Rush  kicks  off  season facing Nunawading at Minerdome

BALLARAT Rush makes its season debut at the Minerdome tonight against a rival it last met at The Graveyard.

Rush will host Nunawading – a team tipped as the biggest improver this South East Australia Basketball League season, and the team Rush defeated to earn a spot in last year’s south conference women’s final.

Integra Rush opened its season strongly with a five-point win in overtime against Brisbane before a packed Brisbane Spartans crowd.

Rush recruit Steph Cumming played the full 45 minutes, scoring 27 points with six assists.

Play was hot and humid but Rush players remained cool and collected, which Cunningham said set a great tone for the season’s start.

Cunningham said players had an unwavering belief they could claw their way back in.

Tonight is another tough challenge.

Lady Spectre Rebecca Cole averaged 21 points and five rebounds in two wins for the club’s Tasmanian road trip last week.

The Spectres’ imposing and experienced captain, Eleanor Brentnall, is a proven dominant force inside the paint.

And the Spectres also boast guard Rebecca Allen – the Melbourne Boomer named the Women’s National Basketball League most defensive player this summer.

Rush captain Kristy Rinaldi makes her return to the Minerdome fresh off a season with WNBL club Adelaide Lightning, bringing a renewed enthusiasm and strategic ideas.

Young gun Sophie Alexander also stepped up her game with a big double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds.

RUSH recruit Steph Cumming has been invited to the Australian Opals squad camp on the Gold Coast in a week’s time.

She is one of 20 players shortlisted from last week’s intense training

camp at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence in Canberra.

The six-day camp, from April 13, will feature decorated Opals trio Erin Phillips, Penny Taylor and Liz Cambage.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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