Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks wins third Australian WNBL Grand Final

Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks wins third Australian WNBL Grand Final
Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks has helped Townsville Fire secure its third Australian Women’s National Basketball League Championship (WNBL) in four years after beating Melbourne Boomers 70-57 in the third and deciding game late last night.

With home court advantage Townsville led 20-14 at the end of the first period and won every quarter thereafter to secure its third title.

Townsville had won game one, Melbourne had tied the series on Thursday with a narrow 58-57 home win but the Fire, led by WNBL MVP Suzy Batkovic (28 points and 13 rebounds), made no mistake in the deciding game in front of a packed house at Townsville Stadium.

Cocks, one of just four players to feature in all three Townsville Fire Grand Final victories, was naturally delighted with the result.

“I am so proud of our team and it is so exciting to win another championship, it may be the third, but it never gets old.

“It was an awesome series, and Melbourne were a tough team and like us had a great season too.”

It was a series where defence dominated and Cocks played her part admirably with Townsville head coach Claudia Brassard knowing any assignment given to the 31-year old international would be carried out to the letter.

“This season Micaela has been asked to play a role off the bench for us after having started the past two seasons.  I know that when I substitute her into the game she will lift the intensity and bring her teammates with her,” said Brassard.

The Townsville sixth-man contributed five points in game two but it was her lock-down defence that was most evident. 

Fellow Tall Fern Kalani Purcell was tireless for Melbourne, but playing her first professional season after a standout college career at Brigham Young University (BYU) will have to content herself with a runners-up medal.

In game three Purcell produced 8 rebounds, including three at the offensive end and 4 points. The rookie averaged an impressive 10.3 rebounds, 5 points and 1.3 steals across the three game series.

As Cocks predicted before the final “When it comes to finals basketball it’s about playing defence and getting stops.” She was on the money and now has a third championship medal to show for her efforts.

2017/18 WNBL Grand Final Series:

Game One: Saturday 13 January, Townsville Fire v Melbourne Boomers. Townsville Stadium, 6:30pm (local time). Townsville Fire won 69-64.

Game Two: Thursday 18 January, Melbourne Boomers v Townsville Fire. State Basketball Centre, 7:30pm (local time). Melbourne Boomers won 58-57.

Game Three (if required): Sunday 21 January, Townsville Fire v Melbourne Boomers. Townsville Stadium, 6:00pm (local time). Townsville Fire won 70-57.


 

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