Poto named Defensive Player of the Year

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Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames guard Alicia Poto has solidified her reputation as one of the premier defensive players in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), winning her second Robyn Maher Defensive Player of the Year award at the Basketball Australia iiNet MVP in Melbourne.

The soon-to-be 34-year-old got an early birthday present when she was presented with the award named after the WNBL and Opals legend.

A gracious Poto said she felt honoured to join the likes of Tully Bevilaqua and Emily McInerny as a multiple winner of the award.

“I was really surprised because they told me I had to attend as the captain of Sydney Uni to represent our club, so it was nice surprise,” Poto said.

The Sydney native has played her entire WNBL career with the Flames, bar a one-year stint with the AIS, winning the 1997 WNBL championship and racking up more than 170 games in the process.

Heading into a vital stage of the Olympic preparation, Poto said coming off such a strong season has given her confidence heading towards London as she battles for one of potentially three point guard spots in the Jayco Opals Olympic team.

In further great news the Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames, Belinda Snell was named in the WNBL All Star Five.

It was a triumphant return to the WNBL for Flames veteran Snell as she recorded a fourth WNBL All Star Five award on the back of an impressive 18.9 points (per game), 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists stats line.

Snell is also is the frame for Opals Olympic Games selection.

Flames Assistant Coach Peter Lonergan took out the award for Best Online Coverage.