Bendigo Spirit building early WNBL season momentum

Ashleigh Spencer. Picture: STEPHEN BLAKE, AKUNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Ashleigh Spencer. Picture: STEPHEN BLAKE, AKUNA PHOTOGRAPHY

YOUNG Bendigo Bank Spirit player Ashleigh Spencer believes the momentum created by the team's opening two wins will be crucial to its playoff hopes.

The Spirit are on somewhat of a roll after wins against Adelaide Lightning and Dandenong Rangers.

They get a chance to make it three wins from three games at Bendigo Stadium against Sydney University Flames on Friday night before hitting the road on Sunday for a clash against Melbourne Boomers.

Spencer, who is in her second year with the Spirit, said the team could not be happier with its start to the 2016-17 WNBL season.

"It's real exciting, we are showing some great things," she said.

"We're really lucky to get three home games to start the season ad not have to battle against travel and the things that come with that.

"We just  get to focus on playing on our home court, in front of our home crowd - one of our biggest assets is our home crowd, so having them behind us helps us get across the line.

"(The home crowd) was huge against Adelaide."

Much positivity has centered on the Spirit's fruitful recruiting campaign that netted new imports Nayo Raincock-Ekune and Blake Dietrick, as well as Nadeen Payne and Ash Karaitiana.

Spencer was confident all four were as good as they were advertised to be.

"(Nayo) is like a firecracker, when she wants to the ball she goes and gets it and there's nothing that can stop her," she said.

"If she keeps it up we are in good shape.

"But I'm loving all the new girls.

"Blake is doing really well - a great shooter and great at commanding the floor.

"And then there's Ash and Nadeen, all really great people.

"What we thrive on is our team work and our personalities and  how we work together."

The Spirit currently sit second on the WNBL ladder and are one of only two teams in the league with a loss.

Reigning champions Townsville Fire have a similar 2-0 record to the Spirit.

A win over the Boomers on Sunday would be the perfect birthday present for Spencer.

The former South Australian turns 24 and is hoping to celebrate with a win and make a contribution.

"I'm happy with whatever (minutes) I am given and to go out there and do the small things  that I can to help the team," she said.

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