basketball

WBBL Power Rankings 2020-21 edition – Week 1

It’s finally back. After such a long wait, WBBL action took place this past weekend.

Here is our look back on the weekend with the first in-season edition of the Power Rankings.

[denotes position from previous week]

➖ 1 [1]: Sevenoaks Suns (0-0)

The reigning Cup champions would have been keen observers of the opening weekend’s action, but they have to wait a little while longer before their first game of the campaign. Suns duo Janice Monakana and Renee Busch are currently in Istanbul as part of the GB Senior Women’s squad.

First game: v BA London Lions (A) – CUP – 22nd November

➖ 2 [2]: Leicester Riders (1-0)

Statement made. The Riders showcased their potential for this season with a dominant victory over the Mystics. And, Holly Winterburn showed why she’s so highly rated, and why the snub by GB is even more surprising with the 20-year-old running the show with 15 points – including a buzzer beater inside her own half – along with eight rebounds and six assists

It was a strong team display and Ella Clark’s four blocks led the way on the defensive end as the Riders held their opponents to just 14 points in the first half as they established a commanding lead after a slow start.

Next game: v Nottingham Wildcats (H) – CUP – 21st November

⬆️ 3 [6]: Nottingham Wildcats (1-0)

The new season of The Shumpert & Joyner show in Nottingham got off to a great start as the duo starred at both ends in the win over Newcastle. From 45-41, the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run across quarters with Simone Costa hitting timely shots in her 16-point cameo.

Their opponents were not at full strength, but it was still a solid display from Nottingham – as they were also without Siobhan Prior and Tia Freeman – with their academy stars getting an early opportunity. A winning start and confidence to take into a clash of the Week 1 victors against Leicester next time out.

Next game: v Leicester Riders (A) – CUP – 21st November

➖ 4 [4]: Newcastle Eagles (0-1)

A tough opening loss for the Eagles, but signs of encouragement in their first official outing. The visitors were without key European returnees as well as new addition Jorjah Smith yet were still very much in the contest until early in the fourth.

Maddy McVicar had a fascinating matchup with Shumpert and had the green light from the perimeter, while Spaniard Marina Fernandez showed several glimpses of her potential. The Eagles predominantly ran with a seven-player rotation but have pieces to add before returning to action on home court.

Next game: v Manchester Met Mystics (H) – CUP – 22nd November

⬇️ 5 [3]: Manchester Met Mystics (0-1)

Far from an ideal start for Manchester following the excitement of their off-season recruitment. 5-of-34 shooting in the first half as they trailed 41-14 on the road against Leicester and eventually went down by 21 points.

The rust is going to be there in the early stages – particularly with new signings to integrate – but Jeff Jones will be pleased with the way his side continued until the final buzzer and did look better in the second half. Time to regroup and go again with another tough road trip next in store.

Next game: v Newcastle Eagles (A) – CUP – 22nd November

⬇️ 6 [5]: BA London Lions (0-1*)

A positive test for COVID-19 resulted in ‘defeat’ for the Lions in their scheduled opener and they will now come up against Sevenoaks Suns in their first game as the new-look roster comes up against stern opposition.

Next game: v Sevenoaks Suns (H) – CUP – 22nd November

➖ 7 [7]: Oaklands Wolves (1-0*)

Still waiting for their first action on court, the Wolves already have a win to their name through the COVID-19 regulations and they eagerly await the arrival of Cardiff on their home court following the international window.

Next game: v Cardiff Met Archers (H) – CUP – 21st November

➖ 8 [8]: Cardiff Met Archers (0-0)

Stef Collins’ immediate focus is with the GB Senior Women in her role as assistant coach for this weekend’s Women’s EuroBasket qualifier before returning to Cardiff ahead of their Cup opener with Oaklands the following weekend.

First game: v Oaklands Wolves (A) – CUP – 21st November

➖ N/A: Essex Rebels

(No current ranking due to not participating in the WBBL Cup)

First game: v BA London Lions (A) – CH – 12th December

➖ N/A: Caledonia Pride

(No current ranking due to not participating in the WBBL Cup)

First game: v Oaklands Wolves (H) – CH – 2nd January

➖ N/A: Durham Palatinates

(No current ranking due to not participating in the WBBL Cup)

First game: v Leicester Riders (H) – CH – 2nd January

All fixtures subject to change and according to official release.


*BA London Lions 0-20 Oaklands Wolves – WBBL Cup (COVID-19 regulations)

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