Gabe and Suzy the centre of attention

IT will take a team effort to contain Townsville Fire star Suzy Batkovic in Sunday's WNBL grand final, according to Spirit centre Gabe Richards.

The individual battle between Batkovic and Richards will be one of the highlights of the championship game.

Batkovic, who this week won a third league MVP award, averages 20.3 points and 13 rebounds per game this season.

Richards, who was named alongside Batkovic in the WNBL All-Star Five, averages 14 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

"Suzy is so tall and strong and she's a well-rounded player,'' Richards said.

"She's very tough to stop offensively and her defence causes opposition headaches as well.

"Playing against Suzy it's a big task for me personally, but the beauty of our group is that it's never up to one person.

"We have such a good team that it doesn't matter if someone is struggling.

"I won't be trying to stop Suzy by myself. Our team defence sets us apart from the rest this season.

"The way we defend as a group makes it very hard for the opposition.

"Stopping the opposition's better players is a role everyone takes on."

Richards has been part of the Spirit since the club's inception in 2007.

She's experienced the club's dark days of financial insecurity through to the exhilaration of last year's championship win.

"It's huge for the club,'' Richards said.

"Being here from day one to be able to see where the club has come from... it just blows me away.

"It's been a lot of hard work and not just by the players.

"The board, the volunteers, the sponsors and everyone that has helped build the club it's a credit to them.

"The club's success is as much for the past players that put in so much work. It's been great to see some of them around the club this year.

"I know I'm very proud to be pulling on a Spirit singlet in another WNBL grand final."

Sunday's grand final starts at 3pm. The game will be televised live on ABC.

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