Nottingham Wildcats have booked their place in the women’s British Basketballl League play-off final after a hard fought victory over close rivals Sheffield Hatters.
Saturday’s semi-final finished 70-64 in favour of the Wildcats, which means the team will be making their third consecutive trip to the O2 Arena in London for a play-off final.
In their last two appearances in the play-off finals, the Wildcats have suffered defeat but head coach Dave Greenaway thinks the lessons learnt from those defeats will help the team win this coming Sunday.
“It has to be third time lucky,” said Greenaway.
“We’ve been there, we understand the pain we have had the last two years and we have to make sure we take that to the practice court before the game.
“One of the things we set out to do after tasting defeat last season was making it our mission to get back to the O2 final and win it.”
Joana Ferreira led the way for the Wildcats with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, while league leader in points, Ashley Harris, recorded a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Coach Greenaway said: “Every time we play Sheffield it is a great advert for women’s basketball and the WBBL.
“We never give up, it’s always a tough battle and great basketball as well.”
— Siobhan Prior (@Shevy_P) May 6, 2017
The final will see Wildcats will face Sevenoaks Suns for this year’s championship.
Regardless of the final result Sunday, Greenaway says his players deserve a ton of credit for their excellent achievements in a difficult season.
He said: “We are going to celebrate and enjoy this moment because the girls have worked really hard to get through a lot of changes in the season so for that group of players to come in and give there all on that floor it was great to see.
“I am a very proud coach of those players in that locker room.”