Why 'Gigi' keen to help Ipswich travel through finals
WELL-travelled Ipswich Force import Gintare "Gigi'' Mazionyte has seen more of Australia in three months than many long-time Aussies.
However, that has been a deserved reward for the Lithuanian national squad member who has made a major contribution for Ipswich this season.
Although feeling sore after two high intensity state league matches, Mazionyte was a satisfied basketballer yesterday.
"It was a good game for us all,'' she said, keen to praise her teammates.
"The team played as a unit so I feel like that's when we played the best game.
"It's been a good ride so far.
"We have ups and downs but hopefully we can continue playing good and go into the finals playing like that.''
Yesterday's 100-72 home court victory over the North Gold Coast Seahawks came after a terrific 75-62 away win over second-placed South West Metro Pirates on Saturday night.
That lifted Force back into second spot with three matches before the finals.
After scoring 15 points against the Pirates, Gigi played her usual consistent role yesterday. That included distinguishing any Seahawks' hopes of a third-quarter fightback.
After the Seahawks reduced the deficit to nine points, the European import nailed a timely three-pointer to restore Ipswich's 63-52 advantage.
After the match, the 188cm forward said her main enjoyment came from playing an important defensive role and rebounding as much as scoring. But she was looking forward to some recovery time following Ipswich's latest doubleheader.
"You can still feel some tiredness, soreness in your legs but there's nothing I can do beside shake it off and focus on the game and keep on playing,'' she said.
One of her favourite hobbies is grabbing her trusty backpack and travelling.
In between representing Ipswich, Gigi has done that.
Her destinations include Darwin, camping in the Kakadu National Park and exploring the Great Ocean Road for her 27th birthday last month.
She's also checked out Byron Bay and Sunshine Coast before heading to Sydney next week. Other plans are to see Uluru and visit New Zealand.
"But it depends on how far we go in the season,'' she said, keen to help Force make an impact in the finals.