Batkovic crowned WNBL MVP

March 9, 2017 | Townsville Fire news
JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic has etched her name into the history books after winning a record-breaking fifth WNBL MVP. Earlier today, the 36-year-old was crowned the 2016/17 MVP after collecting 129 votes – six votes clear of Perth’s Sami Whitcomb (123) and a further eight votes in front of the University of Canberra’s Marianna Tolo (115) – to move past four-time winner, Lauren Jackson, into outright first place. Since returning to the WNBL following an eight-year stint in Europe, Batkovic has proven to be all but unstoppable, winning five of the past six WNBL MVP awards and finishing third in the other. Back-to-back MVPs with Adelaide in 2011/12 and 2012/13 was followed by a third with the Fire in 2013/14. While the star centre finished third behind Abby Bishop in 2014/15 – Fire teammate Cayla Francis finished second – Batkovic has since gone back-to-back again with the Fire in 2015/16 and 2016/17 to claim her place in the pantheon of WNBL greats. “I’m blown away and extremely honoured to win a fifth MVP,” Batkovic said. “I was extremely honoured to sit level on four with Lauren, but to go out and win it a fifth time, is extremely humbling. “I was taken aback when I got the call – I was a little bit speechless.” Earlier in the week, Batkovic became just the seventh player to win selection in six or more WNBL All*Star teams, joining the legendary Rachael Sporn (8), Kristi Harrower (7), Shelley Sandie (7), Michelle Timms (7), Allison Cook (6) and Jackson (6). The most dominant inside player in the WNBL, Batkovic averaged 21.3 points and 10.6 rebounds – second in both categories – while also finishing seventh in blocks. While contemplating retirement, the triple Olympic medallist has confirmed she will play on in 2017/18 as she chases a fifth WNBL championship. 2016/17 WNBL MVP Votes 1. Suzy Batkovic (JCU Townsville Fire) – 129 votes 2. Sami Whitcomb (Perth Lynx) – 123 votes 3. Marianna Tolo (UC Capitals) – 115 votes 4. Leilani Mitchell (Sydney Uni Flames) – 107 votes 5. Sara Blicavs (Dandenong) – 73 votes Eq.6 Steph Cumming (Dandenong) – 70 votes Eq.6 Asia Taylor (Sydney Uni Flames) – 70 votes 8. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (Bendigo) – 60 votes Eq.9 Maddie Garrick (Melbourne) – 50 votes Eq.9 Carley Mijovic (Perth) – 50 votes