The Melbourne Boomers have won the WNBL grand final, thrashing Perth Lynx 84-66 in the deciding game three.
The Boomers are the first team to come from a game down in an WNBL finals series to claim the title.
It is Melbourne’s second WNBL title and first in 11 years.
Pleasingly for the Boomers, and fortunately for WNBL officials, the grand final trophy arrived at the Melbourne Sport Centre in Parkville just in time for the presentation.
The WNBL tweeted during the game that the trophy had gone missing on the flight from Perth to Melbourne and that the winners would “receive something a little different” instead of the actual trophy.
However, we’ll never know what that alternative would have been as the trophy turned up just in time, a little like the eventual champions.
The Boomers had lost the first game of the three-match final series by 27 points, and then stunned the Lynx in Perth by a single point to set up Saturday’s decider.
It is the Boomers second WNBL title.
“We will find the hard way to do anything,” Boomers coach Guy Molloy said after the match.
“You wouldn’t know it but I’m only 23 years old!” the 53-year-old then quipped after what was the final game of his nine-year stint as Boomers head coach.
“I think we got written off after Game 1, they had an unbelievable shooting performance. Yes, we just didn’t execute, but the grit we had to have to go back on the road and take Game 2, and then to finish it off like this in front of this crowd. Amazing! What else can I say?”
The Boomers led at every change in the decider, which was played out in front of a packed house of supporters who relished their side’s dominance.
The lead blew past 30 points at the final change, 57-35 as Perth’s heads dropped in the face of some stellar, forceful defence.
Ezi Magbegor and Cayla George led the scoring for the Boomers with 17 points each, joined by Tiffany Mitchell (16), Tess Madgen (15) and Lindsay Allen (14) as all the starting five played their role.
Allen was named winner of the Rachael Sporn Medal as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Jackie Young led the Lynx with 18 points, but on the whole the Lynx offence failed to fire.
“Big congratulations to the Boomers,” Lynx captain Darcee Garbin said.
“You have led the league for the last five years and have set the standard.”
Garbin praised her teammates, who had decamped from Perth and played the whole season out of Ballarat due to Western Australia’s border closure.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of women,” she said.
“You packed up your lives and you are the most resilient group of girls I know.
“This is just the start for the Lynx and I couldn’t be proud of you not just for the series but the whole season.”