Bassett confident of return at home

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Australian Diamonds shooter Caitlin Bassett is confident of taking the court in her much anticipated return to Perth in the green and gold.

Bassett, who was withdrawn at half-time in Sunday’s third Test due to foot soreness, is working closely with the Diamonds medical team to ensure her availability for the deciding Constellation Cup Test match.

“The feet are doing good,” Bassett said on Wednesday. “They had a bit of a break yesterday when we had the day off to rest and relax.

“I’m doing everything that I can and working closely with the medical staff.

“We’ve got a fantastic team helping us so I’ll be doing everything possible to get out there and play in front of my home crowd.”

The Diamonds are in Perth for the first time since going down to the Silver Ferns by a goal in the opening Test of the 2011 Constellation Cup series, coach Lisa Alexander’s first outing against New Zealand and Bassett’s only appearance for Australia in her home town.

Four years on, Bassett and her Diamonds teammates are eager to make amends and wrap up a third consecutive Constellation Cup title with victory.

“I’ve been looking forward to this Test match for about a year since it was announced,” Bassett said.

“The last time we played against the Silver Ferns here in Perth was 2011 and we lost by a goal so I’m hoping to change the result this time.”

After dropping their first Constellation Cup fixture in ten outings against the Silver Ferns in Melbourne on Sunday, the Australians are expecting nothing less than a tough contest with the Cup on the line.

The Diamonds conceded a nine-goal advantage in the second half as the Silver Ferns came from behind to keep the four-Test series alive heading into the final Test of the year.

“Every time we step out on court against them it’s a really intense match up but even if they don’t have Maria Tutaia they’ve been building their own new attacking line so we’re expecting a really tough match,” Bassett said.

“The first quarters so far in the last three games have been really tight so we’re expecting nothing different. If we can get ahead, our main goal is to push ahead and not let them back in.”

Australian captain Laura Geitz hit the court on Wednesday afternoon with her Diamonds teammates after arriving in Perth.

“She was always going to come to Perth for a function tomorrow but with a few injury niggles it’s meant that coming over here means it’s a bit more of a necessity,” Bassett said.

“You don’t say `no’ to playing a Test for your country. She’s had a little bit of a break but really excited to comeback and join the group.”

The Australian Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the fourth and deciding Test of the 2015 Constellation Cup at Perth Arena on Friday from 6.30pm, local time.

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