WNBL1: FocusHoops team of the week (5/6 December 2020)

We turn once again to FocusHoops' Darren Paul to talk to us about all things WNBL as he selects his Team of the Week.

As a writer, commentator, podcaster and more, Darren was able to make his selection from the biggest slate of games the league has enjoyed this season.

Have a look over 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

Inma Bautista - Worcester Wolves, guard

21 points, 6 rebounds, 57 FG%, +/- +10, 19 efficiency

In a week of high scoring performers, Bautista’s 21 points weren't the highest but were certainly crucial for the Wolves’ tough road win in Nottingham. The guard rarely turned the ball over and had a major effect on the final outcome.

Bautista hit a three-pointer to tie the game up with five minutes left, scoring eight points in the final period as Worcester turned around another deficit late. It isn't the first time they've done that this season, and Bautista was a key contributor.

A quality player in a team seemingly built for the big moments, the sky is the limit for Bautista and her squad this season.

Harriet Welham - Ipswich, guard

30 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 61 FG%, 7-8 FT, 28 efficiency

Another week, another Team of the Week spot for the excellent Harriet Welham, who once again showed the league her strengths as a scorer and assist maker.

Welham gets the nod over others this week due in part to her tremendous free-throw shooting, making 7 from 8 attempts at the line in some pressure spots.

Welham’s efficiency of scoring was once again on display as she was a huge deciding factor in the win against Solent Kestrels, keeping her Ipswich side at the top of the standings as the team to beat in the WNBL.

Katie Januszewska - Loughborough Riders, wing

8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 80 FG%, 0 TO, +/- +16, 19 efficiency

Efficiency was the name of the game for Katie Januszewska as she made her first Team of the Year list this season. In just 20 minutes of play, Januszewska secured 7 rebounds and scored 8 points on 4-5 shooting, whilst dishing 5 assists with ZERO turnovers.

Januszewska has started the season strongly and the youngster looks to be going from strength to strength as she emerges as one of the leaders on a Riders team that looks better and better every week.

Amber Deane - Cardiff Archers, forward

30 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 50 FG%, 27 efficiency

No stranger to plaudits during her time in WNBL D2, Amber Deane was a force of nature in her WNBL D1 debut this weekend. Even in defeat, Deane leaps out as one of the best performers of the weekend.

The former Indiana Hoosier drove the bus for Cardiff and complimented a great offensive performance, scoring 30 points from 50% shooting, with tidy work on the glass and four steals.

It's hard for a performance like that to go under the radar, and no doubt the rest of the league will be on notice to the danger posed by Deane and Cardiff.

Gaila Comensana - Reading Rockets, forward

16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 41 FG%, 17 efficiency

Comesaña put in a fine performance for Reading Rockets as they continue to improve with a good road win over Thames Valley Cavaliers.

The Spaniard did a bit of everything for her side, but her second-half scoring was a key factor in the victory. Her output allowed the visitors to edge away from a Cavaliers still finding their feet in just their second game of the year.

Comensana came up big on the glass as well, with six of her rebounds coming on the offensive end to gift her team opportunities for second-chance scoring. She also led her side in points and was the Rockets' most efficient starter.

Gaila Comensana helped Reading secure a valuable win this weekend (Luke Simcock)

Team basketball

Worcester Wolves rebounded after their home loss to Ipswich last week with a solid victory on the road in Nottingham.

Heading into the final quarter, Nottingham had the lead but couldn't keep Worcester at bay. A clutch five-point run to close out the contest from Caroline Marques was also key to securing the bounce-back victory for the WNBL rookies.

Cardiff impressed on their debut in league action with Amber Deane excelling in Loughborough, and Anglia Ruskin dug deep to take the comeback victory over Solent Kestrels after a six-week layoff. That win came thanks to the work of Noa Sanchez-Marques and some lights out shooting from Jazmin Gyulai.

Honourable mentions

Mady Burdett (NTU) - 18P/2R/5A/60FG%/23EFF 
Carolina Marques (WOR) - 15P/6R/2A/60FG%/17EFF
Krisztina Velkey (TSK) - 23P/6R/7A/21EFF 
Faith Okwuosa (TVC) - 9P/17R (9OR)/23EFF
Esther Little (IPS) - 10P/13R/1A/3B/20EFF