WNBL1: FocusHoops team of the week (21/22 November 2020)

To recognise the stand-out players and performances each week, FocusHoops' Darren Paul picks his WNBL team of the week.

As a writer, commentator, podcaster and more, Darren has taken a closer look over the latest batch of performances in D1W before selecting his top five players from across the league.

Chris Hughes from Rebound has also had his say on the NBL Team of the Week, so don't forget to check that out to!

Have your say on this week's choices and give a shout-out to the players you think deserve one using the hashtag #NBL2021. Don't forget to tag us!

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How it works

The Basketball England WNBL Player of the Week goes straight into the starting line-up.

The other four players are picked with the following factors in mind:

  • Efficiency
  • Stats
  • Team and opposition strength
  • Periods of influence in the game

The FocusHoops team of the week

Carolina Marques - Worcester Wolves, guard

27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, 45 FG%, 29 efficiency

The driving force of the Worcester Wolves’ road victory over the Loughborough Riders, Marques once again showed the league how capable a scorer she is as her side moved to a perfect 3-0 record and second in the table.

Marques had 16 points as well as the crucial assist for the tying basket in the final period of regulation to force the game into overtime. When in OT, the Wolves blew the game apart, winning the period 15-0 with Marques responsible for 7 of those points with made buckets and assists.

An all-around excellent performance rightly rewarded with Player of the Week honours.

Grace Brownell - Worcester Wolves, guard

16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 18 efficiency

In the thrilling conclusion to the Riders - Wolves game, arguable the most important player in the final minutes of the game was Grace Brownell, who not only made the three to send the game into overtime but stole the inbound pass to set up the play!

Brownell hit 4/5 from beyond the arc, draining two in overtime to help secure a commanding OT victory on the road.

Brownell has a wealth of experience in big games, looked composed at all times as she shared the rock, gathered her share of rebounds and poured in points for her team.

Makana Stone - Loughborough Riders, forward

17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, +/- 17, 24 efficiency

Despite the OT loss for her Loughborough Riders, Stone was once again the foundational piece upon which Loughborough built their game.

Stone did have foul trouble which limited her to just 17 minutes on the floor, but her 17-11 double-double was highly impressive against the tough Worcester Wolves and on another day would have been enough to see her side victorious.

The American continues to demonstrate the value of a star import and has brought an abundance of scoring and rebounding to the young Loughborough outfit, and we expect to see her leave her mark on the WNBL.

Makana Stone has already impressed on the young season for the Riders (Loughborough basketball)

Sitota Gines Espinosa - Reading Rockets, wing

21 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 21 efficiency

The stand-out performer in Reading’s upset win over Team Solent Kestrels, Gines Espinosa was excellent on her way to a 21-10 double-double. A solid performer on both ends of the floor, the Spaniard was a major driving force in the victory.

As Solent tried to make a run at Reading and secure a foothold back in the game in the third period, Gines Espinosa bagged nine points which helped keep her side keep control for the final period and secure a valuable win.

Isabel Bueriberi - Nottingham Trent University, forward

14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, +/- 27, 19 efficiency

In arguably the most intriguing match-up heading into the weekend, Isabel Bueriberi’s stellar defensive work in the paint shone as she and Vicky Gray helped lead Nottingham Trent University to a comfortable victory against CoLA Southwark Pride.

Passing the eye-test with flying colours, Bueriberi was a +27 in the contest and made life difficult for her opposition all day long with her formidable post presence and efficient scoring.

Bueriberi has been somewhat of an unsung hero in the past, but so far this season her talent, drive and determination are clear for all to see.

Isabel Bueriberi in action for NTU.

Team basketball

Rockets spring an upset

Reading Rockets were underdogs heading to their clash this weekend with the Team Solent Kestrels and shocked the WNBL with an upset win that reminds the league that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Led by Sitota Gines Espinosa’s 21-10 double-double they capitalised on any mistakes, scoring 28 points off of turnovers and 30 points in the paint.

Taking the lead in the opening minutes thanks to a 10-0 run, Reading never looked back.

A win over Solent is a significant cap in the feather of any team and it will be exciting to see how this victory sets up the Rockets as we move through the remainder of the season. 

Honourable mentions

Vicky Gray (NTU) - 16P/5R/2A/60 FG%/21EFF
Katie Januszewska (LOU) - 14P/11R/14EFF
Gaila Comesana (REA) - 11P/5R/3A/14EFF