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Players still awaiting BA answers on Bibby's beefs

Basketball Australia is remaining tight-lipped on accusations levelled at it by Canberra Capitals skipper Jess Bibby, with one of her complaints currently before the Australian Women's Basketball Players Association and industrial action a possibility.

BA has declined to respond to Bibby's accusations or comment on whether she would face sanctions for her remarks, which included that the governing body was ''not interested in getting this league to the best it possibly can be''.

In an interesting twist, Bibby, who received support from players around the country for her comments, was one of the five players nominated for the WNBL player-of-the-week award.

The veteran's comments regarding the lack of access to Virgin's Velocity lounges for the women - standard for the men - has been a priority for resolution by the players' association.

''It's a tiny, trivial little thing, but it just goes to show [at] Basketball Australia the WNBL isn't considered as highly as the NBL is,'' Bibby said last week, pointing to the need to travel comfortably to best represent the league.

AWBPA general manager Sharin Milner said: ''We've been dealing with BA on that matter since the start of the season … initially we were under the impression that it was going to be on for this season, but unfortunately they cited financial reasons as to why it wasn't [approved].


''But we're still seeking clarification as to why the men still have it and the WNBL players don't.

''We've actually just engaged the services of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. They represent the NBL as well as the NBL and WNBL referees' union, so they have a working relationship with BA on industrial relations-type matters.

''We'll be using the MEAA to negotiate terms that display some equality between the NBL and the WNBL, as it's just not happening at the moment.''

The conflict over travel follows revelations the Opals flew economy to the London Olympic Games, but the Boomers travelled in business class.

The higher-ranked Opals won a bronze medal but the men were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

''On the back of what happened with the Opals travel issue, it is disappointing from our perspective that the girls aren't being given at least an explanation or transparency as to why the NBL continue to have access [to the lounges] and the girls don't,'' Milner said.

The refusal of Basketball Australia to explain the inequity led to the partnership with the MEAA.

''Before Christmas we had two contacts regarding offers we presented regarding the Velocity issue. They were both denied and the third contact has come directly from the MEAA,'' Milner said.

''We should hear on that in the next couple of days in terms of whether it's been OK'd or if it hasn't.

''The next stage is to take it back to the players and decide what course of action they might want to take.''