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2nd-round winners to get charter flights to semis

The winners of Sunday's second-round WNBA playoff games will get charter flights to their next game, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced. Generally, WNBA teams always fly commercial in the regular season and postseason.

The Sunday games, pitting the Sparks against the Storm and the Aces against the Sky, are being played in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The winners advance to start best-of-five semifinal series Tuesday night in Washington and Connecticut.

With such a short turnaround time and cross-country flights, Engelbert said the league would cover the costs of charter flights.

"We believe it is in the best interest of the players to provide them with an opportunity to arrive expeditiously in the city of the first game of the WNBA semifinals and have a full day on-site to practice, rest and prepare," Engelbert said in a statement.

WNBA players association executive director Terri Jackson applauded the move.

"The league's decision to provide charter accommodations at the conclusion of today's playoff games is well-received by the WNBPA membership," Jackson said in a statement, "because it recognizes what is at the heart of our concerns for the players' working conditions: health and safety, as well as the player professional experience."