The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames will be shooting for five straight WNBL victories when they take on the sixth-placed Adelaide Lightning at Brydens Stadium on Saturday night.
Coming off a well-executed 13 point defeat of the Canberra Capitals last weekend in Canberra, the Flames are ready to take on an Adelaide outfit sitting just one place below them on the ladder.
“Last week was a really big game for us, because we are finally on a roll, winning games and playing the way we want to play,” explained Flames captain Alicia Poto.
“We obviously need to keep winning, and a win this weekend will hopefully push us even further away from Adelaide.”
The Flames four game winning streak is remarkable when you consider that it came off the back of a six-game losing stretch. It is for this reason that complacency is nowhere to be seen and the Flames have developed a deep understanding of how they need to play in order to win.
“I think we finally understand the importance of playing a more defensive style of game,” said Poto. “And then our offence is flowing from that.”
Someone who is in the midst of a strong offensive scoring run is Poto. The 208-WNBL game guard has been in sensational form lately, scoring 19 points in the Flames 81-68 victory over Canberra and 16 points in the 83-71 defeat of Melbourne a week earlier. Over the course of those two games the 2004 Athens silver medallist has knocked down an incredible eight three-pointers.
“I came out at the start of the year and couldn’t miss, and then all of a sudden I couldn’t hit anything,” said Poto. “For me, it’s about doing what I need to do to help the team win. It’s great to be able to knock down open shots, but let’s not forget that you don’t get open shots unless your team mates get you open.”
Poto believes that the Flames possess scoring options all over the court, which has helped the team to maintain consistent scoreboard pressure in recent weeks. She also points to the teams improved defence as a crucial factor.
“On any night, any one of us can score big numbers, but the fact that we are sharing the scoring load is because we work really hard on our D – by limiting the other team to one shot. I think that’s what has helped us win the last few games. We are grinding out victories, whereas at the start of the year we weren’t able to do that.”
This week the Flames will be hoping to secure a victory against an Adelaide team that defeated Sydney Uni at Brydens Stadium earlier this season. Back in the Round 4 encounter in late October, Adelaide – led by Laura Hodges (18 points), Jess Foley (16) and Steph Talbot (14) – defeated the Flames 85-82 in one of the most exciting games of the season.
Poto is confident that her team can turn around that result this Saturday.
“We are definitely a different team to the one that played Adelaide a few weeks ago,” explains Poto. “If we play 40 mins the way that we have been playing the past few weeks, then I think the result will take care of itself.”
It’s a process and we need to go out there and do it. It’s going to be a great contest and we are looking forward to continuing the winning form and winning at home is very important. This is another one of those games where it’s like a final for us.”
Tip-off for this Saturday’s night’s game against the Adelaide Lightning is at 7pm at Brydens Stadium at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre.
All tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or at the door from 6pm onwards on Saturday night.
Food and drinks will be available at the brand new Katering Courtside Bar.