NBL1 West Players of the Week – Round 12

TWO Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidates delivered outstanding performances in Round 12 of the 2024 National Basketball League (NBL)1 West competition over the weekend.

The 12th round of the fixture saw 16 games take place across the men’s and women’s divisions, with plenty of standout showings coming from these matches.

Although there were a few new faces stepping into spotlight, it was the big names that stood above the rest with a pair of superstars showing exactly how they earned that reputation.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at the standout performances from both divisions, after some big numbers were posted over the weekend. This time, Joel Murray and Anneli Maley took out the honour with huge outings in their respective wins.

Joel Murray (Mandurah Magic) vs. Warwick Senators

47 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, three steals

Murray was an absolute monster in the Magic’s thrilling win over the Senators to the tune of four points in a high-scoring affair at Mandurah Aquatic and Rec Centre on Saturday night.

Both sides were firing early as a combined 60 points were poured in during the first quarter, showing that it would be a good old fashioned shootout. Momentum swung both ways as Mandurah jumped out to a big lead, before it was drawn back by the visitors to make it a seven-point affair heading into the last. Warwick hit the lead in the final minute of the game, but the Magic had the answers and produced some clutch buckets down the stretch to snag a 107-103 win.

Murray was a man on a mission in the win over the Senators, stuffing the stat sheet with a powerful showing that was a true showing of just how capable he is of ripping a game wide open.

He accounted for 47 of his team’s points, shooting a ridiculously efficient 19/25 from the field and carrying Mandurah on the scoring front. Remarkably, he reached this total with just four made free throws for the match, completely taking over both in transition and in half court sets. It was his second huge scoring performance of 2024, having posted 50 points in Round 8.

Although he was the star of the show from a scoring standpoint, Murray made sure to share the love with 11 assists, always having a correct read on what the offensive set needed and keeping his court vision active at all times.

It was yet another emphatic showing from one of the favourites for the highest individual honour in the NBL1 West, with Murray again showing how valuable he is to the Magic.

Anneli Maley (Perth Redbacks) vs. Rockingham Flames

35 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, one steal

With an Olympic appearance with the Opals approaching at a rapid pace, Maley showed why she was selected in the team by leading her Redbacks past the Flames as they defeated Rockingham by 13 points at Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre on Friday night.

After a tight tussle in the opening period which saw the Flames hold a slim two-point lead at the first change, the Redbacks took control of the match and stormed out to a double-digit buffer on the scoreboard. Although Rockingham improved defensively in the second half, it was too little, too late as Perth cruised home to a 99-86 triumph.

Maley delivered an enormous double-double in the win over the Flames, proving a handful for the defence and stamping her authority on the contest.

Completely controlling the paint, she was again the focal point of Perth’s offence, and looked to score at across all three levels on her way to a whopping 35 points, over a third of her team’s total score. From the field, she shot 11/21, including five three-pointers as she stretched the floor to drag her direct opponent out from under the basket.

On the glass, she is one of the most established performers in Australia and delivered again on Friday night with 17 boards. 14 of these came on the defensive end as she ended the contest as the only Perth player to post double-digits in the rebounding column in a terrific solo effort.

Maley has been in ripping form throughout the 2024 season and kept that rolling in the win over the Flames to kick off the action for Round 12.

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