WNBL Division One and National Cup preview - Week 12 (14/15 December 2019)

Four games make up Saturday's Week 12 schedule, but four National Cup quarter finals fill Sunday to make for a busy weekend of basketball. We take a look at all eight games in our regular D1W preview.

Game of the Week

Ipswich (6-2) v Reading Rockets (5-3)

Ipswich enter tomorrow's game on the back of three game winning streak, and face a Reading team that lose last weekend against league leaders Anglia Ruskin.

The Rockets fell to a narrow 78-74 defeat against ARU, displaying their quality despite the defeat. Sitota Gines Espinosa highlights that threat, she's currently averaging a league 10th best 15.8ppg.

Ipswich have plenty of talent at their disposal as well, but a recent spate of injuries have left them thin on the ground. A WEABL Academy contest between these two sides on Wednesday saw talented youngster Susannah Rafiu go down with a shoulder injury, further limiting Coach Drane's options. That said, Ipswich are 6-2 for a reason and can dig deep when required.

Elsewhere in D1W

Next up for leaders Anglia Ruskin (8-1) is Southwark Pride (2-4) as the London side take a trip East. The Pride were held to just seven 2nd half points last week in a loss to Thames Valley, coach Gibbons will no doubt be looking for a response from his side tomorrow.

BA London Lions II (0-8) remain on the lookout for their first win and that search goes on in Bristol this weekend as the Lions face the Flyers (4-4). Bristol haven't been able to replicate their regular season highs of a year ago, but Flo Ward, Maialen Zilbeti and Hannah Wallace still make up a formidable trio at this level for any side to face.

Finally, there's somewhat of a local derby in the Midlands as Nottingham Trent University (2-6) take the short trip over to Loughborough to play the Riders (2-6). Neither team has been able to find much fluidity this season, with both sides currently sitting in the bottom four of the standings. NTU have at least won two of their last three, whereas Loughborough haven't tasted victory since mid-November. That momentum could be key.

Women's National Cup

With the National Cup reaching the quarter final stage, we're left with just eight teams in the search for our finalists on 2 February!

One of those sides is reigning champs Loughborough Riders, and they take on Bristol Academy Flyers. With both teams a distance off the top of the D1M standings, the Cup may represent their best avenue for silverware this year, making this one an intriguing match up.

In a quirk of the schedule, Reading Rockets will play away against Ipswich for the 2nd time in as many days as their quarter final match up mirrors Saturday's D1W fixture.

The only team left in the draw from outside the top tier is Derby Trailblazers and they have the daunting task of hitting the road to play D1W leaders Anglia Ruskin.

Finally, Nottingham Trent University entertain Southwark Pride as both teams look to continue their cup campaign.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 14 December 2019 - Division One

12:30pm - Loughborough Riders v Nottingham Trent University - LIVE STATS
3:15pm - Bristol Academy Flyers v BA London Lions II - LIVE STATS
4:00pm - Ipswich v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
4:30pm - Anglia Ruskin University v Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS

Sunday 15 December 2019 - National Cup

12:30pm - Loughborough Riders v Bristol Academy Flyers - LIVE STATS
1:00pm - Nottingham Trent University v Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS
3:30pm - Anglia Ruskin University v Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
3:30pm - Ipswich v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

Main image credit - Nick Winter