Tue 30 Jan 24
The trailblazing Essex Rebels have been praised as “inspirations” after storming to their first ever final.
The record-breaking women’s team faced off against London Lions in front of more than 10,000 cheering spectators.
Despite strong travelling support the Rebels – who were taking part in their first final since joining the Women’s British Basketball League in 2018 – fell short in Birmingham.
Showcasing grit and determination in the Betty Codona National Trophy Final they lost 67-83 to a very strong side.
Dr Dave Parry, Director of Sport, praised the team for writing themselves in the University history books and cementing Essex as the number one sporting institution in the east.
He said: “The Essex Rebels women’s team are inspirations and role models for the entire University community.
“We are so proud they managed to get to the final and helped show what Essex is all about on the national stage against the biggest team in the country.
“The University of Essex is the number one sporting institution in the Eastern region and we will build on this experience to keep developing women’s sport.
“There are plenty more games ahead and I urge fans old and new to come down to the Essex Arena to enjoy top-flight elite sport.”
Despite a great team effort for the Rebels, led by Dayzsha Rogan's 15 points, it wasn’t enough against the four-time Betty Codona Trophy winners and Eurocup contenders, London Lions, who showed their experience and depth throughout the game.
Despite the setback the Rebels are still pushing hard in the league and are just two points of the leaders.
With six more home games for the women before the season ends in April there’s plenty of opportunity to cheer them on.
With key clashes on the horizon fans are urged to come to the rocking Essex Arena – with the Rebels currently holding record home attendance in the UK.
Team manager Diana Voynova added: “It is a great achievement for the programme making the first major final and everyone is very proud of the team.
“It was a tough ask taking on the London Lions who have the best Women’s British Basketball League roster ever assembled and are one of the main contenders for the Eurocup title, but the team gave their all and put on a great fight.
“We are excited for the rest of the season and going back to league play with a positive mindset.”