WNBL Team Watch: Melbourne Boomers
THE teams of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) are edging closer and closer to the commencement of the 2021 season. Some sides will be setting high expectations for themselves following last season, and the Melbourne Boomers are one of these teams. They were a strong side throughout the home-and-away season in 2020, with their record of nine wins and four losses good enough to see them finish fourth on the ladder with a postseason berth.
The Boomers headed into the 2020 finals series with confidence in their ability to take it up to any side in the competition. Following a strong victory over the University of Canberra (UC) Capitalis on the back of some outstanding defensive work, the Boomers advanced to the preliminary finals, but fell agonisingly short of a grand final berth. This had become a recurring theme for this side over recent years, and while it may seem like a slightly disappointing result, this side made excellent strides in the WNBL20 season. Their game style was up there with the best in the league, and at times they looked the strongest opponent in the competition.
Crucial offseason re-signings came in the form of late-season improver Ashleigh Karaitiana, Tess Madgen, Ezi Magbegor and Cayla George, as the front office look to recapture the elite form they showed at stages of last year. There were also some eye-catching additions, none more so than WNBA and Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell. Mitchell previously expressed an interest in playing in Australia and the Boomers were lucky enough to win the race for her services. The two-way player was a first round draft pick in 2016, and was named to the WNBA All Rookie team in her debut season. If she can combine with the current core group of players, and adapt to the ferocious brand of basketball that we saw in 2020, this side will be a strong chance to win it all this year.
With coach Guy Molloy preparing for another year at the helm, he will be looking to recreate the magic that saw this team record massive blowout wins against some of the competition’s best last season. The preliminary final loss will be burning in the belly of this group, so expect a hungry side to come out firing in season 2021.
Photo: Melbourne Boomers Facebook