This may well be Paul Goriss' last dance.
His last game at the helm of the Canberra Capitals, his last pre-game address for a club he led to two WNBL championships in a stirring revival, his last moment standing courtside with his back to a heaving home crowd.
But Goriss' playing group have other plans. They see Sunday's do-or-die semi-final against the Perth Lynx in Tuggeranong as another hurdle to overcome in a season like no other.
"We have to realise that we've been through so much adversity this season, why not go through a little bit more in the finals to make it normal," Capitals star import and Suzy Batkovic Medal contender Britt Sykes said.
Lose, and his six-season stint at the Capitals is over. Win, and the series goes to a game three in Perth on Wednesday night, where Canberra and the Lynx would fight for a grand final berth.
Goriss' role in reversing the fortunes of the Capitals cannot be understated, the club twice lifting the WNBL trophy inside a packed AIS Arena.
This time, they look to keep their season alive in the humble Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium. The Capitals have been willing to invest in up to $20,000 worth of upgrades to turn a glorified tin shed into a venue worthy of WNBL broadcast requirements.
About 1300 are expected to file into the venue on Sunday, a drop on the capacity the Capitals could have welcomed at the AIS Arena or National Convention Centre in a cruel financial blow inflicted by the ACT and federal governments' failure to act on the city's indoor venue crisis.
So as Goriss, Sykes and the Capitals run through one last practice before a must-win showdown against Perth, they take a moment to ponder what it will feel like with a crowd filling the wooden bleachers.
"Electrifying. When we were in the NCCC, that arena is kind of small too but filled up with Caps fans, that thing gets loud," Sykes said.
"It carried us through a lot of games where things looked a little rocky. They helped us out tremendously. To have them back is great. It would be good to get a win in front of our home crowd and give them something to cheer about again."
The fact Canberra are still alive seems a minor miracle. Goriss was banned for a month due to an integrity breach, the club has been hit by COVID-19 cases, matches have been cancelled on game day, Casey Samuels was sacked following an incident at a Gold Coast nightspot.
"All our losses have come from the top four teams in the finals. We take that on the chin and we realise we are one of only four teams that get to still play. Everybody else is done playing," Sykes said.
"We just have to understand it's a new season, it's the post-season. Anything can happen, it's not about who is the better team, it's who wants it more. We go in with the attitude that we want that championship."
Game two: Sunday, March 27 - Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx at Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium, 5pm.
Game three if required: Wednesday, March 30 - Perth Lynx v Canberra Capitals at Bendat Basketball Centre, 9.30pm.
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