- National Teams
Watch live as Team Solent Kestrels take on CoLA Southwark Pride in Manchester on Sunday in a rematch of last season’s epic WNBL1 playoff final.
Only this season, the roles are reversed as Solent, who lost out 55-53 last April, come into Sunday’s final as WNBL1 champions with last season’s league winners going into the finale as the third seed.
What hasn’t changed though is both teams’ desire to compete and win and if the two league fixtures are anything to go by, it will be a game that will go down to the final possessions, much like the tightly-contested game they played last year.
CoLA drew first blood on the Kestrels as 24 points from Ebere Egbirika was enough for a narrow 72-67 win in October at the City of London Academy.
It turned out to be the first of only three losses for Solent, as they gained revenge on Jackson Gibbons’ side at Solent Sports Complex as Krisztina Velkey-Cleeve poured in 19 points for a 74-64 victory in February.
Despite playing different styles of basketball, with Solent preferring the fast break, open game whereas CoLA play a strategic game focuses on their inside presence, both teams are fairly similar in their season averages.
Solent average 73 points a game with the Pride not far behind at 67.6. Only Ipswich (73.8) and Thames Valley Cavaliers (74.4) average more.
Solent’s transition game sees them lead WNBL1 in assists at 19.5 and rebounds as they pull down 44.5 rebounds a contest, led by league’s Player of the Year, Faye Endean, who goes into Sunday’s game averaging 19.1 points, 7 assists and 3.8 steals a game.
However, CoLA’s unselfish team play and overall efficiency under the basket sees them lead the league in field goal percentage at 40.8%, while taking the fewest three-point attempts in WNBL1.