FocusHoops WNBL1 Team of the Week (October 08/09 2022)

FocusHoops' Darren Paul is back once again, picking his Player and Team of the Week from this weekend's six clashes in the WNBL.

As a writer, commentator, podcaster and more, Darren had plenty of action to look over, including Loughborough's victory over reigning champs CoLA, plus a second straight win for newly-promoted Brent Bulls.

Have your say on this week's choices and give a shout-out to the players you think deserve one using the hashtag #NBL2223. Don't forget to tag us!    

Twitter: @NBLengland / @FocusHoops  
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How it works  

Darren will pick a Player of the Week and four other selections to round out his Team of the Week, paying attention to the following criteria:

  • Efficiency  
  • Stats  
  • Team and opposition strength  
  • Periods of influence in the game 
  • Being on a winning team (exceptional performances from players on losing teams will be considered for TOTW)

Other players will also receive a shout out as honourable mentions at the bottom of the piece.

The FocusHoops Team of the Week 


Jessica Davies - Brent Bulls, forward

22PTS, 13REB, 2AST, 26EFF

Jess Davies was instrumental in Brent Bulls 83-40 win over Anglia Ruskin University to take my Player of the Week award. Davies finished with a game-high 22 points, on 50% shooting to go with four made free throws and 13 boards to take home a valuable double-double.

Davies dished two assists and didn’t commit a single turnover as Brent took a comfortable victory over one of the marque sides of recent seasons as the Bulls' bright start to life in the top tier continues.

Candela Hermida Nunez - Reading Rockets, wing

16PTS, 4REB, 1AST, 19EFF

Reading picked up their first win of the year this weekend, edging a close contest away to Ipswich, thanks in no small part to the scoring of Candela Hermida Nunez.

With the game tied and time ticking down late, Hermida Nunez stepped up to hit a midrange jumper that saw Reading gain a lead they'd hang onto the rest of the way.

The talented wing bagged seven points in the final four minutes to lock down the win for Reading, finishing with an excellent 77% shooting on her way to a 15 points haul. Adding in four boards, one assist and two steals, it all added up to a very efficient captain’s performance.

Kat Goldsby - Thames Valley Cavaliers, guard

20pts, 8reb, 3ast, 22eff

Kat Goldsby has been a mainstay in my Team of the Weeks in recent seasons and her stellar 20 points in a tight 55-52 win over Bristol this weekend sees her back once again for the first time this campaign.

Goldsby led the game in scoring, making 50% of her shots from inside the arc, whilst hitting five of six from the stripe. The American also tacked on eight boards and three assists whilst being a menace in the lanes, snagging six steals as she led her side to their first win of the season.

Alia El Shabrawy - Loughborough Riders, guard

10pts, 11reb, 10ast, 20eff

Alia El Shabrawy makes it back-to-back Team of the Week nods thanks to a triple double that helped her side clinch a hard-fought win over last season’s runaway champions CoLA.

El Shabrawy was one of four Riders in double-digit scoring and led her side in rebounding, once more staking a claim to being the top pound-for-pound rebounder in the WNBL, taking 11 overall with three offensive boards.

El Shabrawy also dished 10 dimes and picked off three passes to put the finishing touches on a performance that had a lot of everything to keep the Riders perfect on the new season.

Carolina Marques - Worcester Wolves, guard

23pts, 5reb, 22eff

Marques led Worcester in scoring to take a well-earned 72-54 victory on the road in Cardiff. 

Marques finished with 23 points off 9-12 shooting, making three triples in an excellent offensive outing. She also picked up five defensive boards, two steals and a block as Worcester picked up their first victory of the season.

If Marques can maintain her early form, as we’ve seen from her in prior seasons, Worcester should be in for a very positive season after a challenging campaign last term.


Team Basketball

Loughborough battle back to down CoLA

Alia El Shabrawy led Loughborough Riders to a hard-fought 62-53 home victory over last season’s league and playoff champs CoLA, thanks in no small part to her 10 points, 11 boards 10 assists triple-double.

Kate Davies led the scoring for the Midlands outfit, bagging 13 points, as Sasha Lecuyer come up big with an efficient 12 points in the contest as well. 

If Loughborough can continue this form the rest of the way, they'll be a major threat to the summit of the D1W table.

New look Rockets take down Ipswich on the road

Reading Rockets picked up their first win of the new season with a stunning 68-62 road victory over WNBL powerhouse Ipswich.

A back and forth contest went down the wire, led by an efficient scoring performance by captain Candela Hermida Nunez.

The Rockets' star hit the go ahead bucket in the final quarter and Reading locked it down from there to seal the W.

A solid team performance from the hosts included 17 points and eight boards from new signing Lindsey Cleary and an invaluable 14 points from Saioa San Francisco. Both helped Reading to overcome a spirited 21 point outing from Ipswich's Liv Forster.

Honourable mentions

Saioa San Francisco (REA) - 14P/6R/7A/18EFF

Kisztina Velkey-Cleeve (TSK) - 9P/9R//4A/5S/21EFF

Faye Endean (TSK) - 13P/2R/10A/10S/23EFF



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Main image credit - Luke Simcock

TOTW graphic credits - Luke Simcock, Loughborough Basketball, Graham Hodges