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WEABL recap – 8 March, plus playoff preview

Week 17 brought the curtain down on the WEABL regular season, setting the stage for what should be a highly-anticipated playoff race for the eight teams now progressing.

There should have been two games yesterday, but Itchen vs Barking was a late scratch from the schedule and wouldn’t have affected the playoff places regardless of result.

That meant just one game played out, so there’s a recap of that contest below, plus a look ahead to the opening round of the playoffs.

Charnwood College Riders 45-57 The Manchester Mystics Academy

Manchester will head into the post-season on a high after beating North conference rivals Charnwood 57-45.

A stunning 37 points from the Riders’ Alex Shaw was a highlight of the contest, but it wouldn’t be enough to get the hosts a win.

Mystics rode a more rounded offensive performance to victory, with
Josephine Vourliotis (14pts), Alejandra Escriva-Gay (13pts) and Isobel Thompson (8pts) all contributing useful totals.

Manchester close the season with a 6-3 record, good for second spot, whilst Charnwood end on 3-8 in third.

Playoff Preview

The playoff field is now set, with the four Elite Eight ties set to get underway this coming Wednesday.

North conference top dogs Nottingham Academy Wildcats have a home tie with South #4 seed Itchen College, whilst South winners and defending WEABL champs City of London Academy – Southwark will host #4 Sheffield College as CoLA look to try and secure a record fourth title.

There’s a repeat tie from last season’s Elite Eights as Copleston take on Charnwood. The Riders were a #2 seed a year ago with the Suffolk programme finishing third in the South, but this time around the roles have been reversed.

Copleston sprung the upset in 2021/22, winning 88-80 on the road, so no doubt the Riders will have some extra motivation for this one.

Battling it out for a chance to face either CoLA or Sheffield, North conference runners up Manchester Mystics Academy have a home game with South #3 seeds Oaklands College, who went all the way to the Final Fours last year before losing to eventual finalists Nottingham.

All four of those games will take place on Wednesday 15 March 2023, with the eventual WEABL final taking place on Wednesday 29 March 2023 at Manchester’s National Basketball Performance Centre.

Tickets to attend the final are free, but still need to be purchased for capacity reasons.

To secure your ticket, please head to the Basketball England shop by clicking here.