Brondello celebrates honour with WNBA playoff win

Brondello celebrates honour with WNBA playoff win

Jayco Australian Opals stars Erin Phillips and Penny Taylor starred as the Phoenix Mercury advanced to the WNBA Western Conference Finals after a 93-68 win over the Los Angeles Sparks to claim a 2-0 sweep.

Jayco Opals legend Sandy Brondello has added further recognition to an already record-breaking season with the Phoenix Mercury, winning the 2014 WNBA Coach of the Year award prior to the opening game of the WNBA Playoffs.

Coming off a hard-fought 75-72 win over the Sparks to tip-off the post-season, it was a return to the dominant Mercury that have taken all before them this campaign – headlined by star performances by their Jayco Opals contingent.

Taylor had a shooting night to remember, dropping 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, while Phillips provided expert punch off the bench, filling the stat sheet on 7 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.

This sets up a meeting with either the Minnesota Lynx or San Antonio Silver Stars in the WNBA Western Conference Finals – for the right to play off against the best from the east in the WNBA Finals.

In her first season at the helm of the Mercury, Brondello guided the team to a 29-5 record – setting a new WNBA mark for wins in a regular season.

Brondello is one of the most decorated players in the history of the Opals program, representing Australia at four Olympic Games, winning three medals – including two silver medals (2000 and 2004) and a bronze (1996).

After a success club career in the WNBL and in Europe, Brondello moved to the WNBA ahead of the 1998 season, playing with Detroit, Miami and Seattle before moving into the coaching ranks with the San Antonio Silver Stars.

The Australian would serve as an Assistant Coach with the franchise until 2010, when she was given the Head Coaching role, leading the Silver Stars to the playoffs. Brondello was on the move ahead of the 2011 season, joining the Los Angeles Sparks staff before landing the coveted Mercury Head Coach position.

For all the latest on the Phoenix Mercury’s run to the WNBA Finals be sure to visit the BA website at www.basketball.net.au.