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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Hot starts for Fire, Boomers and Lynx in WNBL round one

The WNBL season is underway and the Melbourne Boomers are leading the pack with two wins in the opening round.

Lauren Jackson shoots over Canada's Natalie Achonwa during their bronze medal game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia. Image AAP

The Townsville Fire's title defence began in winning fashion, the highly-rated Sydney Flames went down in Perth and Lauren Jackson had her first minutes as the new WNBL season got underway.

The Melbourne Boomers shook off the departures of reigning MVP Cayla George and Opals captain Tess Madgen and sit atop the ladder after winning their first two games, including Wednesday's season opener.

In the absence of Flames recruit George, talls Penina Davidson and ex-WNBA player Niz Hillmon combined for 26 points in the 68-60 road defeat of the Adelaide Lightning.

Melbourne's Keely Froling pulled down her 500th WNBL rebound in the clash but Lightning superstar Steph Talbot did not feature as she continues to recover from her ACL tear.

Tipped as possible title contenders, the Flames went down 85-71 against a Perth Lynx side guided by star recruit Anneli Maley.

The former WNBL MVP pulled down a staggering 21 rebounds to go with 15 points, helping the Lynx lead all day.

George had a modest six points but was valuable for her passing game into the front-court and finished with a team-high five assists.

Last season's champions Townsville notched their 17th consecutive WNBL win in their away clash with the Bendigo Spirit on Saturday.

The Fire looked to be cruising to victory until Bendigo cut a 19-point margin to nine in the final two minutes.

But it proved too little too late as captain Sami Whitcomb (18 points, four rebounds, four assists) led the champions to a 93-80 win.

The Fire last lost a game in January this year, some two-and-a-half months before the previous WNBL season ended.

Jackson had four points in 12 minutes off the bench in her first WNBL game since injuring her achilles tendon in February but her Southside Flyers fell 77-70 to rivals the Boomers.

The three-time WNBA MVP announced in February she would go around again with the Flyers this season after making a successful comeback to basketball in 2022.

In the final game of the round, the Lightning held off a spirited Canberra Capitals outfit for an 82-79 win in Canberra on Sunday.

A late 8-0 run helped the Caps draw level heading into the final minute but Isabelle Bourne came up clutch with a three-pointer that ultimately won the day and improved Adelaide to 1-1.


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