A large, cardboard cutout of Andrew Bogut’s head was an attempt by fans of the Townsville Fire to put a damper on the productivity of Melbourne Boomers star Liz Cambage.
The stunt apparently was more successful against Cambage’s teammates, however, as she herself produced 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots in a losing effort that saw her side go down to the Fire by the close score of 69 – 64 in game one of the WNBL Grand Final.
Cambage and Bogut have been known to spar via social media, something that seems almost as important as playing the game these days.
Every time the Fire scored or a play went in their direction, the Bogut heads made their appearance. They seemed to show up more frequently than Bogut actually does in the NBA these days. He was axed by the Los Angeles Lakers; a fate which would not have befell him if he could put up anything within shouting distance of the figures Cambage posts for the Boomers.
Unfortunately, Cambage’s effort against the Fire went unsupported by any of her teammates, while the Fire got balance production all along the bench. Six players from the Fire scored seven or more points, with three scoring 10 or more. Their depth is superior to Melbourne’s, with their bench outscored Melbourne 19 – 10. That reality is distressingly familiar to the Boomers, who time and again see the Fire’s substitutes take up right where the starters left off.
The Fire got an impressive showing from their American ringer, Sydney Wiese. We will resist, as long as possible, the irony of an American basketballer named Sydney playing in Australia. Perhaps the Aussies can export a player to the States named Chicago, or something.
We could not resist for the entire length of a sentence.
Wiese was making four of her eight three-point attempts, two of them coming during a critical stretch of the third quarter. She holds the record for made three-pointers in the Pac-12 conference of U.S. college basketball.
The two teams next head to Melbourne, with the Fire holding an opportunity to win their third WNBL premiership in the past four seasons.