Lynx forward to test Slammers’ defence

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Printsync South West Slammers coach Peter Harper is using Georgia Denehey’s knowledge to try to stop Perth Lynx teammate and Kalamunda Eastern Suns star Alex Ciabattoni on Sunday.

The Suns will be without their key import Jenny Rintala, who is still in Germany, so much of their offence will be run through Ciabattoni.

Harper said he had a few defensive options to throw at the Lynx forward.

“She is going to be their best player,” he said.

“Talking to Georgia, she (Ciabattoni) is a pretty complete player.

“She can get to the basket and she can knock shots down.

“Knowing her like Georgia does helps us. I think defensively we have the weapons to stop her.”

Harper believed his side was in good shape ahead of their first round.

“If we execute well at both ends we should go well,” he said.

Harper said import Charlotte Van Kleef had settled into the team well.

“She is well liked amongst the group and I am expecting big things from her,” he said.

Busselton’s Beige Harris will make her debut for the club, while Tayah Burrows is expected to add pace across the floor after an excellent season in the Bunbury Basketball Association.

Harper said he believed his side could spread the Suns’ defence.

“Charlotte can score, Georgia is in good shooting form and Courtney (Bayliss) is a scorer,” he said.

“I think across the board we are a better scoring team than we were last year.”

Suns coach Tom Knowles said his side would have a mix of experience and youth.

“It is a bit different for us as we have had a few girls move away and retire,” he said.

Knowles said he saw the Slammers at the Blitz and identified both Bayliss and Van Kleef as his biggest concerns.

“There is definitely some perimeter threats there that we definitely have to lock down,” he said.

Knowles said Ciabattoni would help his side’s offence.

“We have a couple of extra shooters this year,” he said.

“She has a fair bit of WNBL experience. She rates pretty high.”

The Slammers and Suns will tip-off at 2pm.

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