2016 SEASON RECAP
As we close in on the 2017 NWBL campaign, take a look back at how the teams fared last season.
Tipping off on Friday, May 12 in the traditional Cluster Round, the Kilsyth Cobras will be aiming for a three-peat in 2017 which is a feat only achieved twice in the league’s history.
Losing just three games during the regular season last year, the Cobras were able to sneak past the Be Active Perth Wheelcats in the Semi-Final when they won by a point as Shaun Norris missed a game-winner on the buzzer.
They then cruised to the Championship with a big 80-54 victory over the Wheelcats in the Grand Final as Tristan Knowles (28 points on 55% shooting, 14 rebounds, 16 assists), Shawn Russell (12 points, ten rebounds) and Josh Allison (14 and 7) all starred.
Leading the Cobras to back-to-back Championships, Knowles earned the High-Point MVP and finished third in the league for scoring with 27 points per game, second for assists with 10.9 while adding 6.3 rebounds as well.
In their return to the league in 2016, the Wheelcats were led by Norris who averaged a ridiculous triple-double through the season with 31.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists to earn the Mid-Point MVP.
Alongside the Cobras and Wheelcats, Wollongong Roller Hawks were the other team to finish the regular season with a winning record and they deservedly won the bronze medal after defeating the Red Dust Heelers.
Brett Stibners (27.3 points per game) was the second most potent scorer in the competition and has now averaged at least 20 points per game in seven of his past eight seasons.
Shooting 53% for the year, Pople was Wollongong’s second best scorer with 16 points a game and along with Stibners, they both were named in the All-Star Five.
Red Dust gave the Roller Hawks a run for their money in the bronze medal game with the match tied at three-quarter time before they eventually fell by 11 points.
Jannik Blair had the most productive season of his career and earned the Low-Point MVP after averaging 7.8 points per game.
The RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets were unlucky to miss finals in 2016, finishing on the same record as Red Dust at the end of the regular season and they will now be aiming to repeat their success from 2014 when they last reached the Grand Final.
Sydney Metro Blues will be looking for some similar redemption after they were unable to open their account in 2016 and they have now won just two games across the past two seasons.
They will be coming into this season as underdogs alongside the newest team in the competition, the Adelaide Thunder, who are making their return to the NWBL after achieving success in the league through the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Find the full fixture here and stay tuned to the NWBL website in the coming days for team previews.