|February 29, 2020||5:00 pm||WBBL Championship||2019-20|
Chris Bunten could be without both of his leading scorers as Newcastle Eagles bid to win on the road at Essex Rebels tonight.
Georgia Ohrdorf is out of action for at least two weeks after rolling her ankle in a university clash earlier this week.
And Mante Kvederaviciute has not trained all week after reporting swelling in her knee ahead of last weekend’s trip to Barking Abbey.
“Mante’s situation has improved and there’s a chance that we could get some minutes from her against the Rebels,” said head coach Bunten.
“She wants to travel and so we’ll see what happens. With the contribution that she gives us even a few minutes could make all of the difference.
“Georgia is definitely out. If neither of them makes it against Essex then we’re going into the game without two of the top six scorers in the league.
“That would hurt any team but I’m confident we still have enough to win on the road at the Rebels.”
Essex have lost 11 of their 15 league games this season and head into this weekend’s fixture in a rotten rut of form.
But the homecourt Rebels are still in contention to claim the final playoff spot in the final two months of the regular season.
And Bunten is warning against complacency whether Kvederaviciute makes the bench or not.
“Essex still pose a threat and we will have to rely on the strong defensive showing that got us past the Lions last weekend,” he added.
“If we head into the Rebels game without our two leading scorers then that defensive effort becomes even more important.
“I don’t think Essex will look at where the two teams are in the table.
“When they realise that we are missing one or two key players they will see it as a match they can win.
“I’d be exactly the same.
“If we were playing Sevenoaks Suns and they were missing Cat Carr and Ta’Yani Clarke I’d expect my players to see that as an opportunity.
“We are there to be shot at this season and teams will want to pounce upon any perceived weakness.
“It’s up to us to ensure that we maintain our standards and stay strong.”
Tonight’s clash tips off at 5pm and will be streamed live via the WBBL’s YouTube channel as the league’s feature game of the weekend.
“It’s great to get that kind of exposure and it means friends and family from all over the world can check in on our progress,” added Bunten.
“We’re very lucky that our fans find a way to stream our games home and away but it’s fantastic that we’re the focus of the WBBL.”