The latest chapter in the most compelling rivalry in the WBBL will be written at the O2 arena on Sunday afternoon as the Sevenoaks Suns take on the Leicester Riders.
Today’s clash is a repeat of the last two WBBL Trophy Finals, but on offer today is the biggest prize in the WBBL. The League Champions Sevenoaks Suns are returning to the scene of their greatest triumph looking to regain the WBBL Playoff Title against the equally dominant Leicester Riders.
The Suns won the playoffs last year, defeating the League Champions Nottingham Wildcats in a thrilling game 70-61 thanks to a remarkable second-half turnaround.
Both sides have dominated the WBBL coming in with 19-1 records, losing just one league game each – to each other. The Suns defeated the Riders 74-64 in Leicester in round four of the WBBL season, whilst the Riders won the return game in round 15, 65-61.
The Suns edged the Riders to the title so today will settle once and for all, the greatest team in the WBBL in 2017-18. When the two sides met in the second showpiece final of the WBBL season, the Trophy final in Cheshire Oaks, the Riders ran away with the Trophy thanks to a 15 point victory, to avenge last season’s Trophy final victory for the Suns.
Sevenoaks enter this year’s final led by the league MVP Cat Carr and back to back Coach of the Year Len Busch. Carr leads the teams in points per game and assists per game, edging out Leicester’s Deanne Hayward and the versatile Center Jamila Thompson respectively. Carr and Hayward were two of just nine players in the WBBL this year to score over 300 points in their 20 games played.
The Riders are led by head coach Krumesh Patel who has impressed many in the WBBL this year having taken over from Matt Harber, and his talented side has enjoyed big victories against all comers this year demonstrating excellent shooting from range but some dominant play in the paint.
The Suns made their way to London thanks to defeating last year’s Runners Up, and first-time absentee, Nottingham Wildcats, knocking them out in the semi-final by the Suns 73-48, having eliminated the Cardiff Met Archers 56-68 in the quarter-final.
The Riders eliminated the Cup Finalists Caledonia Pride in the Quarter Finals by a score of 71-61 before knocking out the City of Sheffield Hatters 71-64 at home in the semi-finals.
The court clash to look out for will be the two centres, Chantelle Pressley (Suns) and Jamilla Thompson (Riders) as the Thompson’s solid defending will go up against Pressley’s excellent paint scoring.
The other clash will be between the guards, Cat Carr and Deanne Hayward, these two will be key for the success of their teams if either player gets locked out of the game that could spell disaster for their side.
The WBBL Final tips at 1pm and is on the BBC red button.