Lightning and Boomers set to kick off WNBL season

AFTER months of waiting, the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season returns tonight, with a matchup between the Adelaide Lightning and the Melbourne Boomers kicking off proceedings for the 2023/24 season.

The last time WNBL action took place, the Townsville Fire claimed the championship for the 2022/23 season, capping off a dominant finish to their games and on a massive winning streak coming into the current fixture.

With plenty of player movements taking place over the off-season, things will look extremely different this time around, with a new batch of contenders looking to dethrone the Fire. Townsville will be the title favourites coming in given the magnificent form it showed to close out last season, but there are a number of sides that recruited extremely well, and will be in the mix too.

It all kicks off at Adelaide 36ers Arena on Wednesday night, when the Lightning host the Boomers in a highly anticipated clash to get things underway. Melbourne will enter the match as favourites, but there is no such thing as a certainty, especially in the season opener.

The Teams

Looking at Adelaide, the Lightning have built a roster that is stacked with potential, but how long it takes for the team to reach that is still unclear. After not making a dent in the finals race last season in a disappointing outcome, the only team from South Australia will be eager to move up the rankings and get even more improvement from the young talent.

One of the team’s biggest stars in Stephanie Talbot will not be out there, still recovering from a knee injury, but the team added two imports in Jocelyn Willoughby and Brianna Turner, so there should be enough star power there. One player to keep an eye on for Adelaide is Isobel Borlase, who stormed onto the WNBL scene with a breakout campaign last season, and should get even more responsibility in the starting lineup.

On the other hand, it will be a different looking lineup for the Boomers, who will have just one returning player from last season’s campaign. Melbourne made the postseason, but fell short of a third title. However, the team was ultra-aggressive throughout the off-season, adding some quality talent and appear destined to be in the mix for finals again.

The question for the Lightning will be whether they can contain Melbourne’s star forward duo in Sara Blicavs and Keely Froling. They were the Boomers’ biggest signings, having already established themselves as some of the best players in the league, and should make an impact on the scoring and rebounding front.

The Boomers backcourt duo of Jordin Canada and Kristy Wallace will ensure the team plays with plenty of pace, an area in which Adelaide will also need to be mindful.


It is an intriguing way to start the season, given the two different stages of each roster. Although Adelaide has built a team that is stacked with potential, the Boomers’ star power should be too much, despite being on the road. Melbourne by 11.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments