Reaction: Kate Oliver, Trophy MVP

Kate Oliver led Leicester Riders to their first piece of WBBL silverware as she was awarded MVP honours in their 68-53 defeat of Sevenoaks Suns in the WBBL Betty Codona Trophy Final.

Oliver scored 20 points – all in a crucial first half in which Riders built their lead – shooting 63% inside, while also grabbing nine rebounds and dishing five assists. And she praised the team for their fast start to the game:

“We came out firing,” said Oliver. “We knew what we wanted to do, we knew where we wanted the ball, and we did a really good job of executing.”

Suns came back strongly in the second half, and the game wasn’t done until Holly Winterburn hit a pair of decisive late three-pointers. Oliver was full of praise for her teammate:

“We knew they were going to make a run, they’re a fantastic team and they weren’t going to lie down and let us take it. Holly did an amazing job, she really stepped up.”

Oliver, a native of Australia, is in her first season in the WBBL, and knows that this victory gives momentum to the Riders as they still compete for league and Play-off honours, with a trip to the O2 Arena in her sights:

“The league has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, so hopefully with big events like this we can just keep moving forward. I’d love to play at the O2 – it’s known around the world, even I’ve heard of it, and I’d absolutely love to go there.”