There may only be three games this weekend, but all of them have huge significance and not least tomorrow's WBBL Cup Semi-Final. Sevenoaks Suns are returning to the Wildcats Arena a week after losing 76-64 in the WBBL Championship and hoping they can make amends. "We had a tough close game in Nottingham last week," mused Suns' forward Anne Pedersen(185-G/F-92, college: LSU), as both teams look to punch a ticket for the maiden Final of the competition at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingh... [read more]
There may only be three games this weekend, but all of them have huge significance and not least tomorrow's WBBL Cup Semi-Final.
Sevenoaks Suns are returning to the Wildcats Arena a week after losing 76-64 in the WBBL Championship and hoping they can make amends.
"We had a tough close game in Nottingham last week," mused Suns' forward Anne Pedersen (185-G/F-92, college: LSU), as both teams look to punch a ticket for the maiden Final of the competition at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Sunday 15 January.
"Unfortunately, we didn't come out on top, but that means we are even more determined to go back this time and get the win.
"Nottingham are a good team with a variety of tools, which means that we need to try and limit what they are really good at.
"But mostly, we need to stick to our game plan and focus on executing that throughout the whole game and not just for three quarters."
She added, "It would obviously mean a lot to the team and the Sevenoaks organisation to make it to Birmingham. We have a lot of young talent on our team and it would be a good experience for them as well."
Sunday sees a top of the table clash in the WBBL Championship as Riders head to Mystics, who also have a 5-1 record. And, as if this game itself was not big enough, it's also a dress rehearsal for their WBBL Cup Semi-Final next Friday 09 December which is live on the BBC worldwide.
"The schedule and match-up with the Mystics is going to be a huge test for our team," acknowledged Riders' head coach, Matt Harber.
"There are many factors going into the games regarding league standings, securing a place at the WBBL Cup Final and of course playing against our former players Rheanne [Bailey] and Georgia [Jones]. These are all impossible for us to ignore.
"Right now, we are approaching the league game like any other and we will do whatever it takes to win that game. What happens after that regarding the Cup game is a separate matter.
"We will know a lot more about the way our two teams match-up after Sunday and the Cup game will undoubtedly be an evolution of the first meeting.
"Mystics have a really good team and are playing cohesively at both ends of the floor," continued the play-caller.
"A lot of attention is given to the standout individual performers that they have, but Im really impressed by how well their team connects and how everyone understands their role.
"We will need to play a complete 40 minutes to win the game and we need to prove to ourselves that we can close out big games against the best teams - this will certainly give us the chance to do that!"
Finally, the other huge game is the launch of the Molten WBBL 3x3 competition tonight when Archers will play Crusaders live on the BBC worldwide at half-time during the BBL game between Worcester and Bristol. You can watch it via the BBC Sport website, BBC Sport app or via a connected TV.
Johannah Leedham selected the top British players playing abroad in last week's games - 2 days ago
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Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of British players who are currently playing abroad. This week's number one is an international small forward Johannah Leedham (178-87). She managed to help Tango Bourges Basket in a victory against the seventh-ranked Villeneuve D'Ascq in the French LFB in Sunday night's game.
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of British players who are currently playing abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an international small forward Johannah Leedham (178-87, college: Franklin Pierce, currently plays in France). She managed to help Tango Bourges Basket in a victory against the seventh-ranked Villeneuve D'Ascq (4-4) 68-62 in the French LFB in Sunday night's game.
Leedham scored only 2 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished 5 assists in 19 minutes on the court.
Tango Bourges Basket (7-1) is placed first in the LFB.
It was her team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
It's Leedham's fourth season with the team.
This year she averages: 8.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 44.4%, 3FGP: 28.0% and FT: 94.7%(18-19) in eight games she played so far.
Leedham is currently a member of the British senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international center Azania Stewart (195-89, agency: Josep and Nicolas, college: Florida, currently plays in Spain). She could not help Campus Promete (3-7) in their last game on Sunday. Despite Stewart's very good performance Campus Promete was crushed 93-68 on the road by the higher-ranked Socinsa Bembibre (#5).
She was the top scorer with 16 points. Stewart also added 5 rebounds.
Stewart's overall stats this season are: 6.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 2FGP: 55.3%(26-47) and FT: 61.5%.
Ex-Barking Abbey Leopards player is in the roster of the British senior national team.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was U20 international guard Kennedy Leonard (173-96, currently plays college basketball in the States). She led Colorado to an easy victory against the St.Francis College (NY) crushing them 81-54 in the NCAA on Friday night.
Leonard scored 16 points and blocked 2 blocks in only a mere 14 minutes.
The University of Colorado has conference record this season.
Leonard has individually a very good year with high stats. She averages: 17.7ppg, 1.2rpg, 7.0apg, 3.5spg, 2FGP: 52.7%, 3FGP: 28.6% and FT: 75.0% in six games.
Leonard is also a member of the British U20 national team.
#4. An experienced guard Rachael Vanderwal (175-83, college: Boston U., currently plays in Spain) contributed to a Mann Filter's victory against one of league's weakest teams Zamarat (3-7) 77-65 in the Spanish LFB in Sunday night's game.
She recorded 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Mann Filter Zaragoza (4-6) is placed eighth in the LFB.
It's Vanderwal's first season with the team.
Vanderwal's overall stats this year are: 6.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.6apg and 1.7spg.
She has a dual citizenship: Canadian and British.
Vanderwal is also British national team player.
#5. Former U16 international guard Shanice Norton (173-97, currently studies in the States) led LSU to an easy victory against the The Univ.of Texas at El Paso crushing them 78-45 in the NCAA last Thursday.
She scored 15 points, grabbed 4 boards, dished 4 assists and stole 5 balls in 27 minutes.
The Louisiana State University has conference record this season.
This year Norton's overall stats are: 5.1ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.1apg and 1.4spg in seven games.
She used to play for the British U16 national team
three years ago.
#6. Forward Ella Clark (190-92, college: Long Beach St., currently plays in Italy) was not able to help one of league's weakest teams Umbertide (2-6) in their last game on Sunday. Despite her good performance Umbertide was defeated 75-69 at home by the higher-ranked Torino (#7).
Clark scored 11 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Clark is ranked first on the list of the best blockers in the league.
Her total stats this season are: 8.0ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.1bpg and 1.3spg.
Clark is an international player who is currently on the senior British National Team roster.
#7. International forward Janice Monakana (183-95, is currently at the American university) was not able to secure a victory for the Toledo in their game against the Univ.of Calif.at Los Angeles in the NCAA, despite her very good performance on Friday night.
She scored 16 points, had 5 rebounds and dished 3 assists in 30 minutes. It was her first game for Toledo this season.
But the Toledo (#5) was edged 75-73 on their home court in Toledo, OH by the Univ.of Calif.at Los Angeles.
Monakana is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's her fourth year in Toledo's roster.
Monakana used to play for the British national team
#8. Guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott (178-95, currently plays college basketball in the States) is a teammate of previously mentioned Janice Monakana and both played together in the last NCAA game.
Bravo-Harriott couldn't help the Toledo in their game against the Univ.of Calif.at Los Angeles. Despite her very good performance in Friday night's game She scored 18 points. It was her first game for Toledo this season.
Bravo-Harriott used to play for the British national team
#9. International guard Eilidh Simpson (170-92, college: St.Francis, NY, currently plays in Spain) helped Sant Adria win their game against the fifth-ranked Oviedo (8-3) crushing them 81-57 in the Spanish LF2 (second division) on Saturday night.
Simpson scored only 3 points in 12 minutes.
Femeni Sant Adria (6-2) is placed third in Group A.
It was her team's third consecutive victory in a row.
But the season just started, so everything may happen.
This year Simpson's total stats are: 6.0ppg and 3.0rpg in seven games.
She is also in the roster of 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. Experienced Shona Thorburn (178-G-82, college: Utah, currently plays in France) managed to help Nantes Reze Basket to win against the closely-ranked Lyon (3-5) 68-66 in the French LFB on Sunday night.
Thorburn scored 5 points.
Nantes Reze Basket (4-4) is placed sixth in the LFB.
Thorburn is currently fourth on the league's list of best passers.
Her total stats this season are: 6.9ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.8apg and 1.9spg.
Thorburn has a dual citizenship: Canadian and British.
#2.Alexandra Bunton (198-C-93, currently plays in Russia). She could not help Dynamo Moscow (2-5) to beat Vologda-Chevakata (3-4).
Bunton recorded 9 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 25 minutes.
But Dynamo Moscow was badly defeated 98-78 on the road by the higher-ranked (#5) Vologda-Chevakata.
It was Dynamo Moscow's fifth consecutive loss in a row.
Bunton is currently fourth on the league's list of best rebounders with 9.7rpg.
She also averaged so far 11.4ppg in seven games she played so far.
Bunton is another player who holds two passports: British and Australian.
Despite her British nationality, Bunton currently plays for the Australian U22 national team and is not eligible to play for the British team.
#3.Sarah Kershaw (178-SF-85, currently plays in Switzerland) led Helios to a victory over the closely-ranked Geneve Basket (3-4) crushing them 85-41 in the Swiss LNA last Sunday.
She was MVP of the game. Kershaw scored 24 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished 9 assists in 38 minutes.
Helios VS Basket (6-2) is placed second in the LNA.
Kershaw has been at the team for seven years.
She belongs to league's best passers and is ranked #6 with 4.3apg.
This year Kershaw also averages: 10.7ppg, 5.7rpg and 1.7spg in six games.
She has both British and Swiss nationalities.
#4.Lavinia Da Silva (187-C-88, currently plays in Italy) was not able to help Virtus Cagliari in their game against Scrivia (5-3) in the Italian Serie A2 (second division).
Da Silva scored 5 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The tenth-placed Virtus Cagliari (2-6) was defeated 63-52 on the opponent's court by the higher-ranked Scrivia (#7) in the Group A.
But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen.
Da Silva has relatively good stats this year: 12.1ppg, 9.3rpg and 1.1spg.
She also holds two passports: British and Portuguese.
#5.Mayka Pilz (183-F/C-92, currently plays in Germany) contributed to an easy victory against the ninth-ranked Osnabruecker (3-8) crushing them 65-41 in the German 2.Bundesliga (second division) in Sunday night's game.
Pilz recorded only 2 points in 13 minutes.
BG 74 Veilchen Ladies Goettingen (3-1) is placed first in North group.
This year Pilz's total stats are: 5.7ppg and 3.0rpg in three games.
#6.Ejay Ofomata (180-G/F-86, college: Central State, currently plays in Italy) was the main contributor in a Udine Delser's victory against the fourth-ranked Civitanova 61-55 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) last Sunday.
She was MVP of the game. Ofomata scored 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Ofomata has relatively good stats this season: 14.0ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.6apg and 2.3spg.
She holds both Nigerian and British passports.
Our season leader extends her advantage at the top of our leaderboard and we also have two debutantes. Tereza Brantlova (172-G-82) (Barking Abbey Crusaders) It's the first appearance of 2016-17 for the Czech guard, although she is no stranger to our starting five from her previous WBBL campaigns. She starred in Barking Abbey Crusaders comeback win at Oaklands Wolves with 17 points after burning her opponents from the three-point line with five triples from seven attempts. She also weighe... [read more]
Our season leader extends her advantage at the top of our leaderboard and we also have two debutantes.
Tereza Brantlova (172-G-82) (Barking Abbey Crusaders) It's the first appearance of 2016-17 for the Czech guard, although she is no stranger to our starting five from her previous WBBL campaigns. She starred in Barking Abbey Crusaders comeback win at Oaklands Wolves with 17 points after burning her opponents from the three-point line with five triples from seven attempts. She also weighed in with a super six steals and four assists.
Steph Gandy (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters) The veteran becomes only the third player this season to rack up a fourth appearance in our starting five, after leading the second-half surge in the win over Archers. Gandy produced the best performance of the entire weekend with a superb double-double of 25 points [from 50% shooting] and 12 rebounds. She also came up with three steals and an assist as she drove her team to success.
Cat Carr (Sevenoaks Suns) It's a third berth of the season for the Sevenoaks leader after she proved instrumental in Suns easing their way past the visiting Caledonia Pride after a tricky opening half for the hosts. Carr came up with a sweet double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds, while also getting a glimpse of a rare triple-double after handing out seven assists in a trademark all-action effort.
Deborah Rodriguez (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters) Our second debutante gets what is literally her first ever starting five place, having only joined the Hatters this past summer. The Spanish centre proved too powerful in the paint for Archers as she also collected a double-double. Rodriguez made a wonderful seven of eight from the floor for a 14-point haul and complemented it with 11 rebounds. She also snapped up four steals for good measure.
Ashley Harris (187-F/C-90, college: Wayne St., NE) (Nottingham Wildcats) It's now six appearances for the frontcourt star as she eases away as our outright leader after once again showcasing her quality and strength for Nottingham as they took down Sevenoaks Suns. Harris finished the contest with 22 points, including three triples, while completing her usual double-double with 14 rebounds. She also handed out five assists to remind everyone of another facet to her game.
Off the Bench - Ta'Yani Clark (Sevenoaks Suns), Britanny Winborne (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters), Dominique Allen (Manchester Mystics), Judit Fritz (Cardiff Met Archers), Allison Gorrell (Team Northumbria), Kyla Nelson (Oaklands Wolves), Beth Mackie (Caledonia Pride).
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