Capitals capitulate against firing Melbourne

Jordan Hooper says the Canberra Capitals will use a rough weekend as motivation as they look to bounce back into WNBL title contention.

But Capitals coach Paul Goriss says his side needs to clean up its third quarter efforts if they want to be a serious championship hope.

A third quarter capitulation saw the Capitals fall to a 92-63 defeat at the hands of the firing Melbourne Boomers at the National Convention Centre on Sunday.

Trailing by eight points at half-time, the Capitals unravelled in the third period to slump to back-to-back losses, having fallen to the Townsville Fire on Friday.

It leaves the Capitals with a record of two wins and two losses, but the two defeats have come to the sides many expect to battle in the finals come January.

Lacklustre third quarters have been Canberra's Achilles heel in their opening four games, with Melbourne dominating after the break to blow the hosts off the court.

But Goriss says it's only going to be a concern if the Capitals make it one.

"I think we've got to stop talking about it and bringing it up, and have some action. I really don't know what more we can do, we've started different line-ups. I don't know, I'm at a loss," Goriss said.

"For them to go out and score 92 against us, it's not the team we want to be and it's not the way we want to play. I'm disappointed in the way we acquitted ourselves, especially in that third quarter again."

The Capitals shot just 36 per cent from the field having been forced to overcome an unplanned six-hour layover at Brisbane airport on Saturday .

Eziyoda Magbegor (11 points, four rebounds) and captain Natalie Hurst (10 points) battled hard but Hooper says the Capitals felt clunky as they watched their unbeaten home record go up in smoke.

"We did a couple of good things but the bad outweighed the good," Hooper said.

"[We've got to] come back to practice ready to go, use this as motivation, use the film to learn. I don't think you dwell on wins or losses, you move on from this as quickly as you move on from wins.

"It felt shuffled. We just didn't feel like we were clicking like usual, I really don't have an answer for that."

Boomers star Elizabeth Cambage (27 points, nine rebounds) continued her dominant run of form as Melbourne's second half onslaught left Canberra searching for answers.

The Capitals needed to conquer a 30-point deficit - basketball's answer to Mount Everest - in the final quarter to clinch the win, but they couldn't reach the peak.

Boomers coach Guy Molloy backed the Capitals to rebound and says they were always going to do it tough on the back off a hectic road trip against two of the league's heavyweights.

"They're a good team and they've got good pieces in every key spot on the floor so they're going to be around the mark, for sure," Molloy said.

The Capitals have a chance to set the record straight against the Dandenong Rangers at home next Sunday.


Canberra basketball fans were treated to a blast from the past at half-time with Capitals legend Lucille Bailie and former Canberra Cannons coach and NBL great Cal Bruton taking to the court.

The pair were playing for the ActewAGL All-Stars in an annual charity game against the Media Megastars to raise money for the ACT men's and women's intellectually disabled basketball teams.

Basketball Australia hall of fame inductee Bailie and Bruton helped rack up $1200 in donations for the ACT teams ahead of the Ivor Burge tournament.

The clash was a who's who of Canberra sport with former Canberra Raiders skipper Alan Tongue, Capitals great Linda Muir and Ninja Warrior competitor Lee Campbell in action.

MELBOURNE BOOMERS 92 (Elizabeth Cambage 27, Jenna O'Hea 19, Brittany Smart 16) bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 63 (Eziyoda Magbegor 11, Natalie Hurst 10, Kate Gaze 10) at the National Convention Centre.

This story Capitals capitulate against firing Melbourne first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.