Sport

Canberra Capitals' Carly Wilson backs Jess Bibby for one more WNBL season

Carly Wilson has backed Jess Bibby to play on.
Carly Wilson has backed Jess Bibby to play on. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Former Opals guard Carly Wilson is still in shock over the Canberra Capitals' sudden end to the WNBL season and feels like she should be going to training on Monday to get ready for a finals campaign.

But she's determined to return for the Capitals next season and has backed veteran guard Jess Bibby to pull the jersey back on and break the WNBL games record. Bibby has made 370 WNBL appearances and needs just eight more to pass the all-time mark of 377 set jointly by Rachael Sporn and former Capital Lucille Bailie.

But she indicated halfway through this season it would be her last, although she then opened the door to carry on for one more last week.

It means Friday night's gutsy win over the Bendigo Spirit could be her last, after the Sydney Flames upset the Townsville Fire and took the Capitals' finals berth in the process.

Wilson has backed her long-time friend and teammate to carry on as well. Although she felt Bibby wouldn't make a decision with the emotion of this season still fresh.

"The beauty about Bibb is she can keep going until she wants to finish," Wilson said. "She can still contribute, she's still a great leader, she's still so energetic and she brings so much to the team that it's never going to be a matter of her teammates or fans saying it's time for her to hang them up."

The Capitals' sudden elimination from the finals caught Wilson and her teammates off-guard. They'd left AIS Arena on Friday night convinced they'd be playing in this weekend's finals and that the form they produced against Bendigo proved they were worthy finalists.

But as they walked around the multicultural festival on Saturday night updating the Spirit-Fire score on their phones they were confronted with the reality it wasn't to be.

She said losses to Adelaide and the West Coast had proved costly.

It has Wilson seeking closure and, while she's off-contract now, the 32-year-old is looking to return for the Capitals next season. She said she'd never experienced anything like it in her 17-year career.

"Everyone feels like we should be going to training on Monday night, especially because we felt like we played so well on Friday night and it felt like the whole season had worked towards getting to that point – where everything started to roll and that's [the] beginning of our finals run," Wilson said.

"To have that cut short, it's just such an odd feeling, it feels like we're incomplete. The last couple of years I've been weighing up where I'm at with it all, but the way that this season went and the way that we played at the end I definitely don't feel like I'm ready to hang up the boots. I've got some unfinished business."

Wilson backed Abby Bishop to take out the WNBL most-valuable-player award.