THE Ballarat Rush’s leading games holder Kristy Rinaldi will reach a new milestone this weekend when she takes to the court for the 250th time in the blue and gold.
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The Rush co-captain first took to the court in the South East Australian Basketball League in 2003 after making her way up through the Ballarat Basketball junior ranks.
Since then, the 30-year-old has played 11 SEABL seasons and has become a stalwart of the Ballarat basketball landscape.
While Rinaldi was able to play a pivotal role in the Rush’s run to the south conference final in 2013, an illusive SEABL championship still motivates the Ballarat veteran back onto the court.
Rinaldi said while she was proud of her individual achievements, continuing her side’s charge towards the finals series would be at the front of her mind when her charges took on the Albury Wodonga Bandits on Saturday night.
“I’m a very loyal person, and ever since I was young I’ve always played for the one club,” Rinaldi said.
“While it is a big week, I’ll take the four points over the individual accolades any day.”
The Ballarat outfit solidified their finals hopes last weekend by registering two wins from outings. Rinaldi was critical for the Rush in their impressive triumph over the Geelong Lady Supercats, scoring 11 points while accruing seven rebounds.
While the Bandits have had a less-than impressive year thus far, the south conference cellar-dwellers managed to knock off the previously undefeated Kilsyth last weekend to come into the road trip with the wind in their sails.
The Rush will be looking to extend their winning streak to three games at the Minerdome, before travelling to Frankston to face the Lady Blues on Sunday.
Currently sitting in fourth place on the east conference ladder, Rinaldi said the Rush were a genuine top two prospect if they continued with their current form.
Meanwhile, the Ballarat Miners will be looking to redeem themselves after back-to-back losses last weekend.
After falling short on the road against the Sandringham Sabres, the Miners were outclassed by the Geelong Supercats at the Minerdome on Saturday night.
The results have placed their position in the top four in jeopardy, with the Dandenong Rangers sitting behind in fifth on percentage only.
They will get the chance to create some breathing space when they take on the south conference’s Albury Wodonga Bandits before travelling to meet the Frankston Blues.
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