WNBL1 & National Cup preview: 9/10 December - live streams, NBL Live, stats and more

There's only a few weeks left in 2023 for D1W action, though some vital fixtures still remain before the calendar flips to 2024.

Six contests fill the coming few days, with four games Saturday and a pair on Sunday, plus a highly-anticipated WNBL National Cup quarter-final is on the cards between CoLA and Ipswich to close the weekend.

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

Thames Valley Cavaliers (6-3) vs Brent Bulls (5-2)

Two title contenders go head-to-head on Sunday as Brent Bulls take a trip to Thames Valley.

The Cavaliers have been gradually building steam after an 0-2 start to the season, winning their last three outings against Manchester, Anglia Ruskin and Solent to continue a climb back up the standings.

They're currently tied for second on 12 points with CoLA and Loughborough, and with Brent right behind that trio in fifth, it's creating quite the crowd behind leaders Ipswich as we head towards the mid-season break at the end of the month.

Brent's games in hand mean that with some of their own momentum they can quickly be right in the thick of title contention. Losses to Ipswich and Barking last month threatened to throw the Londoners off course, but a 51 point drubbing of Loughborough last weekend suggests the Bulls are back to their best.

Owning the two best defences in D1W, Brent (53.6PPG allowed) and TVC (57.6PPG allowed) both look to build a solid foundation for success through restricting their opponents.

That means if the likes of Brent's Judit Fritz (D1W 4th best 16.6PPG) and Thames Valley's Chinwe Iwunze (D1W 8th best 14.3PPG) can still find a way to enjoy their regular success, that production could have a big impact on a potentially low-scoring contest.


Elsewhere this weekend

Loughborough Riders (6-4) host Barking Abbey (4-5) in the Midlands to start the weekend, with both teams looking to rebound after heavy losses last time out.

Team Solent Kestrels (0-7) are still at the bottom the standings without a win to their name, but they have a home tie to look forward to against a City of Birmingham Rockets (2-6) side who haven't found wins easy to come by since their promotion to D1W.

CoLA Southwark Pride's (6-2) title push continues against Anglia Ruskin University (3-7) tomorrow, knowing either Thames Valley or Brent around them is set to drop points before the weekend is out.

Saturday ends with a tough home test for Bristol Academy Flyers (4-5) as they entertain leaders Endeavour Ipswich Basketball (8-1).

The Flyers have already beaten Thames Valley on their own court, and ran CoLA hard in a three point loss a few weeks ago. Going toe-to-toe with reigning FocusHoops Player of the Week Harriet Welham is tough for any team though.

Aside from TVC vs Brent, Sunday's only other game sees Manchester Mystics (4-5) take a trip to Reading Rockets (3-4).

Both these teams started the season strongly before falling away over recent weeks. Both will want to claim another win to strengthen their push for the playoff spots, but only one will be successful.

WNBL National Cup

Only one quarter-final remains in this year's competition but it's a mouthwatering one as two former D1W winners CoLA Southwark Pride and Endeavour Ipswich Basketball go head-to-head in London this weekend.

When the two sides met in league action last month it produced an OT thriller, with CoLA coming through as 102-95 winners to hand Ipswich their first league defeat of the season.

The victor from that tie will host reigning D2W champs Sheffield Hatters II, with holders Thames Valley and Reading both still alive in the competition as well.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 9 December

1pm - Loughborough Riders vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

3:30pm - Team Solent Kestrels vs City of Birmingham Rockets - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

4:15pm - Anglia Ruskin University vs CoLA Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS

5pm - Bristol Academy Flyers vs Endeavour Ipswich Basketball - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 10 December

2pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Brent Bulls - LIVE STATS

3:45pm - Reading Rockets vs Manchester Mystics - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM (TBC)

National Cup - 4:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride vs Endeavour Ipswich Basketball - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Luke Simcock