Flames secure second for WNBL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Flames secure second for WNBL finals

By James Dampney 17/02/2008 10:54:18 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Flames held onto second spot at the end of the WNBL regular season and will face Adelaide on Saturday for a passage straight into the grand final.

Sydney's 78-75 victory over Townsville gave them a 17-7 record and allowed them to stay ahead of Canberra (17-7) after winning the series split over the Capitals 2-1.

The Flames will now travel south to face the red-hot Lightning in Adelaide in the major semi-final, with the winner to progress directly into the decider.

Canberra will host Dandenong in the minor semi-final on Friday, with the winner to take on the loser of the major semi-final.

The Rangers snuck into fourth place with a 12-12 record, just ahead of Bulleen (11-13).

After a slow and controversial start to the season, when coach Chris Lucas was fired and replaced by Vicki Valk, Adelaide have crushed all before them.

The Lightning won 17 straight games to easily claim the minor premiership with a commanding 21-3 record.

They will be firm favourites to knock off the Flames on Saturday.

"I guess the important part of the season is starting and I am just so excited about it," Lightning guard Angela Camino said.

"We all get along really well and are looking forward to next week.

"It's good playing in such a good team."

Defending champions Canberra will have extra motivation to keep their season alive as stalwart Tully Bevilaqua will retire at the end of the finals series.

Bevilaqua, who was a member of the Australian world championship-winning team in Brazil in 2006, helped the Caps warm up for the semi-final with an 88-60 win over the Rangers in her final WNBL regular season game.

"I'm glad it's over, over and done with, the emotions are gone and next Friday I can just focus on the game," she said,

"I was spacey for pretty much the whole game, I kind of just sat back and watched a little bit, except for the last minute.

"But I'm ready to go out now and just focus on the game next week."

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