Nottingham Wildcats basketball team are in action this weekend as they count down the days, hours and minutes until the WBBL Trophy final against BA London Lions, a side that have twice beaten the Wildcats already this season in the league.
To reach Sunday’s showpiece, Coach Kenrick Liburd’s girls beat Durham Palatinates in the Quarter Finals before taking on and seeing off Manchester Met Mystics by fifteen points (90-75) in the semi-final last weekend and they will face a side that last beat them in league action in February by a good eighteen points.
The Lions are currently top of the WBBL having won eight and lost just one game so far this season and in the Trophy, they saw off Leicester Riders (73-58) in the semi-final after going through against Sevenoaks with a bye in the second round and beating Essex Rebels at the first stage 83-69.
The game will be shown live on Sky Sports this Sunday 21st March, with a 3pm tip off, the show starts at 2:30pm with the game played at the University of Worcester Arena.
Players to watch out for in the London squad include the American Cassie Breen who has averaged over 20 points a game in her Championship season whilst Kennedy Leonard heads the teams assists and steals.
Breen, interviewed for the WBBL website this week ahead of the final stated “Nottingham are a strong side with a really good post player in Jasmine Joyner” and it will be the American Point Guard who the Wildcats look up to in hope she shoots them home to victory on Sunday.
Joyner leads the average points scored for Nottingham in the Trophy this year with Chelsey Shumpert who has herself had a terrific campaign, both netting 21pts per game over two matches with Shumpert averaging five assists per game, the best in the Wildcats roster.
With useful help from Portuguese star Simone Costa, the legendary Siobhan Prior, Moa Lundqvist and Tia Freeman amongst others, Nottingham do have a team strong enough to take the Trophy but they will have to be at their best if they are to outdo London who are currently the number one team in the country.
As always we’ll be backing the Wildcats and hope they can pull off a first competition win, Nottingham last appeared in the Trophy final in 2015 when they were beaten by Sheffield Hatters in its debut year, London have never been this far, so a new name on the cup regardless of who wins will appear come Sunday night.
*Main image @IAmAhmedPhotos Jasmine Joyner sinks Manchester Met Mystics in the semi-final.