ROUND 3 PLAYER OF THE WEEK- CHIHIRO KITADA
In her second consecutive season with the Be Active Western Stars, Chihiro Kitada has once again proven her worth to the club as they suffered some key injuries while still winning two games through Round 3.
The Stars lost Amber Merritt to concussion and Jocelyn Neumueller to a shoulder injury over the weekend but Kitada was a rock for the club, averaging 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 9.3 assists, 3.8 steals and a block over four games.
She helped them to a 2-2 record through the round and they now sit in third place on the ladder while playing the second least amount of games.
Kitada started the weekend in fine fashion, recording a triple-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists as the Stars defeated the ladder-leading Sydney Uni Flames.
She accounted for 45 of her team’s 68 points through her own scoring and assists while three offensive rebounds in the final term added another six points on to their total.
Defensively, Kitada was just as impressive with five steals helping the Stars record 14 points off turnovers.
The following night against Kilsyth, she played a key role in Merritt’s incredible 56-point performance with 30 of those points coming from Kitada’s assists as the Stars won by 26 points.
Recording a second straight triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 19 assists, Kitada also collected a steal and two blocks as her combination with Merritt proved unstoppable at either end of the floor.
Injury struck the Stars on Sunday morning in a loss to the Comets and without Merritt on the floor, Kitada was double-teamed by her opposition on almost every offensive possession.
She still top-scored for the side with 13 points to go with 14 rebounds, one assist, four steals and two blocks in an influential game but the Comets had the answers, winning 55-31.
Later that afternoon, Kitada took on even more responsibility as she played every minute in a 75-40 loss to the Sydney Metro Blues.
She hit a round-high with 17 rebounds to go with 22 points while another four assists and five steals saw her make an impact in every area of the court.
At the conclusion of Round 3, Kitada now leads the competition in rebounds (13.4) and assists (10.1) per game while sitting sixth for points (15.9).
She is one of only five players averaging a double-double and the only player in the league averaging a triple-double.
Chihiro Kitada Round 3 Stats: 16.8 points at 37% shooting including 3-6 free-throw shooting, 13.5 rebounds (two offensive), 9.3 assists, 3.8 steals and one block per game.