Canberra Capitals Carley Mijovic and Alex Bunton. Photo: Jay Cronan
They are the youngest players on the Canberra Capitals roster but self-dubbed ''twin towers'' Alex Bunton and Carley Mijovic believe they're ready to take on greater responsibility this season.
The two 19-year-olds - both 196cm tall - are expected to vie for the starting centre spot, and will get their first chance at this weekend's pre-season tournament in Dandenong. Bunton's progress has been plagued by injury, the latest a dislocated kneecap during an AIS tour in Japan last year. It sidelined her for the first two months of the last WNBL season, but a strong SEABL campaign for Canberra has her ready to make up for lost time.
''SEABL put my confidence through the roof, with my injuries I haven't gone through a season where I get get that consistency of playing,'' she said.
The pair know each other's games inside out after spending nearly three years together at the AIS, and as teammates on the Australian under-19 team.
''When we first got to the AIS we called ourselves the twin towers,'' Bunton said.
Having spent last season as a bench player for a Dandenong side packed with elite talent, former WNBL rookie of the year Mijovic wants to take the next step.
''I need to mature more as a player, I just need to work on my strength and take it to that next level,'' Mijovic said.
''I think I can [take more ownership] and Bunts and I work well together, we've known each other for a long time.''
Many have discounted Canberra's chances this year after it failed to alter star centre Lauren Jackson's contract for her to play this season.
Bunton said the side would head to Dandenong this weekend motivated to prove people wrong. ''It's just to shake those doubts from people,'' Bunton said.
''We don't have LJ [Jackson] and the team's smaller and all this, but we have to work with what we have.
''We've got a hard-working team, who says we can't make the finals this year?''
PRE-SEASON TOURNAMENT: Friday: Canberra Capitals v Dandenong Rangers (8pm). Saturday: Canberra Capitals v Bendigo Spirit (7pm). Sunday: Finals.