.
With the Spirit (11-1) flying-high on the back of 11-straight wins, Harrower is worried his charges might not match Sydney's desperation.
"When teams have got their backs to the wall that's when they're the most dangerous," Harrower said.
"We know that they're coming into town to go after us. We did a fair sort of job on them last time we played them up there, so we're expecting they will be smarting over that."
That 'job' was a 77-61 triumph in round three when Bendigo dominated the boards.
The Spirit brought down 52 rebounds to 23, with star import Kelsey Griffin hauling in a dozen.
Harrower will be looking for the same physicality under the hoop.
In fact, the Spirit coach will be expecting a return to Bendigo's best basketball after a sloppy display last round.
The Spirit were too good for Melbourne 60-55, but it was an ugly display of only 30 per cent shooting for Bendigo.
"I pretty much treated last weekend like a loss because I felt like we played that poorly," Harrower said.
"I did what I would normally do when we've lost a game, we just really good back to the drawing board and analyse what we did offensively and defensively.
"We had an hour-long video session on Tuesday night then had a team meeting after it just to refocus the group.
"We play two games in six days and we want to make sure we make the most of those two games, especially with them being at home.
"We pretty much want to go through our home series this year undefeated."
The Spirit takes on the Sydney Uni Flames from 2pm on Sunday.