WNBL1 & National Cup preview: 16/17 December - live streams, stats and more

The last act for D1W in 2023 includes four league games plus a pair of National Cup semi-finals.

Three games make up tomorrow's slate of league action before a further tie on Sunday between CoLA and Manchester.

Sunday's schedule also contains the two WNBL National Cup semi-finals as Ipswich, Sheffield Hatters II, Thames Valley and Reading all try to punch their ticket to January's showpiece.

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

Bristol Academy Flyers (4-6) vs Team Solent Kestrels (1-7)

Bristol finish the 2023 portion of their fixtures with a home tie against Team Solent Kestrels.

Up until a week ago, TSK were winless at the bottom of the D1W standings but a 66-64 victory over City of Birmingham has the reigning league and playoff champs up and running.

More results like the one a week ago will be needed if Solent are to escape the clutches of the bottom two and potentially a drop to D2, with safety currently four points away with Anglia Ruskin as things stand.

Bristol have shown they're a tough team to play in recent weeks, collecting wins against Reading, Thames Valley and Loughborough, and pushing CoLA all the way in a three point loss.

The Flyers should have enough about them to see off the Kestrels, who rank second worst in D1W at 75.6PPG allowed, but momentum can be a big deal for a side like Solent.

Cristina Bigica averages a D1W sixth-best 16.1PPG, and if the Kestrels are going to start making some noise and move back up the standings, slowing the Bristol forward down this weekend could be a solid start.


Elsewhere this weekend

Current leaders Endeavour Ipswich Basketball (9-1) can further extend their lead at the top heading into the new year if they can see off the challenge of Loughborough Riders (7-4), who are still pushing to maintain a top four spot.

Saturday's other tie sees strugglers City of Birmingham Rockets (2-7) hosting Anglia Ruskin University (3-8).

A loss for the Rockets will see the team directly above them pull further away, a tricky proposition if CoB are to find a way out of the bottom two.

Sunday's only fixture sees Manchester Mystics (4-6) making a tough trip down to London to play CoLA Southwark Pride (7-2).

Pride know they'll need to keep the pressure on leaders Ipswich for as long as possible, and showing as little Christmas cheer to the Mystics will be in order this weekend as they search for their eighth win of the season.

WNBL National Cup

By the end of the weekend the WNBL National Cup finalists will be confirmed, with a pair of thrilling semi-finals set for Sunday.

Reigning D2 champs Sheffield Hatters II take a long trip down to current D1W leaders Endeavour Ipswich Basketball in what should be a much-anticipated tie with plenty of star power on display.

The other semi-final is a repeat of last season's showpiece, with Thames Valley Cavaliers and Reading Rockets locking horns once again. TVC came through in January last season to claim their maiden Cup success, no doubt providing the Rockets with even more incentive to grab some revenge this weekend.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 16 December

3pm - Bristol Academy Flyers vs Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

3:30pm - Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

5pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Anglia Ruskin University - LIVE STATS

Sunday 10 December

D1W - 2:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride vs Manchester Mystics - LIVE STATS

National Cup - 3:30pm - Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs Sheffield Hatters II - LIVE STATS

National Cup - 4pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Kai Johnson