#1. This week's number one is an international center Chantelle Handy (191-87, college: Marshall, currently plays in Eurocup), who plays in Turkey. She could not help Mersin (0-1) in their last game. Despite Handy's very good performance Mersin lost 68-80 at home to the second-ranked Tarbes.
She had a double-double by scoring 16 points and getting 10 rebounds. Handy also added 4 assists in 39 minutes on the court. It was his first game for Mersin this season; not bad, considering it's only her third season in pro basketball. Handy is currently a member of the British senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international center Dominique Allen (192-89, college: ORU, currently plays in Italy). She contributed to an easy victory against the 13th-ranked Consum.it Siena (0-4) crushing them 73-41 in the Italian A2 (12th division) in Saturday night's game.
Allen recorded 9 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Meccanica Nova Bologna (3-1) is placed second in South group.
It was her team's third consecutive victory in a row.
But the season is still in it's first stage and everything can happen.
It's Allen's first year with the team.
She has relatively good stats this season: 14.3ppg, 8.8rpg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 49.0%.
Allen is in the roster of the British senior national team.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was an international center Azania Stewart (195-89, college: Florida, currently plays in Spain). She was not able to help Caja Rural (1-2) in their game against Perfumerias Avenida (1-1) in the Spanish LFB.
Stewart scored 8 points in only 14 minutes.
Caja Rural lost 67-76 on their home court in Zamora to the higher-ranked (#5) Perfumerias Avenida.
But there are still lots of games to play and it's a long way to go.
This year Stewart averages: 3.3ppg, 2FGP: 36.4% in the three games she played so far.
She is also a member of the British senior national team.
#4. Guard Rachel Vanderwal (176-83, college: Boston U., currently plays in Ireland) led UL Aughinish to a victory over the seventh-ranked Waterford Wildcats (1-3) crushing them 85-45 in the Irish Superleague in Saturday night's game.
She was MVP of the game. Vanderwal recorded 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes.
University of Limerick Aughinish (4-0) is placed second in the Superleague.
So far her team won all four games in the Regular Season.
Vanderwal is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's her fourth year in UL Aughinish's roster.
She is the league's top scorer with 22.5ppg.
Vanderwal also averaged so far 5.3rpg, 2.5apg and 2.8spg in the four games.
She has a dual citizenship: Canadian and British.
Vanderwal is also British national team player.
#5. International forward Meagan Hoffman (183-82, college: Adams St., currently plays in Ireland) was the major contributor in a DCU Mercy's victory against the closely-ranked TM Hotel Cork (2-1) 68-63 in the Irish Superleague on Saturday night.
Hoffman had a double-double by scoring 16 points and getting 12 rebounds in 34 minutes. It was his first game for DCU Mercy this season.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Her team is placed first in the Superleague.
So far DCU Mercy won all four games in the Regular Season.
It's Hoffman's first year with the team.
She is a naturalized American.
Hoffman used to play for the British national team
The list of other players, who all have British passport but never been selected to any of British national teams:
#1.Louella Tomlinson (193-F-88, agency: Regeneracom Sports, college: St.Mary's, CA, currently plays in Italy) was the major contributor in a Napoli S.Dike's victory against the eighth-ranked Irpino (2-2) 71-56 in the Italian A2 (12th division) in Sunday night's game.
She had a double-double by scoring 19 points and getting 18 rebounds. Tomlinson also added 5 blocks and 3 steals in 38 minutes; quite an impressive performance considering it's only her second season in pro basketball. Saces Dike Napoli (3-1) is placed third in South group.
It was her team's third consecutive victory in a row.
But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen.
It's Tomlinson's first year with the team.
Tomlinson is currently third on the list of best rebounders and also on the list of best blockers (first place).
She has individually a very good year with high stats. Tomlinson averages: 16.0ppg, 10.8rpg, 4.3bpg and 1.3spg in the four games she played so far.
She has a dual citizenship: Australian and British.
Despite Tomlinson's British passport, she currently plays for the Australian university national team and is not eligible to play for the British team.
#2.Shona Thorburn (178-G-82, college: Utah, currently plays in France), who plays in the French LFB could not help Aix-en-Provence (2-4) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Thorburn's good performance Aix-en-Provence was defeated 70-63 at home by the higher-ranked Perpignan (#6).
She scored 14 points, had 8 rebounds and dished 7 assists.
But the season just started, so everything may happen.
It's Thorburn's first year with the team.
Thorburn is ranked first on the list of the best passers in the league.
She has very reliable stats this season: 11.5ppg, 6.7rpg and 5.8apg.
Thorburn is another player who holds two passports: Canadian and British.
#3.Sarah Kershaw (180-SF-85, currently plays in Switzerland) led Helios to a victory over one of league's weakest teams Muraltese (1-3) crushing them 114-54 in the Swiss LNA on Saturday night.
Kershaw was MVP of the game. She recorded 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals.
Sdent Helios VS Basket (4-0) is placed second in the LNA.
So far her team won all four games in the Regular Season.
This season Kershaw has very high stats. She averages: 18.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.0apg and 3.5spg.
Kershaw has both British and Swiss nationalities.
#4.Zane Alilujeva (185-C-87, currently plays in Latvia) was not able to help Liepajas (2-2) in their game against TTT Riga (4-0) in the Latvian LSBL.
She scored only 4 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. It was his first game for Liepajas this season.
Liepajas was defeated 70-57 on their home court in Liepaja by the higher-ranked TTT Riga (#3).
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
Alilujeva has been at the team for four years.
Leicester Riders join Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL Play-Off Semi-Finals. WBBL Play-Offs, Quarter-Finals, First Leg Leicester Riders 70 (14,34,43) (Hayward 25, Livermore 21, Thompson 9) Barking Abbey Crusaders 64 (14,25,36) (Wilkinson 17, Johnson 13, Naydenova-Goryanova 9) Leicester Riders booked their spot in the WBBL Play-Off Semi-Finals with a 70-64 victory against Barking Abbey Crusaders. Matt Harber's side join Nottingham Wildcats and West... [read more]
Leicester Riders join Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL Play-Off Semi-Finals.
WBBL Play-Offs, Quarter-Finals, First Leg Leicester Riders 70 (14,34,43) (Hayward 25, Livermore 21, Thompson 9) Barking Abbey Crusaders 64 (14,25,36) (Wilkinson 17, Johnson 13, Naydenova-Goryanova 9)
Leicester Riders booked their spot in the WBBL Play-Off Semi-Finals with a 70-64 victory against Barking Abbey Crusaders.
Matt Harber's side join Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters in the last four after holding off a late charge from the visitors.
Dee Hayward (170-G-91, college: Armstr.Atlantic) netted a game-high 25 points to lead the Riders to victory with Erika Livermore adding 21 points and 13 rebounds.
After an even first period, Leicester began to pull away in the second as they established a nine-point advantage heading into half-time.
The Crusaders held the home side to just three points in the opening seven minutes of the third as they closed to within a point, before 6-0 Riders close.
A 9-0 run put BA 43-45 ahead only for the Riders to respond to lead 60-52 with four minutes left and were able to hold on for the victory.
Savannah Wilkinson led BA with 17 points, while Abigail Johnson tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds as their season comes to an end.
Two WBBL powerhouses have progressed to the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals as Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters won on Saturday as the journey to The O2 Arena began. Wildcats, the top seeds and back-to-back league champions, swept Cardiff Met Archers aside as they won 77-46 with Ashley Harris(187-F/C-90, college: Wayne St., NE) posting a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds. Wildcats have unfinished business in the post-season, having twice been run... [read more]
Two WBBL powerhouses have progressed to the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals as Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters won on Saturday as the journey to The O2 Arena began.
Wildcats, the top seeds and back-to-back league champions, swept Cardiff Met Archers aside as they won 77-46 with Ashley Harris (187-F/C-90, college: Wayne St., NE) posting a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds. Wildcats have unfinished business in the post-season, having twice been runners-up in the Play-offs.
Hatters, the 2015 Play-off winners, came on strong in the fourth quarter to get past Manchester Mystics, 75-90 on the road. They were led by Helen Naylor' 24 points, although Naomi Campbell was crucial down the stretch with ten fourth quarter points.
Nottingham Wildcats are through to the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals after overpowering Cardiff Met Archers 77-46 in the East Midlands on Saturday, with Ashley Harris posting another big double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Wildcats are unbeaten in seven WBBL meetings with Archers, and had twice beaten them by more than thirty in this campaign.
They were also unbeaten at home throughout the league season, and all of that showed as they were 14-0 up inside three minutes when Siobhan Prior opened the game with two early three-pointers, and Ashley Harris added two more on her way to eight early points.
Stef Collins single-handedly fought back for the visiting Archers, but Hannah Shaw came from the bench to make back-to-back scores for Wildcats, and they led 26-10 after ten minutes, with Prior adding another trey.
Wildcats average six three-pointers per game, and they had made as many by the end of the first quarter, while allowing Archers to shoot just 20% from the field in the first half.
Archers, who had made it into the last Play-off place with three wins in their final six games, had no way back against the league champions.
Harris added nine more points in the first five minutes of the second stanza, and the lead went through 30 as Harris added four more and Prior hit another triple in a 9-2 run in the third period, reaching 64-33 when Prior added two more three-pointers, shooting 6/7 to that point.
And it stayed at that margin as Wildcats held their visitors scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth, in what was their third best defensive performance of the season, while Melisa Mendes and Maya Hyacienth added late triples.
Wildcats are the top seeds, they've won back-to-back WBBL Championship titles, but they have never followed that up with a Play-off crown, having been runners-up in each of the last two campaigns.
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters are into the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals after winning 75-90 on the road at Manchester Mystics in a clash between the league's fourth and fifth placed sides.
Hatters, Play-off winners in 2015, came into the game having lost their last two league games, and three of their last four on the road, to finish in their lowest ever position in the WBBL. And they were soon a long way behind in this game as Mystics raced into a double-digit lead at 22-9 when Rheanne Bailey, Lauren Thomas-Johnson and Amy Browne hit early three-pointers.
But Hatters then rattled off a quick nine points in response, capped by Jo Lowry's 'and-one', and they were back within one shot when Georgia Gayle hit a three-pointer. Helen Naylor then opened the second stanza with another triple, and Hatters were soon in front at 32-30 when Steph Gandy scored consecutively.
The teams - who won once each in league meetings, the head-to-head settled by just three points - could then barely be separated until the latter stages, with seven lead changes and the teams tied on six occasions.
But Hatters, who beat Mystics in the regular season run in and took that head-to-head, came on strong late on, winning the fourth quarter 28-10, beginning as Gandy and Naylor opened the period to put them in front.
Naomi Campbell scored five to keep Hatters in front, and Gayle made an 'and-one' as that pair scored all of the points in the decisive 11-2 run, Campbell proving crucial with ten fourth quarter points as Gayle's triple made the score 82-73.
The lead was double-figures when Naylor scored heading into the final minute, to keep Hatters in the race for The O2 Arena and a shot at regaining the title.
The WBBL clubs/coaches have cast their votes for the WBBL All-Defensive Team of the Year for 2016-17 and it is as follows: Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee (Team Northumbria) The livewire guard has taken her game to new levels in recent seasons and not only at the offensive end of the floor. Her quickness and basketball IQ have made her a real power defensively for Team Northumbria as she leads her team in steals. Rheanne Bailey(174-G/F-92) (Manchester Mystics) Showing leadership all over the c... [read more]
The WBBL clubs/coaches have cast their votes for the WBBL All-Defensive Team of the Year for 2016-17 and it is as follows:
Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee (Team Northumbria) The livewire guard has taken her game to new levels in recent seasons and not only at the offensive end of the floor. Her quickness and basketball IQ have made her a real power defensively for Team Northumbria as she leads her team in steals.
Rheanne Bailey (174-G/F-92) (Manchester Mystics) Showing leadership all over the court, Bailey is a colossus for Mystics and has been setting the tone defensively in an impressive season since they moved to their new home last summer, with a WBBL Cup to show for their efforts so far.
Steph Gandy (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters) The veteran knows how to get the job done for her team. Her ability to guard multiple positions remains most impressive to those opposing coaches trying to find a way to break down Hatters and evade the attentions of Gandy.
Brittany Winborne (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters) She may not be the biggest in the paint, but the physical presence of Winborne and some spectacular work on the glass as the league's leading rebounder, has meant the WBBL rookie has been one of the few constants in a challenging campaign for Hatters.
Tricia Oakes (Caledonia Pride) Check out any action from WBBL newcomers Caledonia Pride and you can expect to see Oakes stuffing the highlights reel with blocked shots as she is the league's top swatter. She has also been a real leader on the boards for her team as well.
Off the Bench - Siobhan Prior (Nottingham Wildcats), Georgia Jones (Manchester Mystics), Dom Allen (Manchester Mystics), Jamila Thompson (Leicester Riders), Melisa Mendes (Nottingham Wildcats), Deanne Hayward (Leicester Riders), Stef Collins (Cardiff Met Archers).
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