Gandini shines in weekend wins

Sarah Mozley

Willetton Tigers WSBL player Emma Gandini was named WSBL Player of the Round for Round Three this week after outstanding performances in last weekend's double-header. 

The Tigers took on the Eastern Suns last Friday followed by the Southwest Slammers on Saturday, winning both matches convincingly.

Gandini had a big role to play in the wins, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and three assists on Friday, and 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals on Saturday.

“It was good to get those stats and I feel like in the previous years we've always had some really good players in my sort of position and I really learned a lot from all of those players which has made it easier for me to come out and see what I need to do,” Gandini said

Despite her impressive stats over the two games, a humbled Gandini said she was shocked to be named WSBL Player of the Round.

“It was a bit of a shock to be honest, I know some of the other players had good games, but it felt really good and that was obviously one of my goals for a while now,” Gandini said.

“The last few years I have been probably a come off the bench player and now I guess all the hard work that I have done in those previous seasons is starting to pay off which is great.”

This hard work includes an extended pre-season that saw Gandini take on extra training sessions.

“The preseason that we did which was kind of strength and conditioning, I think that really helped me and all the other girls… it's something we've never really done,” Gandini said.

“I've also started about eight weeks ago with (coach) Jordan Glossop just on the side which I think has really helped my confidence in the game as well.”

WSBL head coach Simon Parker has recently praised the senior players including Gandini, captain Desiree Kelley and Taryn Priestly for setting the tone for the rest of the team.

Gandini said she and the other senior players are ready to step up as leaders this year.

“Me and Desi personally have always had someone at least older than us or more experienced than us that have had to lead the team and this is the first year we've really had to step up, and the younger girls have been really good as well with making it easy for us to be the leaders,” Gandini said.

“I think Taryn has always had leadership in her blood, but it's been really good to have her on board this year especially because she is such a natural leader.”

Gandini will star in another double header this weekend, starting with the East Perth Eagles this Friday at Willetton Basketball Stadium.


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