Opals coach Sandy Brondello believes the Southside Flyers remain favourites to win the 2020 WNBL final, but conceded the one-match format has made the outcome less predictable.
The WNBL finals series is typically comprised of three games, but was reduced to one match due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four-time Olympian Brondello said the “one and done” format could favour the Townsville Fire, who are considered the underdogs ahead of Sunday’s decider.
“The Flyers have got more depth, they are loaded with experienced players,” Brondello said.
“Townsville have the homecourt advantage, but because of Southside’s experience it allows them to block that out a little bit.
“Southside will be the favourites going in, but I would not underestimate Townsville.
“It is one game. Anything can happen. In a series, I always think the best team will win out, but in one game it is whoever is best on the day.”
The Flyers secured the minor premiership after winning 11 of their 13 group stage matches, before trumping the Fire 106-93 in Wednesday’s major semi-final.
However, Townsville bounced back to claim a nailbiting 65-62 victory over the Melbourne Boomers in Friday’s preliminary final.
“Townsville are not going to back down,” Brondello said. “They have some great playmakers in Shyla (Heal) and Lauren (Nicholson). Shyla has been a real bright spot. She works hard and she is in the right system under Shannon.
“I knew she was a good player, but she impresses me more and more each game.
“The Fire have great chemistry and are well coached. I think the grand final will be a lot closer than many think.”
The Flyers have not won a WNBL title since 2012, while the Fire have claimed three championships since 2015.