No Cambage? No worries for Boomers
MELBOURNE Boomers are confident they have the depth to cover the loss of Australian Opals star Liz Cambage as they look to go one step further in the WNBL this season.
The Boomers lost last year's Grand Final series in three games to Townsville Fire and have gone on to lose prolific centre Cambage, who has chosen against playing in the league this year after averaging 23.13 points a game for the Boomers last season.
Boomers captain Jenna O'Hea said while Cambage's decision to move on was a blow, the club had added Opals teammate Cayla George and had a crop of rising young stars who were primed to take the next step.
"I think we have a really well balanced team," O'Hea said.
"We move the ball and we've got lots of scoring options so it's going to be difficult for the other teams to defend us.
"We have a lot of young, talented girls as well. Ezi (Magbegor) is 19, Mon (Conti) is 19, they're only going to get better as the season goes on and bringing that all together, I think it's going to be really exciting."
O'Hea and Boomers teammates Magbegor, George and Steph Talbot recently returned from Spain, where they won a silver medal as part of the Opals team at the FIBA Women's Basketball Cup.
That came after a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in April, but all eyes are now on another prize of a WNBL Championship, something the Boomers last achieved in 2011.
O'Hea said a swell of support from Melbourne's sporting fans had seen the Boomers almost double their membership tally to more than 2500 this year and the players wanted to repay that faith.
"The rise has been just amazing and to have been a part of that I'm really proud and hopefully we can get over that line this year and win the championship and have the membership and supporters continue to grow," she said.
The Boomers host Bendigo Spirit in the opening round of the season at the State Basketball Centre on Saturday night from 7.30pm.
Dandenong Rangers tackle Townsville Fire in Townsville on Sunday.