THE WEEK THAT WAS – 4
The Seven Consulting Opals are contesting the FIBA Asia Cup in Sydney, Townsville landed a scorching hot signing while the Aussies are in action across the WNBA. It’s been a busy past seven days, this is The Week That Was.
The reigning champs just got even hotter.
Opals and WNBA star Sami Whitcomb will cross from one side of the country, after captaining Perth Lynx the past two seasons, to the other suiting up with Townsville Fire next season.
The 34-year-old earned All-WNBL First Team honours three times during her stint with the Lynx.
Coach Shannon Seebohm is fired up about his latest recruit.
“Her experience and leadership will be a huge asset to our team on and off the court,” he said.
“Sami is a threat from anywhere on the court, she will be an instant fan favourite, not only for elite shot making ability, but also for her relentlessness and drive.”
Whitcomb and Alice Kunek are the big in’s for a Fire roster which has retained its championship core of Steph Reid, Mikaela Ruef, Courtney Woods and Kate Gaze.
Meanwhile, Lara McSpadden has returned to where her WNBL career began, the Sydney Flames.
The 2022-23 WNBL champion joins a strong Sydney roster which so far features Opals trio Tess Madgen, Lauren Nicholson and Cayla George, Shaneice Swain, Vanessa Panousis, Kiera Rowe and Emma Clarke.
Ella Batish will wear the Lightning’s colours once again next season, while league star Kelsey Griffin will again lead the Bendigo Spirit after taking up the #WNBL24 season option in her contract.
Green and Gold Proud
Australia won its opening two Pool B games against the Philippines and Chinese Taipei at the FIBA Asia Cup in Sydney this week before a comprehensive defeat on night 3 to Japan.
Captained by Sydney Flames recruit Tess Madgen, the Opals face Korea on Friday night.
A win will see Australia advance to the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifying tournaments and set up a semi-final showdown with China on Saturday night.
The medal games will be contested at the QuayCentre on Sunday.
Vegas Ace Liberty
Cayla George’s Las Vegas Aces became the third franchise in WNBA history (Houston Comets, 1998 and Los Angeles Sparks, 2016) to start the season with a 14-1 record when they defeated New York Liberty, coached by Sandy Brondello, 98-81, in a highly anticipated clash between the super teams.
Also on Friday, Seattle Storm, featuring Ezi Magbergor, Sami Whitcomb and Jade Melbourne, fell two points short of Minnesota Lynx, 99-97, in overtime.
Magbegor produced a 16 point/16 rebound double-double, while Whitcomb hit 22 points.