WHY are the Bendigo Spirit hot favourites to win the WNBL title?
Class, depth and experience.
Yes, all key facets of the game, but not the factor that impresses Australian Opals coach Brendan Joyce the most.
"When all the Spirit girls come to Opals camp you can see how tight they are as a group,'' Joyce said.
"It shines through how good the team chemistry is.
"In finals when the pressure goes up it's critical how tight the group is.
"That tightness gets teams through tough situations and the Spirit has that.
"Bendigo has the skill and experience, but their ability to stick together is just as important."
The Spirit head into Sunday's semi-final against Dandenong as warm favourites.
Joyce expects the Spirit to defeat the Rangers and advance to a second-straight home grand final.
"The Spirit have been the top team all year, six games clear of the rest,'' Joyce said.
"They've done the work, got the runs on the board and now they have to go out and execute.
"The other advantage Bendigo has is they've been there and done it last year.
"They've been dominant all season, now it's up to them to finish it off."
Joyce said Gabe Richards, Kelsey Griffin and Chelsea Aubry hold the key to Bendigo's fortunes against Dandenong.
"That frontcourt really troubles Dandenong,'' Joyce said.
"Even without Elyse Penaluna, Bendigo's interior game against Dandenong looks very strong.
"Gabe is so tough to stop in the paint, Kelsey is so athletic, while Chelsea can shoot from the perimeter so she draws bigs away from the rim.
"In the Bendigo-Dandenong games this year that inside game has been the difference."