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Cold comfort for Perth with Star 5


WNBL regular season champion Perth continued to claim accolades today with its backcourt of Courtney Williams and Sami Whitcomb headlining the 2017-18 All Star Five.

The league's most potent backcourt - Williams averaged 21.3ppg and Whitcomb 17.2ppg - was joined in the Star quintet by Sydney's Asia Taylor, Townsville's Suzy Batkovic and Melbourne's Liz Cambage.

Expect the league's Most Valuable Player to also come from that group, with Williams still my tip.

Of Basketball On The Internet's 13 rounds of "Player of the Week" nominations, Williams and Cambage appeared three times (Rounds 8-9-11 for Williams, 3-6-7 for Cambage), Batkovic in Round 4, Taylor in Round 5 and Whitcomb in Round 10.

Whitcomb, Taylor and Batkovic all were 2015-16 All Star Five selections as well.

This year's All Star Five is comprised exclusively of players from teams which reached the Final Four.

Perth, which enjoyed a club record 14-win streak before being bundled out in the WNBL's ill-conceived "blink-and-you'll-miss-them" semi finals, can take cold comfort from the fact it not only supplied two of the Five All Stars but also the league's Coach of the Year, Andy Stewart.

Williams was a revelation, the 173cm athlete's 21.3ppg second in the league, her 6.9 rebounds 10th and she led the Lynx in rebounding and shot blocking. Her 2.2 steals was fourth in the league. 

Whitcomb is in her third straight All Star Five and also has been added to the Opals squad ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Her 17.2ppg was fifth in the league, her 2.6 steals were the WNBL's best and her 4.4 assists was a career-high and top 10.

Athletic and energetic, Taylor again led Sydney with 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and enjoyed five double-doubles.

Batkovic, the record-setting five-time league MVP, with her seventh All Star Five nomination now
is just one behind legends Kristi Harrower, Shelley Sandie, Rachael Sporn and Michele Timms on eight apiece.

 

One of only two players to average a double-double, Batkovic delivered 20.5ppg and 10.5rpg, leading the league in defensive boards, with her 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks both fifth in the league.

Cambage's All Star selection is her third and comes on top of a regular season in which the 203cm centre led the league in points (23.8) and rebounds (10.7).

She enjoyed the season-high return of 44 points against Adelaide, with a 23-point, 23-rebound double-double against Perth in Round 3.

 

Jan 15

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