Play-off aspirations on the line for Flames

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Two of the WNBL’s most storied clubs clash this Friday night in what looms as yet another crucial game for the play-off aspirations of the Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames.

The Flames welcome the Adelaide Lightning, pitting two of the WNBL’s longest serving and most successful clubs against one another in a must-win encounter for the home team.

Currently sitting one win out of the top five, the Flames need to secure home wins to stay in touch with the play-off race and face an Adelaide team tonight who will be keen to improve on a somewhat inconsistent first half of the year.

Following last week’s disappointing loss to Bendigo, the Flames need to climb quickly back into the winner’s circle and will be looking to improve at the defensive end to get over the top of the young Lightning team.

Adelaide has a host of talented young South Australians on their roster, with sweet shooting guard Mia Newley and dual Olympian Angelo Marino the driving force behind Steve Breheny’s young team.

Newley is one of the most dangerous 3 point shooters in the competition, while Marino is a fierce competitor at the point and keys much of the Lightning’s offence with her ability to get two feet in the paint.

Versatile forward Tegan Cunningham is another Lightning player to watch and she has the ability to score in a variety of ways and creates match-up problems with her size on the perimeter.

The focus for the Flames will be very much on the defensive end of the floor and the home team will be looking to set the tone early at that end of the floor after some inconsistent play against the Spirit last start.

Skipper Natalie Porter is regarded as one of the league’s premier interior defenders and along with hard working guard Natalie Stafford, will be out to set the tone for her team-mates against the potent Lightning offence.

Sally Potocki is another who has built a solid reputation at the defensive end and she will have a key role to play against the likes of Newley and Cunningham.

Livewire guard Katie-Rae Ebzery enjoyed a stellar offensive night in her 100th game last week and will be keen for an encore performance against the deep and aggressive Adelaide back court.

With so much at stake, expect the Flames to come out blazing in this one and they will need to against a Lightning team that is much better than their current record indicates.

The Flames have two games this weekend, with a road game at the Australian Institute of Sport on Sunday rounding out a significant couple of days for the Sydney team.