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WNBL: Sydney claim Game 1 and Batkovic awarded MVP
The Sydney Uni Flames took Game 1 of the WNBL grand final series, with a 9 point win to combat the Dandenong Rangers. The Flames will now head to enemy territory at Dandenong’s home on Friday night, in the hopes of securing Game 2 and putting an end to the series, but they do have a hell of a task ahead of them.
Dandenong put up a solid effort on Saturday night, with standout performances from Sara Blicavs, Steph Cumming and Natalie Novosel, they held on until the final moments. Blicavs top scored for the match with 25 points and 8 rebounds, while Cumming totalled 16 points and Novosel 14 points.
It was an even spread of performers for the Flames, with guard Alex Wilson leading from the front with a total of 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Point guard Leilani Mitchell took advantage of some of Dandenong’s defensive errors late in the game, scoring the points to seal the victory in the end. Mitchell finished on 15 points and 6 assists, stepping up when her team needed her most which is what she’s done all season long.
Jennifer Hamson (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Asia Taylor (15 points) took control inside the paint and were destructive in the second half.
Dandenong are their strongest at their home court and will be making some re-adjustments this week to ensure they aren’t any lapses in the final quarter like there was in Game 1.
You can catch the entire game here:
Batkovic crowned MVP
Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic made history last week after winning a record-breaking fifth WNBL MVP award.
Batkovic moved passed four-time winner, Lauren Jackson to claim the honour of the most MVP awards in WNBL history. She edged out her win with 129 votes, just 6 more than Perth’s Sami Whitcomb who finished on 123, and 9 votes ahead of Canberra’s Marianna Tolo who had 115 points.
She finished the year on an average of 21.3 points and 10.6 rebounds, second in both categories.