WNBL1 preview: 2/3 March - live streams, stats and more

We're into the penultimate month of the D1W regular season.

The 6 and 7 April is the final weekend of action before the playoffs begin, meaning the finish line is approaching fast and it'll be even closer once another eight games are ticked off over the coming days.

Reading Barking play in a rare Friday night game this evening before three games take place tomorrow and another four on Sunday.

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.

Manchester Mystics (8-9) vs Loughborough Riders (10-8)

Seventh hosts fifth this weekend, as Loughborough take a trip to Manchester on Sunday evening to round out the weekend.

Mystics have enjoyed their debut season in D1W, playing competitive basketball as they sit in the playoff places.

Things are heating up in that department though, with a number of sides starting to push for a late season surge. That includes Reading, who still have nine games to play and could make a real run with some momentum on their side.

That means the North West programme will need more positive results in the coming weeks if they're to nail down a post-season berth, starting this weekend.

Loughborough have also done well this campaign, picking up points consistently without ever stringing enough results together to truly push up the standings.

That's borne out in their 3-3 record across the last six games, though two of those losses were to CoLA and Brent, tough opponents for any side at this level.

Whilst consistency may be lacking, talent most certainly isn't and the Riders have five players who all average north of 7.7PPG, led by Erin Caldwell on 10.2PPG.

Tomorrow's visitors play good team basketball and will no doubt look to make life hard for the hosts on defence, with Manchester coughing up a D1W second highest 27.4 turnover per game this season.


Elsewhere this weekend

Reading Rockets (6-7) will start to make inroads into those games in hand tonight, with a Friday clash against Barking Abbey (6-10), who are also one of a group of teams still eyeing up the playoff spots for a late season run, just like the Rockets.

Saturday begins with an all-London affair between CoLA Southwark Pride (11-5) and Brent Bulls (13-4). Both sides know they'll need leaders Ipswich to slip up if they're to come close to the top spot, though battling for playoff seeding is very much still on the cards.

That seems an unlikely proposition this weekend as leaders Endeavour Ipswich Basketball (15-3) host a City of Birmingham Rockets (3-15) side that haven't won on the road since 21 October.

Saturday's final clash sees Anglia Ruskin University (8-9) taking on Thames Valley Cavaliers (13-4). With just four points separating ARU in sixth down to Barking in tenth, Ruskin don't have a lot of margin for error against the top two chasing Cavs.

Sunday sees a number of teams doubling up as the end of the regular season draws near.

Reading are at home to Team Solent Kestrels (1-16), who will be confirmed for a bottom two finish unless they can find a positive result.

CoLA are at home for the second day in a row, this time welcoming Bristol Academy Flyers (7-11) as they try to keep hold of the final playoff spot and put some distance between them and the chasing pack.

Brent have another London derby, this time having a crack at Barking, who will also be playing their second game of the long weekend.

This weekend's fixtures:

Friday 1 March

8pm - Reading Rockets vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Saturday 2 March

2:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride vs Brent Bulls - LIVE STATS

3:30pm - Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs City of Birmingham Rockets - LIVE STATS

6:15pm - Anglia Ruskin University vs Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

Sunday 3 March

1:30pm - Reading Rockets vs Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

2:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride vs Bristol Academy Flyers - LIVE STATS

3pm - Brent Bulls vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS

5:30pm - Manchester Mystics vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM


Main image credit - Tara St Clair