It’s been a tough start to the season so far for Nottingham Wildcats who have been comprehensively beaten in both their WBBL Cup Group A matches but with the league start tomorrow, attention draws to Leicester Riders in what will be another unforgiving task in week one.
The Wildcats travel to Leicester off the back of two losses in the group stages of the Cup but positive news for Coach Kenrick Liburd and his team is that Brooklyn Pannell and Shaunay Edmonds will now make their debuts having travelled in from America.
The two US college stars have just had FIBA clearance which kept them out of Nottingham’s losses against Sheffield Hatters and Manchester Met Mystics.
The Wildcats opened up the season last Friday against the Hatters, newly promoted into the WBBL but went down 94-53 before losing to Manchester a day later 81-65.
Nottingham will go into the match against Leicester tomorrow night at Loughborough University (7pm) with a strong roster buoyed by Pannell and Edmonds with Coach Liburd saying ahead of the match “They are cleared to play now though and will make their debuts against Leicester. We’re excited to see them in the team.”
Liburd told the British Basketball Focus website “We had to give our young players more minutes than we were expecting across the weekend but they all played well. Cassanova had good games in the circumstances and Praise Egharevba played well in her first game back against Hatters, while carrying a niggling injury.”
“Both Sheffield and Manchester played well against us. But the difference in guard play was clear against Hatters.”
“Our young players did well, but they were up against Sheffield’s elite level GB guards – and in particular Georgia Gayle punished us. We turned the ball over 38 times against Hatters.”
“Despite the results though we are happy with what we saw. It was a good test and learning experience for our young players, and they know the level they need to be at.”
Another of our cities elite basketball teams, the Nottingham Hoods have been in excellent winning form in their L Lynch Trophy Group 3 with three wins out of three against Loughborough Riders (95-55), Leicester Warriors (113-67) and Charnwood Riders (105-61).
Next up for the Hoods is a home match at the Wildcats Arena tomorrow night (6:30 tip off) against Loughborough Riders with tickets available to purchase through the Groubook app, available on all smart phones.
*Main image @WBBLofficial Nottingham lost their first match of the season against Sheffield.