Nottingham Wildcats won their last game of the WBBL regular season at the weekend to end the campaign in fifth place and in doing so they’ll now face Leicester Riders in the Playoff Quarter Finals on May 1st.
The Wildcats beat Essex Rebels 91-88 in a tense game down south on Sunday with some impressive performances non the least from Shaunay Edmonds (26 points 6 assists), Praise Egharevba (19 points, 16 rebounds), Brooklyn Pannell (17 points, 4 rebounds & 3 assists) and Jahnae Gyles (13 points & 6 rebounds) in particular.
Off the back of three straight wins the visiting team opened up in the first quarter with a 31-23 lead over their hosts and added another two points to their lead margin by half time, up by ten at the interval and all going well for Kenrick Liburd’s girls.
But the Rebels fought back strongly in Q3 to end the period one point behind the Wildcats who themselves dug in and wrestled back to edge a tense final quarter, the eventual winning margin just one score of a hoop.
The win means Nottingham will travel to Leicester on Sunday, the Riders have the advantage on previous results having beaten Nottingham back in October by two points, 55-53, more recently the sides met at the start of April where Leicester won 91-78 and they’ll go into the game as favourites, but Nottingham certainly have the form having won their last four, Leicester losing their last two, there latest an overtime defeat to Manchester Met Mystics yesterday.
Other ties in the competition will see regular league champions London Lions take on Durham Palatinates, Sevenoaks Suns who finished second will now take on Essex Rebels, whilst Sheffield Hatters who’ve been strong since promotion last summer, will take on Caledonia Pride.
Meanwhile one player sadly leaving Nottingham Wildcats after their Playoff campaign is complete, will be Praise Egharevba who’s off to America to continue her Academic and Basketball career at Oklahoma State University. Egharevba has been a star of the Nottingham team over the last couple of seasons and said on her Instagram “A BIG thank you to Siobhan, Nikki and Head Coach Liburd for helping me out during the whole recruiting process. One thing I think I have learned from this whole process is one of the most important things is deciding independently what is best for myself and being confident in the decisions I make. And I definitely cannot forget the support from the Wildcats Family”. Egharevba stated ahead of joining Oklahoma “Thank you for continuing to show an interest in my career and I am glad we finally got here.” Whilst a Nottingham Wildcats spokesperson responded “Can’t wait to watch you shine over there, we’ll miss you & your infectious energy, but remember once a wildcat, always a wildcat”.
*Main image @hoopernewswire Praise Egharevba will be fondly missed by the Wildcats.