The Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) Division 2 Final will be an all-capital affair between Wellington and Capital Swish.
When the two teams met a couple of weeks ago in the regular season Capital Swish were comfortable winners 82-56. Wellington will be stung by that below par performance and keen to put up an improved showing in Auckland on Thursday evening.
Thursday 4 July, 7.30pm, Wellington v Capital Swish at AUT Sports Centre, Akoranga Drive
Letava Whippy, the leading Division 2 scorer this season, scored a game high 29 points for the Swish that day and Wellington will need to find a way to limit the scoring of the Fijian international if they are to be competitive.
Not that Swish are totally reliant on Whippy as Maia Watene (11.3ppg) and Arielle Parai (12.2ppg) are also averaging double figure contributions.
Former Harbour Breeze small forward Morgan Ili contributed 13 points off the bench against Wellington in the last encounter.
2016 Junior Tall Fern Aliyah Dunn will provide a significant defensive presence for the Swish. The Central pulse netball star averages 4.7 rebounds per game plus a league high 3.0 blocks per game.
Wellington will likely be depending on the quartet of Grace Hunter, Leah Mafua, Sariah Penese and Emilina Motu to give them scoring punch with Tall Fern 3×3 international Tanaka Gapare unavailable.
Junior Tall Ferns Hunter (8.8ppg) and Mafua (13.5ppg) will bring the experience they gained at the FIBA U18 Asian Championship last year.
Sariah Penese, back from her freshman year at University of Maryland Baltimore County, will no doubt act as the floor general and Motu will provide a perimeter shooting threat.
Wellington will be relying on youth with all but two players still in their teens. In contrast Capital Flyers have just two players aged under twenty.
Both teams have a 5-1 record this season so which team will falter for a second time this season?
Swish – Letava Whippy, Laura Talbot, Maia Watene, Arielle Parai, Morgan Ili
Wellington – Emilina Motu, Leah Mafua, Renee Savai’inaea, Grace Hunter, Grace Vaofusi’a
Swish guard Letava Whippy leads the WBC Division 2 scoring (averaging 24.7ppg) and steals list (3.0spg).
Leah Mafua, shortly heading to Washington State University, leads the Wellington scoring averaging 13.5ppg.