Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss juggles WNBL with international duties
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Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss juggles WNBL with international duties

Paul Goriss' first few months as Canberra Capitals coach have been riddled with tight finishes, stressful losses and emotional wins.

A mid-December trip to Fiji may just be exactly what the doctor ordered for the passionate Goriss, whose racing heart rides every play from the sideline.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss.Credit:Rohan Thomson

On Saturday he will fly to Fiji, not to relax on the beach with a cocktail and crossword but to coach the Australian under-19 women's team in a do-or-die FIBA World Championship qualifier.

He won't be kicking his feet up at one of the famed island resorts, instead he and the Australian Gems will be based at the local university and doing battle in the sweltering basketball centre with slippery swollen floorboards.

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The tournament also means Goriss will miss the Capitals' home game against the Sydney Flames next Thursday and anyone who has seen him coaching knows he will apply the same passion to whatever internet feed he can find of the game.

"It's really difficult and that's part of the thing about when I first took on this job [at the Capitals]," Goriss said.

"I knew that the Gems thing was very important to me as well as my coaching, and I'm also grateful for the opportunity to coach an Australian team but it's hard to walk away from this mid-season."

Assistant coach Reece Potter has multiple years of experience as an assistant coach in the WNBL and SEABL and even filled in for Sydney Flames coach Shannon Seebohm during his time there.

"Reece does all the video editing for scouts, he's around day to day, we discuss practice, we discuss game plans, so he's ready to step up and take it," Goriss said.

"I don't think I could be leaving it in any better hands than Reece and Peta's [Sinclair] hands."

In Goriss' absence the Capitals will be able to look upon their third quarter against Perth Lynx last weekend as an example of how well the side can play.

"We watched that back at our tape session on Tuesday," he said.

"The first five minutes of the third quarter is how we want play our style of basketball and this is how we can play when we show energy and effort together and we execute.

"Hopefully that third quarter is reminiscent of how we should be playing and that can stick in the memory bank for a whole 40 minutes."

WNBL ROUND 9

Friday: Canberra Capitals v Melbourne Boomers, Tuggeranong Stadium, 7pm.

James is a reporter for The Canberra Times and Chronicle

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