It is way overdue, but it’s exciting to have one of Australia’s most talented groups of athletes back on television where it belongs. With the national team, the Opals, as the successful focal point of women’s basketball in this country for the past quarter of a century, it seems remarkable that the WNBL had recently slipped from the position it once held in the sporting landscape.
Well, the first step to rectifying that situation has been taken. Fox Sports will televise weekly action, with Saturday a ernoon set to become Hoops Central for fans of the best female players from here and around the globe.
The Sydney region has been a steady production line of talent for the Australian team and the Sydney Uni Flames enter the 2017-18 WNBL season as defending champions. Flames captain Belinda Snell is lining up for the 13th season of her stellar career, and with imports Jen Hamson and Asia Taylor returning for the title defence, the Flames are very likely the team to beat in this new campaign.
Snell knows, however, that with a handful of her Australian team-mates from the Rio Olympics scaered around the league, the depth in this season’s competition makes the odds of a repeat just that lile bit longer.
Liz Cambage promises to be a dominating force for the Melbourne Boomers, with local fans hoping to see the 203cm-tall centre produce the occasional slam dunk or two, having jammed the basket at last year’s Rio Games. Cambage will be joined at the Boomers by former Opals star Jenna O’Hea, who returns from a three-year stint playing in both Europe and America. With Melbourne coming off a disappointing season, the addition of two players of this calibre should push the Boomers into definite playoff contention.
There’ll be plenty of eyes on the early season form of the Dandenong Rangers with good reason – last summer’s beaten grand-finallists
have added a true world star to their roster in the
shape of Spanish Olympic captain Laia Palau. Palau has helped her home club win five titles in the Spanish league, along with taking her country to the silver medal at the Rio Games. A er coming up one game short of the 2016-17 WNBL title, there’s no doubt the Rangers have gone straight to the top shelf in bolstering this season’s squad.
NoWNBL player has paid her dues more than Townsville Fire veteran Suzy Batkovic.
Yet another league MVP award went Batkovic’s way last season – that’s five in total – and whenever she is on court for the Fire, the North Queensland outfit will be tough to beat.
When you throw the consistent Perth Lynx into the mix, this season’s competition promises to be a fascinating three and a half months of action.
It’s been tremendous to see so many codes of women’s sport get the aention they deserve in recent years, and it’s even beer that we can once again give our best female basketballers the platform to showcase their unlimited skill.
It’ s been tremendous to see so many codes of women’ s sport get the attention they deserve.
WNBL drawcards Suzy Batkovic [ ] and Liz Cambage.