Capitals’ coach Paul Goriss. Photo: Rohan ThomsonThe Canberra Capitals are determined to protect a proud WNBL record this weekend when they hit the road for their final two games in 2016.
The Capitals have not lost back-to-back games this season after the first 10 rounds of their new era under the guidance of coach Paul Goriss.
Canberra’s 7-5 record marks an incredible turnaround from last season when the Caps were winless at Christmas and lost 20 consecutive games en route to a 2-22 wooden spoon finish.
Goriss has turned the tide in the capital with some impressive victories this season and the mentor wants two more scalps before Christmas.
The Capitals are keen to bounce back from a tough loss to Sydney and secure two wins in two days when they face Melbourne on Friday night before backing up against Bendigo on Saturday.
Bendigo beat the Caps by 12 points in round five, but Goriss’ side will look to complete the triple against Melbourne after downing the Boomers in rounds four and nine.
“It’s really important we go 2-0 this weekend. Bendigo beat us down there once already so we’ll try a couple of different things defensively,” Goriss said.
“Our execution offensively at times has let us down, but we only had one bad quarter against Bendigo last time so we just need that consistent effort right from the start.”
Canberra forward Keely Froling is enjoying her first season at the Capitals and a second stint under Goriss, who coached the young gun at the AIS.
“This weekend is massive, the offensive boards is what we really struggled with [against Sydney], so that’s what we’ll focus on this weekend and hopefully we can come home with two wins,” Froling said.
After the forgettable 2015-16 campaign, Canberra has well and truly been the surprise packet of the WNBL season and sits in equal fourth on the ladder with Sydney Uni.
“As a group we’ve probably shocked a few teams and in a way shocked ourselves a little bit with how quickly the team has jelled on the court with such a short pre-season,” Goriss said.
“They [Canberra] had a couple of lean years there but we were able to pick up some handy players and have been fortunate that our recruiting has paid some dividends.”
Goriss shunned away from taking any credit for the Caps’ remarkable swing in form this season.
“I won’t take pride [in the results] until we make it to the top four and play finals,” he said.
“We’ve flown under the radar a bit because of the past two seasons and everyone thinks it’s a rebuilding year but it’s more of a refreshing year.
“I won’t take my foot off the pedal until we make finals and the league is so tight and competitive that every game is a must-win, so we won’t rest until we cement our top-four spot.”
WNBL ROUND 11
Friday: Bendigo Spirit v Canberra Capitals at Bendigo Stadium, 7.30pm.
Saturday: Melbourne Boomers v Canberra Capitals at State Basketball Centre, 7.30pm.
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