Each round of the WNBL 2020 season we will be checking in with one of (what would have been) our Senior Blues Women in the NBL1 South 2020 Season.
Now in her second season with the Southside Flyers, Saraid Taylor suited up Wednesday night and made the most of her opportunity. Within seconds Taylor knocked down a beautiful corner three, then her active hands caused a steal leading to a breakaway lay-up to bring up triple digits for the Flyers.
Taylor summed up the WNBL bubble in one word.
“It tends to vary depending on what day, but the common characteristic is lots happening. For example, today was a recovery format after a late game last night, so consisted of ice baths and pool-based mobility at ten this morning, video review at eleven, shoot around in preparation for tomorrow’s game at twelve followed by compression boots and massage at three”
Unlike any other season, however, the WNBL bubble has presented a different environment for teams to interact as a team and as a league with each other.
“The Flyers are a close group, and we spend a lot of time hanging together outside the stadium.”
“But the beauty of our basketball league is the overlap: we play against athletes from other clubs who are ex-teammates from previous WNBL seasons, or current teammates through the winter season of NBL1, or just long-term rivals that fall into familiarity — so there has definitely been a healthy level of cross-contamination when it comes to socialisation.”
“And I think that is a real joy of elite — especially team — sport: close, enduring friendships are forged in a relentlessly competitive environment.”
Like any season, one of Taylor’s goals for the season is to improve, but her main focus for WNBL20 is to contribute in any way to a team that is incredibly talented and experienced.
“I’m going to be focusing on bringing some energy off the bench: working hard defensively, crashing rebounds, consistently communicating, and taking opportunities when I get them.
Saraid spoke about the all-Australia talent and depth of the league this year.
“On paper and on the court, Southside certainly has a fierce line-up. But ultimately, I would argue every team needs to be worried about every team.”
“Australia should be proud of its Women’s National Basketball League: each club is studded with both world-class professionals, and young athletes rapidly developing. And for the 2020 season, all games are being broadcasted on either the ABC, Foxtel, or Kayo — so it is truly an exciting time for Australian sport.”
Saraid finished on a message to all the Junior Blues at home in Victoria.
“Keep working hard.”
“This year has been endless in its fruitloopery, and come with so many challenges, but what a chance to refocus and get better.”
“My only real advice is that: work hard, consistently, so that you feel confident in yourself to receive any opportunity. And, like always, keep taking care of yourself and each other.”
Ella Batish (Adelaide Lightning): v. UC Capitals 18:30 min, 2 rebounds / v. Perth Lynx 13:47 min, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Lara McSpadden (Townsville Fire): v. Perth Lynx 7:10 min, 2 points / v. UC Capitals 18:48 min, 2 points, 5 rebounds
Steph Reid (Townsville Fire): v. Perth Lynx 19:59 min, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists / v. UC Capitals 21:24 min, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Kiera Rowe (Sydney Uni Flames): v Melbourne Boomers 10:07 min, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist / v. Bendigo Spirit 18:50 min, 1 point, 3 rebounds, 2 assists / v. Southside Flyers 13:10 min 3 points, 2 rebounds
Saraid Taylor (Southside Flyers): v. Bendigo Spirit 7:11 min, 5 points, 1 rebound / v. Melbourne Boomers 1:00 min 1 rebound
Tahlia Tupaea (UC Capitals): Did not play due to injury