Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Homestead Cougars will be seeking their second straight victory in this year's Jamaica Basketball Association National Women Super League when they oppose Braves Smilers in the feature game of a double-header today at the National Stadium courts, starting at 6:46 p.m.
In the opening game, Waulgrovians Clippets will take on Unique Ballers, starting at 5 p.m.
The Balllers, who have been one of the dominant teams in the competition over the past two seasons, have recorded three wins and two defeats, while the Clippets have one win and four losses.
The feature encounter between the Cougars and Smilers is expected to be a very exciting game, as both teams are evenly matched in all departments. The Cougars, who have a very experienced starting line-up, which includes national representative Sasha Dixon, will start as favourites. They have four wins and one defeat.
The Smilers, whose team will be led by the experienced pair of Simone Jackson and Onecia Smellie, have won twice, but lost three times.
Melissa Farquharson, captain of the Cougars, who are coming off a 52-48 victory over the Ballers, said her team expects a tough match.
"I am confident that we can pull this win off," said Farquharson. "However, it's definitely going to be a challenging game ... it is not going to be a walk in the park for us."
She added: "Our plan going up against this team is to get familiar with our new offensive and to improve on the areas that we have been falling short, like our rebounding and our communication on defence." Farquharson said.
The Cougars are one of the favourites to win this year's title, but Farquharson says it is going to take a lot of hard work.
"It is going to be a challenge to take the title, but it is not something that is unattainable. We just have stay focus, listen to our coach and play together as a team," Farquharson said.
Ludlow Barker, coach of Smilers, said today's game is very important.
"It is a crucial game for us because we are fourth in the standings and for us to stay in touch with the leaders we have to win this one," said Barker.
"They are a tough team to beat because they have a lot of former national players, but we are going there to fight," he said. "We are going all out to win and therefore we are going to have to limit them to our brand of defence and capitalise on offence."