Spirit star a WNBL All-Star

BENDIGO Spirit centre Gabe Richards has been rewarded for her consistent season by being named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

It's the second-straight season Richards has earned the honour.

The 29-year-old averaged 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game helping the Spirit to the minor premiership.

Consistency was Richards' strength. She's scored in double figures in 13 of the Spirit's 21 games this season, including a season-high 24 points against the Melbourne Boomers on December 7.

Richards joins Dandenong duo Leilani Mitchell and Jenna O'Hea in the All-Star Five, with the remaining two spots to be named on Thursday.

"It's an honour to make the team,'' Richards said on Wednesday.

"I was quite surprised when I found out to be honest.

"The competition is so tough this year and, even on our team, we have so many great players.

"Every week we have someone different who stands up for us.

"I'd like to think my form has been as good as last year, but I probably don't see myself as an all-star."

Richards said the Spirit's depth made her job easier.

"The key to our success is the opposition can't close everyone down,'' Richards said.

"We have so many options. Sara (Blicavs) has come off the bench to have monster games, Elyse (Penaluna) before she got injured played some big games. It must be hard to scout us."

Richards has been forced to manage a knee injury in the past few weeks. Back-to-back games against Dandenong and Melbourne Boomers last weekend didn't help Richards' cause. 

"I had a blood injection on my knee on Monday and it wasn't pleasant,'' Richards said.

"I'll train on Thursday night and then it's just a matter of getting through Saturday night. I can't complain, compared to Elyse's injury, I'm very lucky."

The Spirit hosts the Logan Thunder in the final match of the regular season on Saturday night.

They then face Dandenong in the semi-finals on Sunday, February 23.

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