The WBBL Cup Final is set after Leicester Riders and Sevenoaks Suns prevailed through the semi-finals at the weekend, with three Suns and two Riders making up the WBBL All-Star 5, led by Leicester’s Ella Clark.
Ella Clark – Leicester Riders
The GB international forward put in the performance of the semi-finals as Riders dominated Cardiff Met Archers at both ends of the floor. Clark scored a game-high 15 points, shooting 6-9 (66%) on the interior, and completed a double-double with 13 rebounds, of which 12 came at the defensive end as Riders held their visitors to a stifling 9-63 (14%) from the field. Riders led from tip-to-buzzer as Clark had five of her points and five boards in the opening eight minutes.
Cat Carr – Sevenoaks Suns
Suns’ influential captain – who came close to a triple-double as they won the Cup final last season – led them in a tense semi-final victory over Nottingham Wildcats, again coming close to a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists while playing all 40 minutes. Suns lost three of the four quarters in the game, but they dominated the third to take the lead as they opened it with a 7-0 burst in which she was involved in all three baskets, scoring one and assisting two.
Renee Busch – Sevenoaks Suns
Carr’s teammate capped that crucial run with a three-pointer en route to a joint semi-finals high of 23 points to make her second All-Star 5 appearance in a row. Busch followed last week’s perfect shooting display with a further 5-11 (45%) from three-point range as one of the most dangerous shooters in the league. Her haul included eight crucial fourth quarter points as Nottingham came back at Suns, including a dagger triple inside the last three minutes.
Holly Winterburn – Leicester Riders
Also making her second appearance in a row, and third of the WBBL Cup campaign so far, is Leicester guard Holly Winterburn who, amazingly, makes the team despite taking just three shots and scoring only two points. She did a bit of everything else, coming close to a double-double with nine rebounds and nine assists, and nabbing two steals in Riders’ dominant defensive display.
Janice Monakana – Sevenoaks Suns
Another GB forward making the team is Janice Monakana, who gave Sevenoaks great punch off the bench in their semi-final win. In an impactful 24 minutes she put up 18 points, including connecting on four of her eight three-point attempts (50%), while grabbing four rebounds and handing out two assists. One of those triples came just before the end of the decisive third quarter, and was the basket that put Suns in front for good.
Off the bench: Jasmine Joyner (Nottingham Wildcats), Chelsey Shumpert (Nottingham Wildcats), Hannah Robb (Leicester Riders), Kate Oliver (Leicester Riders), Sara Hinriksdottir (Leicester Riders), Lavinia Da Silva (Sevenoaks Suns), Shannon Hatch (Cardiff Met Archers).