Flames look to bounce back in home season opener

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Our Brydens Sydney Uni Flames Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) team is playing their first home game of the 2015/16 season this Wednesday October 14, at 7pm against the University of Canberra Capitals, on our Brydens show court at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre.

It is hoped that newly arrived import Carolyn Swords will make her debut for the Flames in this encounter. The 198cm centre hails from the US and has had an impressive start to her professional career. She played three seasons with the Chicago Sky and one season with the New York Liberty in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in America, where she averaged 4 points and 3 rebounds in 11 minutes of action.

Head Coach of the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames and WNBL 2014 Coach of the Year Shannon Seebohm sees Swords as a terrific addition to the squad. “Carolyn will bring size and experience. She has played at the highest level in the world and has done very well at that level. She is defensive and can protect the basket really well. She also has a strong inside scoring presence,” said Seebohm.

The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames will be going all out to snare a win as they went down in a hard tussle against the Perth Lynx (81-70) in their season opener at Perth, October 10, 2015. Our girls were leading by three at the half, but Perth clawed their way back to take the game. The Flames’ assist/turnover ratio affected them in the clash with Perth doubling the amount of assists the Flames had, whilst committing half the amount of turnovers.

Katie-Rae Ebzery was the best for the Flames against the Lynx with 16 points and 4 assists. Ebzery is going to be heavily relied upon by the Flames this year after her exceptional 2014/15 season. Katie also played with the Opals in a two-game series against New Zealand in August this year which served as qualifying games for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Opals qualified by winning both games in which Katie had averages of 6 points in 19 minutes of play. There is no doubting Ebzery’s Opals experience improved her game and will have her primed and ready for another big season in the WNBL.

The Flames are set to play an exciting brand of basketball this year, following an inspired 2014/15 season where they made the preliminary final in Seebohm’s first year at the helm. “Flames fans will see a team that is hungry to win and do better than last year. We are looking to compete from the start to end of the game. We are going to play an exciting style of basketball this season. I’m feeling confident it’s going to be a great season for us,” Seebohm stated.

Wednesday’s game should be a fantastic spectacle as the court will be loided with talent. The Capitals have a host of Australian team experience with Jessica Bibby, Carly Wilson and Hanna Zavecz all having played for the Opals. Not to mention Abby Bishop, who is coming off a career year in the WNBA with the Seattle Storm and also has numerous Opals appearances.

The Capitals started the season at home with a loss against the Dandenong Rangers (72-80). Young gun Stephanie Talbot was big for the Capitals with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in the game. Keeping Talbot and the rest of the experienced campaigners quiet will go a long way to the Flames getting a win on Wednesday night.

The first home game will also be a chance for Flames supporters to see the team’s other new recruits, Carly Boag and Joslyn Tinkle. Tinkle had a stellar college career at Stanford before being drafted to the Seattle Storm in 2013 and playing the two previous years professionally in Europe. The 6ft3 forward impressed in her first hit out with the Flames against Perth, scoring 14 points, snatching 11 boards and blocking 3 shots. Boag on the other hand is a Sydney local, having played as a junior for the Hornsby Spiders she is looking to solidify herself as a WNBL player and impress her hometown fans.

The Flames have been very active in their pre-season linking with fans by taking some of their trainings to Newcastle and Wollongong to play local sides and hold highly successful junior clinics. In addition, they held a free open training session on October 3 at their home court where member packs were distributed ahead of this Wednesday night’s home game.

This first home game is not to be missed with Urbanest Student Accommodation in an exciting initiative joining forces with the Bryden Flames to present ‘Student Night’, where just $6 will gain you entry, including a drink, with a valid student card. So now that all the hard pre-season training slog is over and the competition has been launched, here is your first chance to yell loud and get behind our team, the only NSW team in the Women’s National Basketball League.

The 2015/16 Roster is:

Alex Wilson #7

Annobel Starr #15

Carly Boag #11

Carolyn Swords #30

Casey Samuels #13

Darneka Rowe #9

Hayley Moffatt #3

Joslyn Tinkle #31

Kate Seebohm #24

Katie–Rae Ebzery #10

Kathryn Rendell #8

Nicole How #5

Rohanee Cox #23

Tahlia Tupaea #4

Head Coach – Shannon Seebohm

Assistant Coach – Reece Potter

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