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UC Capitals opt out of semi-finals, ending their 2021-22 WNBL season

Elly Mackay

30 March 2022: The University of Canberra Capitals have made the difficult decision to withdraw from Game Two of the Semi-Final Series of the WNBL next week, following a rescheduling of the game to Wednesday 6 April in Perth.

The game, which was originally scheduled for 27 March at Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium, was postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak within the Capitals squad.

It brings an abrupt end to the Capitals’ season, and University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President Paddy Nixon said he was disappointed for both the squad and their supporters.

“It’s hugely disappointing that the team has been forced to make what I can imagine was an extremely difficult decision,” he said.

“The team – including their coaches and support staff – have endured incredible adversity throughout this season, and should be proud of how they have represented the Capitals both on and off the court.”

The team now has eight COVID-19 positive players, and the full squad is in isolation. The WNBL made the decision to move the game to Perth on Tuesday afternoon.

The decision comes following an upgrade to the Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium ahead of the finals series, to allow the Capitals to host home semi-finals.

“I know there were thousands of UC Capitals fans – including myself – who were looking forward to cheering on the team in a home semi-final,” Professor Nixon said.

Club staff and players made the call not to travel to Perth, citing fears that they would be unable to travel on a long-haul flight and reach match-fitness levels so soon after recovering from the illness.

It also marks the end of coach Paul Goriss’ time with the team, as he heads to America to coach in the WNBA.

“In prioritising the welfare of the players, the club has also forgone an opportunity to farewell Paul Goriss with one final title,” Professor Nixon said.

“I’m sure that next year, they’ll continue striving to win a tenth title, and we’ll be ready to celebrate with them when they do.”

The UC Capitals finished their bid in third position on the ladder, winning 11 games throughout the 2021-22 season.