WNBL1 preview: 30 September - live streams, stats and more

D1W is back, with a packed opening weekend coming up.

Six games take place on a busy Saturday, with all 12 teams taking to the court tomorrow to get us underway.

That includes defending champions Team Solent Kestrels as they head to Ipswich, though there are plenty of other fixtures that are sure to provide early intrigue. 

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

Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs Team Solent Kestrels

Defending league and playoff champs Team Solent Kestrels face a tough road trip to former D1W winners Ipswich this weekend to begin their title defence.

The Suffolk side won it all in 2020/21 and welcome a familiar face from that side back into their ranks for the upcoming campaign in Harriet Welham.

The former two-time MVP is D1W's leading point scorer in the post-WBBL era, and adding the talented shooter into a roster that includes Louisa Gibbins, Christabel Osarobo and Liv Forster, plus a returning Dani Cazey, coach Drane's team could well be a title challenger this year.

It's been an off-season of unrest on the South coast for the Kestrels as a change in club focus resulted in the withdrawal of the Men's D1M team, and initial enquiries about moving the reigning champs down into WNBL Division Two.

Still, TSK remain in the top flight, though their roster has undergone some changes from a year ago. Head coach Ben Stanley departs, as does reigning MVP Faye Endean after she signed a deal with WBBL side London Lions.

Anna Nevison has moved stateside to continue her basketball journey with DII Alaska Nanooks, whilst Saffie Jarju has gone to Reading.

That kind of change leaves Solent as somewhat of an unknown quantity despite their successes a year ago, and their opening day test in Suffolk could go a long way towards showing how they might rank in 2023/24.


Elsewhere this weekend

Last season's playoff finalists CoLA Southwark Pride start their campaign with a London derby this weekend as they head to a Brent Bulls side who announced the signing of former Ipswich duo Saruna Gudza and Yassin Belle-Mbaye this week.

Loughborough Riders entertain WNBL National Cup holders Thames Valley Cavaliers in what should be an intriguing match up. The Cavs have resigned dominant forward Helene Trailin as well as sharpshooter and former Rider Robyn Ainge as TVC gear up for another positive campaign.

American Lindsey Cleary returns to the Reading Rockets and they hit the road in week 1 to take on Barking Abbey. The former D1W Team of the Year selection will be joined this season by former Thames Valley forward Ezekiela Lisk, plus the returning Krissy Karpova.

Anglia Ruskin University head across the country to Bristol to take on a Flyers team looking to improve on their 7-15 record from a year ago. ARU went 13-9 last season, good for fifth place and a playoff spot, a feat the Cambridge side would surely like to repeat.

Finally, the two newly-promoted teams from D2W, City of Birmingham Rockets and Manchester Mystics, will meet to close out the weekend.

CoB have resigned Catarina Seixas, who had a team-high 16 points in last year's D2W playoff final defeat to Sheffield, whilst also retaining head coach Ryan Emery.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 30 September

12pm - Loughborough Riders vs Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM

1pm - Bristol Academy Flyers vs Anglia Ruskin University - LIVE STATS

2pm - Barking Abbey vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM 

3:30pm - Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

4pm - Brent Bulls vs CoLA Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS

5pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Manchester Mystics - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM


Main image credit - Luke Simcock