THE WEEK THAT WAS – 19
A pre-season tournament takes centre stage in Queensland as the countdown to the new Cygnett WNBL season continues, this is The Week That Was.
WNBL LIGHTS UP RIVER CITY
For the first time in years, teams are going head-to-head in a pre-season tournament with Basketball QLD’s River City Rebound tipping off in exciting fashion in Brisbane on Thursday night.
Supported by the Queensland Government, Townsville Fire, Sydney Flames, Adelaide Lighting and Perth Lynx are all taking to the court, with each team playing three games, at Northside Indoor Sports Centre this weekend.
Fans were treated to a nail-biting double-header on night one.
In the opening game, reigning champion Townsville held off a young and impressive Lighting, 98-97, with star recruit Sami Whitcomb draining 33 points.
In her first WNBL appearance, Issy Bourne top scored for Adelaide with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in a sensational performance.
The second game also delivered a one-point thriller with the Lynx edging out the Flames, 94-93.
WNBA import Aari McDonald (22 points, 5 assists) showed great early signs for the winners while Sydney’s Emma Clarke lit up the third term with 19 points on the way to finishing the game with a 28-point/11 rebound double-double.
On Saturday, Adelaide face Sydney at 6pm local time before the Lynx play the Fire (8pm).
The tournament, streamed on You Tube, wraps up on Sunday afternoon with Adelaide vs Perth (2pm) then Sydney vs Townsville (4pm).
SWAIN TRAIN HALTED
Sydney recruit and Opals squad member Shenice Swain will have a delayed start to the WNBL season as she recovers from a stress fracture in her foot.
Newly-signed development player Ahlise Hurst (Bendigo via University of New Mexico and University of Oregon) will begin her stint with the Flames as an injury replacement for Swain who has this season arrived in the harbour city from the UC Capitals.
Bendigo Spirit is putting the final touches on its roster for #WNBL24 re-signing Micah Simpson and adding Ella Gordon as development players.
The Spirit, who have enjoyed thorough pre-season preparations including a tour to Korea, take on Southside Flyers at Ballarat’s Selkirk Stadium in a practice game on Saturday at 5.30pm.
BOOMERS DRAW FIRST BLOOD
Melbourne Boomers recorded a 79-67 win over Southside Flyers in the first hit out for both teams last weekend at Diamond Valley.
Recruits Keely Froling and Sara Blicavs impressed in their new colours while Flyers young gun Nyadiew Puouch teamed 21 points with 7 boards.
The Boomers next pre-season game is against Bendigo on October 21 at Keilor.
The Las Vegas Aces have established a commanding 2-0 lead in their WNBA championship battle with New York Liberty.
The reigning champs, who this season feature reigning Suzy Batkovic Medallist Cayla George, dominated the Liberty, coached by Opals coach Sandy Brondello, in game 2 on Thursday, 104-76.
The best-of-five series now heads to the Barclays Centre with game 3 on Monday.
Tickets for the River City Rebound are on sale now via INTIX
WNBL Pre-Season action between the Bendigo Spirit vs Southside Flyers are on sale now via Ticketek Australia
WNBL Pre-Season action between the Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit tickets are on sale now via INTIX