Title fire burns for Townsville WNBL coach of the year

Townsville's WNBL coach of the year Shannon Seebohm won't be content until his side's red-hot run culminates in a title.

The Fire mentor on Sunday won the award for the third time and will lead a team on a 12-game winning streak into this week's finals series against Perth Lynx.

An under-19 Australian representative, Seebohm had to retire as a player after he went into cardiac arrest during training.

Revived by a staff member and then needing heart surgery, Seebohm eventually returned to the game and was WNBL coach of the year with Sydney in his first season, as a 26-year-old.

The 34-year-old has been in Townsville for three years and reached the decider in 2020, but a title has evaded the former guard.

"That has been my goal since I arrived in Townsville, to deliver a fourth championship to the community," he said of a club that won three titles in four seasons between 2015 and 2018.

"And I just want to see the players enjoy the process and if we win, see what it means to them, it would be a great reward to them.

"It would be the best accomplishment to be able to see us do that."

The Fire are hot title favourites after trouncing second-placed Southside Flyers by 22 points in their final regular-season clash on Sunday.

The Flyers will host the defending champion Melbourne Boomers on Wednesday in the first of a three-game semi-final series.

The Victorian rivals finished the regular season with 15-6 records but the Flyers claimed all three derbies by double-digit margins and, even without injured captain Lauren Jackson, will fancy their chances.

The Fire host the Lynx on Thursday to begin their series, with the winners progressing to a best-of-three grand final series from March 18.

Import Tianna Hawkins has fuelled the Fire's charge, and was narrowly beaten to MVP honours by Boomers forward Cayla George, while Shyla Heal's late-season arrival only strengthened the side.