Just when you thought it was all over, there is one final showpiece of the season left. Sevenoaks Suns’ Womens British Basketball League (WBBL) team will take to the court one more time this season at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday to compete for the WBBL Play-Off title against Leicester Riders.
In a rematch of last year’s final, where Suns dominated their rivals with an impressive 69-44 victory, Sevenoaks will be looking for one last winning performance to take them to an historic Play-Off treble, having won the title in 2017 and 2018.
This is also the third time the clubs have met in this competition, as Sevenoaks defeated Leicester on the road in a semi-final match-up in 2017. The game finished with a close 53-56 victory to Suns.
So, Sevenoaks are the favourites to lift the title once again after an impressive league campaign saw them win every single match, including their two wins over Leicester. However in a WBBL Trophy semi-final back in early March this year, Riders beat Suns 70-65 in an overtime thriller, giving cause to believe they know how to defeat the Suns.
Clark on threshold of fabulous four!
Ta’Yani Clark, is looking to make it four Play-Off wins in a row when she walks out on court on Sunday. The Sevenoaks guard has been part of the winning team in the WBBL Play-Off Finals for the last three years, two with Sevenoaks (2017 and 2018) and one with Team Northumbria (2016).
After last year’s Play-Off final Clark said “It’s a feeling that never gets old”, so let’s hope she enjoys that feeling once again.
If you are unable to make it in person to The O2 this Sunday do not fear, as you can watch all the action live from 1.20pm on the BBC Sport Website and App, the BBC Red Button and on the British Basketball League’s YouTube channel as well, links are below:
Suns stars takeover WBBL Team Of The Year
Cat Carr and Ta’Yani Clark have both been included in the prestigious WBBL Team of the Year, which presents the leading candidates for the ultimate individual accolade of being crowned Molten WBBL MVP, which went to Sheffield Hatters’ Sarah Toeaina.
Last year’s MVP, Carr, was in the mix for the accolade once again, after playing her usual starring role for the WBBL Championship winners. As usual, her leadership and skills have been recognised and Carr has posted a team-high 14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, plus 5.8 assists and 1.4 steals.
Clark has been a driving force again for Suns and more impressive with each passing season – perhaps this has been the best so far. Adding to her Molten All-Defensive Team of the Year spot, she’s landed a place in this line-up after a dazzling 10.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and a league high 3 steals per game.
Carr also lands inaugural BJA Women’s Player of the Year honour
Carr has also won the inaugural Women’s Player of the Year in the Basketball Journalists Association annual awards for the 2018-19 season.
Coming off a stellar Women’s British Basketball League season, where Carr helped Sevenoaks to a title-winning 22-0 record, she did so, averaging 14.7 points and 5.8 assists a game, both team highs during the regular season.
“It is an honour to be named the Women’s Player of the Year,” Carr said of her award.
“Basketball in England has been a part of my life for over five years so to be recognised is much appreciated. I owe a lot of credit to my team-mates and coaches over the years, who push me out of my comfort zones and challenge me to be a better player.”
Monakana named in Molten WBBL All-British Team of the Year 2018-19
Suns’ Janice Monakana also hit the list this time being named in the WBBL All-British Team of the Year. With a justifiable claim to being a bonafide candidate for ‘sixth player of the year’, Monakana has had a huge impact off the bench for the WBBL Championship winners. She has shot the ball so well for the Suns, managing 53% from inside, en-route to posting 11 points per game.
Sevenoaks’ Jess Good and Renee Busch were named on the bench.
Brilliant Busch racks up another Molten Ed Percival WBBL Coach Of the Year award
It’s the hat-trick for Sevenoaks Suns’ play-caller Len Busch, who has been crowned Molten Ed Percival Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season.
It is an amazing achievement for Busch, who has not only racked up more silverware for the new WBBL powerhouse franchise, but has done it by remaining one of the most popular figures around.
His main accomplishment in 2018-19 was posting a fabulous and unprecedented unbeaten league campaign as Sevenoaks successfully defended their WBBL Championship crown.
He also masterminded a run to the WBBL Cup Final and has received multiple Molten WBBL Coach of the Month honours throughout the season.
“It’s hard to believe I can get an award for doing something that is so joyful and rewarding,” revealed Busch.
“I am very lucky to have a great group of players who inspire me to put in the work and try and get better. We talk all the time about getting better each day and they never let me down. I am grateful for all the effort my players put in to make Sevenoaks Suns successful.”
Molten Ed Percival WBBL Coach of the Year
2018-19 – Len Busch (Sevenoaks Suns)
2017-18 – Len Busch (Sevenoaks Suns)
2016-17 – Len Busch (Sevenoaks Suns)
2015-16 – Dave Greenaway (Nottingham Wildcats)
2014-15 – Vanessa Ellis (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters)