Spirit head north for WNBL season-opener

GRAND RIVALRY: The Bendigo Spirit and Townsville Fire will be reacquainted in round one of the 2014-15 WNBL season. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

GRAND RIVALRY: The Bendigo Spirit and Townsville Fire will be reacquainted in round one of the 2014-15 WNBL season. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

UPDATE 9.45AM:

The eight-team competition will see each team play 22 games over 17 rounds. 

The grand final will be played on  Sunday March 8.

UPDATE 9.30AM: 

Basketball Australia Chair Scott Derwin said excitement is building ahead of the 2014/2015 WNBL season. 

“We have so many of the league’s biggest and brightest stars representing the Jayco Opals on the world stage it builds huge momentum going into the new season," he said. 

“The Wattle Valley WNBL is regarded as one of the world’s best competitions and the proof is in the ability to attract and retain our best home grown talent and stars from all over the globe.

“We see Lauren Jackson and Liz Cambage committing to the Wattle Valley WNBL in a significant coup for the league.

"In addition we have WNBA stars such as Kelsey Griffin (Bendigo Spirit), Monica Wright (Dandenong Rangers) and Lindsay Moore (West Coast Waves) looking make their impact.

“This season promises to be one of the most competitive and exciting in recent memory.”

Bendigo Spirit's full WNBL fixture for 2014/2015

EARLIER:

Bendigo Spirit's WNBL title defence to begin in Townsville

FOR the second year in succession the Bendigo Bank Spirit will start their WNBL championship defence on the road.

The 2014-15 WNBL fixture will be released on Wednesday morning with the season to start on October 18 in Townsville with the grand final re-match between the Spirit and the Fire.

The Spirit also started the 2013-14 season with a road trip to Townsville where the Fire won 79-67.

The round one trip to North Queensland will be the only time the Spirit visit Townsville  in season 2014-15.

The Fire will play the Spirit in Bendigo in rounds six and 15.

The Spirit will unfurl their WNBL championship banner in round two when they host the Canberra Capitals on October 25.

The Capitals missed the play-offs last season, but they will be boosted this year by the return of star centre Lauren Jackson.

Another outstanding centre - Liz Cambage – will be in Bendigo in round three when the Dandenong Rangers tackle the Spirit.

The Spirit have a 10-game winning streak over the Rangers.

Each team will play 22 games over 17 rounds, with the grand final once again scheduled for the Sunday of the Labour Day long weekend in March.

The retention of the majority of last year's title-winning squad combined with the addition of Opals star Belinda Snell means the Spirit will start favourites for 2014-15.

However, the return of Jackson to Canberra and Cambage to Dandenong will make life much tougher for the Spirit.

Basketball fans will get their first look at all eight WNBL clubs when Bendigo Stadium hosts the WNBL pre-season tournament in October.

The three-day tournament will be played from October 10-12.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop