Leicester Riders’ captain Kate Oliver has scooped the WBBL Cup Final MVP award after leading her team to a first ever WBBL Cup, beating Sevenoaks Suns 78-67 live on Sky Sports at the National Basketball Performance Centre, Manchester.
In her fourth season with the Riders – during which time she has twice been named MVP of the Trophy Final – the 6’4″ Australian centre posted a huge double-double of 18 points and a Cup Final record of 14 rebounds, adding five assists, two blocks and a steal to take the award.
Riders raced into an 11-0 lead and Oliver was key to that, scoring both inside and from beyond the three-point line before assisting Holly Winterburn in little over three minutes.
She hit another five points as the lead peaked at 21-4, and she added six points, three rebounds and two assists in the third period to stave off a Sevenoaks Suns’ comeback.
Oliver spoke to Sky Sports after the game,
“This one means so much, it’s been such a long few months to get to this point. To be able to play out there for a piece of silverware felt incredible.
“It’s easy to get caught up in how difficult it is, but we’ve been putting an emphasis on how lucky we are to be able to do what we love to do. Today has made all those difficulties worth it.
“We had so many contributors tonight, everyone stepped on the floor and really made a difference, we really wanted to leave it all out there, and it was a full team effort.”
Her Head Coach Jesper Sundberg added,
“Kate just does great things for us all the time and is the vocal leader with the group. She is really special for us and was phenomenal today.”