SEASON PREVIEW: SYDNEY METRO BLUES
Last Year: 13 wins, 2 losses- Champions
Roster: Jess Cronje, Ashlea Pellow, Maryanne Latu, Georgia Munro-Cook, Kris Riley, Bridie Kean, Phillippa Margan, Kylie Gauci, Jess Pellow, Courtney Ryan.
The defending Champions will back themselves to get 2018 off to a strong start as they only face two finalists from last season in Round 1. The first game of Round 2 will be a Grand Final replay and a cross-town clash against the Flames held at Sydney Uni Sports and Aquatic Centre but following that weekend, the Blues will not return home until the final round of the regular season.
Coming off a dominant season in which the Blues swept the playoffs while winning 11 consecutive games on their way to the Championship, Sydney Metro will enter 2018 as the hunted. They have lost two key pieces in 2017 Finals’ MVP Cobi Crispin and Cobi Crispin (who averaged 14.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season) though and that could hamper the team’s on-court chemistry especially early in the year. Leading scorer Georgia Munro-Cook (15.5 points per game) who knocked down a perfect 13-13 from the free-throw line last year is back though alongside Courtney Ryan so oppositions should still take the Blues lightly at their own peril. Jess Cronje is another handy player who shot over 50% from the field in 2017 and if someone like Jess Pellow can increase her production, Sydney Metro will have a plethora of weapons.
One To Watch:
Courtney Ryan. Bursting on to the WNWBL scene last season, Ryan hails from the USA and competed for the national team at the 2014 World Championships. She is a great addition to an already impressive team and the likes of Munro-Cook benefit from the attention that Ryan demands from oppositions. She is coming off a campaign in which she averaged 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists while she also claimed the Player of the Week honours for Round 4. Back for her second season, Ryan is a serious chance for taking home an MVP in 2018.