Just when it looked like the WNBL season from hell couldn't get any worse, a white-tail spider crawled into bed with the Canberra Capitals and bit their star point guard.
United States import Renee Montgomery now has a story to tell her American friends after she was bitten by a white-tail spider and added more misery to a campaign that has delivered a record losing streak of 20 games.
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The spiders, native to Australia, use venom on their prey rather than spinning a web to capture it, although they typically prey on other spiders.
The incident has evoked memories of Swedish golfer Daniela Holmqvist using a tee to try to extract venom from her leg after being bitten by what she believed was a redback spider.
Montgomery, who was bitten while sitting on a couch, is now in doubt to play the Dandenong Rangers at the AIS Arena on Sunday.
She's on antibiotics, won't train this week and will be assessed closer to game day to see if she can get on the court.
It adds to a year where the Capitals have fallen off their perch as a WNBL powerhouse, failing to win a game and in danger of losing every match this season.
Two weeks ago one of their mid-season recruits was forced to watch from the stands because the terms of her release from the South East Queensland Stars meant she risked a fine if she played.
The long list of Capitals dramas includes:
- Australia's greatest basketballer Lauren Jackson being released from her contract after suffering another knee injury.
- Former Australian Opal Hanna Zavecz retiring.
- Belgian centre Ann Wauters withdrew from her contract for family reasons.
- Opals point guard Kathleen MacLeod withdrew after becoming pregnant.
The only thing left for Canberra to tick off for their season to become a complete disaster is a player being bitten by a snake in the last three weeks of the season.
Montgomery scored 27 points in the Capitals' three-point loss to Adelaide last weekend, almost single-handedly lifting the team to its first victory.
"[The losses] all hurt to me, but it's the fact we allow ourselves to get down 22 and we lose by three," Montgomery said.
"We have to have everyone engaged at all times. It's been a long season but we have to fight those lapses and we can't let the score get all the way to 22 before we kick in."
WNBL ROUND 16
Sunday: Canberra Capitals v Dandenong Rangers at AIS Arena, 3pm. Tickets available at the door.