WNBL: Townsville Fire reign supreme as 2017/18 WNBL Champions
The Townsville Fire reign supreme as the champions of the 2017/18 WNBL season in a 3 game thriller against the Melbourne Boomers. If it wasn’t enough to be awarded the MVP for the season, Suzy Batkovic backed it up like the champion she is and was awarded the Grand Final MVP with 3 stellar performances.
In Game 2 of the grand final series, 3,655 Melbourne fans were witness to an epic thriller as they saw their team come from behind to win by just 1 point. It was a baseline move from no one other but Liz Cambage in the dying moments to put the Boomers in front. All Melbourne fans then held their breathe as Suzy took on a similar shot down the other end which bounced at the top of the ring and then out.
It was a battle of the bigs as some fierce play between Batkovic and Cambage saw things get very intense during stages of the game. Batkovic top scored with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while Cambage did the most damage with her final shot, but finished on 19 points, 0 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Brittany Smart was one of Melbourne best, providing plenty of energy and momentum building plays. Smart finished on 11 points for the match. Kalani Purcell was also big for the Boomers inside, scoring 7 points and 10 rebounds.
The grand final series then went to the ultimate decider in game 3. Townsville came out with some fire in their belly and Batkovic wasn’t going to let this game up. The veteran came out with intent and purpose to win, and led her team exceptionally well. Finishing on a huge 28 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists, Batkovic was a clear winner for the grand final MVP.
Cambage had another big game in Game 3, scoring 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks for the match. Brittany Smart had another huge game for the Boomers with 14 points and 8 rebounds, trying extremely hard especially in the last quarter to make something of this game.
There were some big moments from Laurin Mincy (11 points, 3 rebounds) and Cayla George (6 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists). Townsville also saw a huge game, and series from their point guard Kelly Wilson who celebrated her 350th WNBL match in their iconic win. Wilson finished on 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
It also wouldn’t do justice to finish the Townsville Fire’s season without a mention for Zatina Aoukuso and her memorable and wonderful celebrations off the bench. It’s support like this th
This makes a total of 3 grand finals for the Townsville Fire for the past 4 years and in the team’s history. Townsville are a force to be reckoned with, however this was a huge effort from Melbourne who finished fourth and have made big inroads from finishing 8th last season.