Capitals' Brigitte Ardossi trips Fire's Rachael Flanagan. Photo: Rohan Thomson
The Canberra Capitals have no intention of reducing Brigitte Ardossi’s internal season ban for tripping, despite the centre receiving a lighter sentence from the WNBL tribunal on Friday.
Out of finals contention, the Capitals suspended Ardossi for the last three games of their campaign after she received an unsportsmanlike foul for tripping Townsville’s Rachael Flanagan last week.
The tribunal handed Ardossi a two-game ban via teleconference, which means her suspension would be completed after Canberra’s road trip double against Bendigo and Bulleen this weekend.
Capitals' Brigitte Ardossi shoots during the team's game against Townsville Fire. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Basketball ACT CEO Tony Jackson said the tribunal’s decision won’t alter their stance, and she won’t play in next week’s final game against West Coast at home.
However, Jackson conceded that may change should Capitals suffer further injuries to their post players this weekend.
Already minus Mikaela Dombkins, Valerie Ogoke and Lauren Jackson through injury, just nine Canberra players will travel south.
‘‘It doesn’t change anything from our point of view, however, if we go to Bendigo and Bulleen and girls get injured and we can’t field a team [next week], then obviously Brigitte will play,’’ Jackson said.
‘‘If there’s extenuating circumstances where players were injured or unavailable, then yes we would have to consider that.
‘‘Absolutely no way would we consider bringing Brigitte in just to make sure we beat West Coastin the last game.
‘‘Winning individual games is important, but I believe in the longer term view, the broader culture and the messages we install in the program.’’
Jackson praised Ardossi for the attitude she has adopted after the club decide to take its own action. To her credit, the 25-year-old fronted the media on Tuesday to apologise, and sent an email to Flanagan who is yet to reply.
‘‘Her change in her attitude toward this has been pretty impressive, she’s flying down to Melbourne this weekend on her own expense,’’ Jackson said.
‘‘She wants to write to the WNBL chairman Scott Derwin, [Basketball Australia CEO] Kristina Kenneally and the Townsville chairperson Jayne Arlett to explain herself and apologise.
‘‘She’s done this on her own accord, I haven’t asked her to do anything.’’
Ardossi’s absencemeans the Capitals will concede a massive size advantage to competition leader Bendigo and Bulleen, arguably’s the WNBL’s biggest side.
Spirit centre Gabrielle Richards is a league All Star Five contender averaging 16 points and nine rebounds this season, and has forged a strong partnership with star American forward Kelsey Griffin (16 points, eight rebounds).
Youngster Alex Bunton and Samantha Norwood will be given the daunting task of containing one of the league’s best post combination.
‘‘‘Bunts’ [Bunton] has got legit size, but Gab [Richards] has had a hell of a year,’’ Capitals coach Carrie Graf said.
‘‘She uses her body exceptionally well and Bendigo are a team on track to maintain that top spot. Down to nine [players] on a double roadie isn’t perfect, but it is what it is.
‘‘It’s about can this team continue to show some improvement like we have the last couple of weeks.’’
WNBL ROUND 18
Saturday: Bendigo Spirit v Canberra Capitals at Bendigo Stadium (7.30pm)
Sunday: Bulleen Boomers v Canberra Capitals at The Veneto Club (1pm)