After 1504 games, the Coles Express NBL1 National Finals showed that West is the Best, as the women’s Warwick Senators and the men’s Rockingham Flames claimed the inaugural NBL1 National Championships.
The two Western Australian teams flew on Friday morning, played a triple-header across the weekend, and flew out Sunday night with the silverware after finishing their NBL1 West Grand Finals the week prior.
The Senators fought through the loud and proud Ringwood Hawks home crowd in the Championship Game to escape with an eight-point win. Leonie Fiebich finished with 16 points, 18 rebounds, and seven assists to claim the Championship Game MVP.
The Rockingham Flames lost their NBL1 West conference and Finals MVP Devondrick Walker in the week of the NBL1 National Finals after signing with the Brisbane Bullets, as well as missing Commonwealth silver medallist, Greg Hire.
But the Flames are still extremely talented, led by NBL1 West First member Marshall Nelson throughout the three games. Their captain Ryan Godfrey won the Championship Game MVP after catching fire early and finishing with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and three assists against Frankston and their drum-banging home crowd.
The NBL1 action doesn’t stop there as the WNBL and NBL seasons are just around the corner!
The NBL Blitz starts tomorrow in Darwin, home to the NBL1 North, Darwin Salties. There are five key NBL1 players you should watch going into the Blitz, streaming live and free on Kayo Sports.
Devondrick Walker (Brisbane Bullets) – The NBL1 West conference and Finals MVP will get his chance again in the NBL after a fantastic season with the Rockingham Flames, playing alongside NBL1 North FInals MVP Jason Cadee.
Kouat Noi (Sydney Kings) – The NBL1 North conference MVP is going into the NBL23 season with a world of confidence and is headed into a team with championship swagger, if all goes right we could see the USC Kouat Noi in purple and gold.
Donovan Mitchell (Brisbane Bullets) – Donovan Mitchell (affectionally known as ‘DJ’) was one of the stars of the NBL1 North season, forming a big three with now Bullets teammates Cadee and Tanner Krebs to dominate the conference and went on to win the NBL1 North Grand Finals Series. Already having chemistry with his now Bullets teammates, he should be set for a great NBL23 season.
Owen Foxwell (South East Melbourne Phoenix) – After taking home the NBL1 South Youth Player of the Year with multiple 30-point performances for the Eltham Wildcats, Owen Foxwell has a chance to explode in the revamped Phoenix line-up gunning for the championship.
Jordan Hunter (Sydney Kings) – Making his return from a season-ending NBL22 injury, Jordan Hunter is on pace for a massive NBL23 season with an NBL championship and near 20 and 10 season average in the NBL1 North under his belt.
Pete Hooley’s pick – For a more detailed look at each player and for NBL analysts Pete Hooley’s pick for must-watch player in the NBL Blitz click here.
The FIBA Women’s World Cup is just around the corner, led by NBL1 East champion and the GOAT Lauren Jackson, starting next Thursday! To see the full list of NBL1 stars in the team click here.
In other NBL1 news, the Australian Gems have claimed the U18 FIBA Women’s Asian Championship against China! Read more on their success here.
Stay tuned on socials and NBL1.com.au or the NBL1 App for a full preview of the FIBA World Cup on home soil next week!