Ipswich Force guard Rachel Mate ponders her next move in last weekend's QBL quarter-final win over Mackay.
Ipswich Force guard Rachel Mate ponders her next move in last weekend's QBL quarter-final win over Mackay. Cordell Richardson

A banana a game fuels Rachel's hunger for success

ENERGETIC Ipswich Force guard Rachel Mate has a pre-game ritual that fulfils her hunger for success.

However, the skilful basketballer had to figure out the best time to eat a banana.

"I've done that since I was quite young,'' Mate said with a laugh.

"My dad always used to make me eat before a game. I just stuck with it.

"It took me a little while just to get it right.

"The first half of the season I was getting a bit sick during the game. I ate it too fast or something.

"Now I eat about half a banana halfway through the warm-up.''

Mate, 19, is in her second year studying psychology at UQ, hoping to join another force in the future, the police.

However, she still devotes plenty of energy to her basketball where she has scored 206 points in 19 state league games this season.

Fuelled by her pre-game nourishment, Mate also sets up many offensive opportunities for the Ipswich side that has excelled this season.

Proud of her team's progress, she was pleased to be playing Saturday night's semi-final in Ipswich.

"That's definitely helped,'' she said, having a far shorter journey from Kenmore.

"Personally, I find it a lot easier just playing at home rather than having to be on aeroplanes and trying to keep your routine intact.

"Game day is so much easier when you are at home.''

Saturday's 6pm semi-final against the Spartans is Ipswich's first at home since joining the state league competition, providing a special occasion for fans.



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