WNBL1 preview: Week 28 (8/9 May 2021) - live streams, stats and more

Ipswich may have already sealed the league title, but there's still plenty to be decided as the WNBL regular season reaches a conclusion.

Nine out of the league's 10 teams can move up or down this weekend, depending how results fall, making for an exciting finale to the 2020/21 campaign.

Seven games make up a busy week 28, with Worcester, CoLA, Thames Valley and Cardiff all in double-header action.

The NBL Live cameras are also out and about again, covering Reading's game with Ipswich on Saturday evening.

We take a look at all the action below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Loughborough Riders (11-5) v Nottingham Trent University (9-8)

Plenty rests on tomorrow's match-up between second place Loughborough and fifth-place Nottingham, with multiple teams still battling hard to secure their playoff seedings.

This contest is highly likely to be the Riders' final game of the regular season, with their trip to Southwark last Wednesday being postponed and no gap available for rearrangement.

That means the Midlands' side need to win here and hope Pride lose either of their games this weekend against Solent or Worcester if they are to wrap up the #2 seed.

It's worth noting that if Loughborough lose this weekend and CoLA drop both their games, Solent would steal in to take second spot across a three-way tiebreaker. The Riders would then be third and Southwark fourth.

Even with victory tomorrow, Nottingham can't pass Solent in fourth and can only draw level on 20 points, with the South Coast side owning the head-to-head tiebreaker. Nottingham could be passed by Reading though, if the Rockets can beat Ipswich and NTU lose here.

With so many permutations for playoff seedings, it easy to overlook that tomorrow's game involves two of the division's top six scorers in Loughborough's Makana Stone (15.7ppg, 14.4rpg) and NTU's Mady Burdett (15.4ppg, 48.5 3pt%).

No matter what happens elsewhere, this one should still be an exciting contest.


Elsewhere this weekend

The weekend gets underway with another fixture that carries big playoff implications as BA London Lions II (5-12) host Worcester Wolves (6-10).

Whilst it would take a huge 48-point win for BA to potentially sneak past Worcester and into seventh, any kind of victory for the London side would seal their playoff spot as the #8 seeds, leaving Thames Valley out in the cold in ninth.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (4-12) do still have a route into the post-season, but they'll need to win both their games this weekend to make it happen.

The Cavs play Cardiff Met Archers (2-14) home and away in a back-to-back, and if TVC win both games and BA lose to Worcester, they'll steal into the #8 spot instead.

Two wins for Cardiff would also see the Welsh side rise off the bottom of the table, quite the achievement for the newly promoted outfit.

CoLA Southwark Pride (11-4) currently sit tied with Loughborough on 22 points in the battle for second, but have an extra game compared to their rivals this weekend.

A tie in the standings is no good to CoLA since they don't own the tiebreaker between the two sides, so a win and a Riders loss against Nottingham or two wins from two would be enough to claim the #2 seed.  

Southwark host Team Solent Kestrels (10-7) on Saturday in what should be an intriguing clash before heading to Worcester on Sunday.

That just leaves Saturday's NBL Live clash between Reading Rockets (9-8) and leaders Ipswich (15-2).

The champs may choose to rotate in this one and give their stars a breather ahead of next weekend's playoffs, whilst Reading could still move into fifth with a win and results falling their way elsewhere.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 8 May

2pm - BA London Lions II v Worcester Wolves - LIVE STATS
2:30pm - Loughborough Riders v Nottingham Trent University - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
3pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Cardiff Met Archers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
3pm - CoLA Southwark Pride v Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
6pm - Reading Rockets v Ipswich - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 9 May

1pm - Cardiff Met Archers v Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
2pm - Worcester Wolves v CoLA Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Main image credit - Loughborough basketball