It kicks off TONIGHT! 5 Oct 7:30pm – Jayco Dandenong Rangers v Deakin Melbourne Boomers at Dandenong Stadium!
The league’s 37th consecutive season tips off on Thursday night with the Michele Timms Cup and intrastate rivalry between the Rangers and Boomers re-ignited.
In unfamiliar territory compared to previous years, Dandenong have a different looking roster with only Sara and Steph Blicavs as well as Amelia Todhunter returning from 2016/17. Tessa Lavey and Carley Mijovic have strong connections with Sara Blicavs from their days at the AIS though so there should not be too many synchronicity concerns heading into the first game of the year.
Melbourne have loaded up with talent in the off-season, led by Liz Cambage while captain Jenna O’Hea, Louella Tomlinson, Courtney Duever and Kalani Purcell will all bulk up their front court.
That is where they will see a decisive advantage although Dandenong’s Kayla Pedersen has impressed in the pre-season and possesses the speed and size to match it with Cambage. It will be a great contest between those two stars under the rim but Pedersen will need help from the likes of Tayla Roberts to match the Boomers’ extended forward line.
Where the Rangers could hurt the visitors is through their point guard stocks with Lavey and Todhunter joined by Spanish Olympic medalist Laia Palau. If they can gel with the team quickly, their passing could slice right through the Boomers’ defences in what is sure to be an emotionally charged contest to start 2017/18.