WATCH THE REPLAY: Women's NBL Sydney Uni v Bendigo
From players juggling exams to high corporate government jobs and late-night calls with kids, this year's WNBL season will bring new meaning to the word champion according to Sydney Flames General Manager Karen Dalton.
Resilience has been the mantra within the Flames camp as they deal with a shortened six-week season inside a North Queensland hub.
Throw in an interrupted pre-season, and a difficult draw, and Dalton has told her players to expect the unexpected during this unprecedented WNBL season.
"Everyone has made sacrifices," Dalton said.
"We've got some players studying for exams and I've also got two workers.
"Forward Shanae Greaves works with the government in disability education, so she has gone through periods where she is quite stressed with her work.
"But her bosses have been fantastic, in terms of keeping up to date with schedules to fit work zooms in with training and games.
"It is not easy to also come in and play 14 games in 32 days, but every team has the same issue, and it hasn't been a normal pre-season for anybody."
The Flames opened their 2020 campaign with a loss to a formidable Melbourne Boomers outfit, but Dalton is remaining confident heading into Saturday's clash against the Bendigo Spirit.
"They had a big loss to Southside, but I think it will be a good match-up," she said.
"They will be pushing the ball up the floor and they will be tough to play, but we really need that win because we have Southside on Sunday."
Originally published as Survival of the strongest in WNBL hub