WNBA Wrap: Playoff race heats up

Published August 9, 2022, 10:00 PMYoyo Sarmenta

The action in the W gets more intense with the postseason fast approaching.

The Dallas Wings were able to secure a playoff spot after beating the New York Liberty.

Games of the week

It has been an emotional rollercoaster of a week for the WNBA. 

The news about Brittney Griner’s nine-year sentence in prison by the Russian court was a gut punch felt across the world. The Phoenix Mercury star and Olympian was found guilty of drug charges late last week. 

Though Griner's final verdict was expected already, especially since she pleaded guilty earlier in the trial, it was still startling to hear about her almost-decade-long sentence. The next step in this saga is to hope for the United States and Russia to come to terms with a prisoner swap as soon as possible. 

When news about BG came out, the Mercury still had a game to play against the Connecticut Sun. In a heartfelt gesture, the two teams came together at center court as the arena held a 42-second moment (Griner’s jersey number) of silence. 

Over in Seattle, the Storm celebrated Sue Bird’s final regular season game at home. A franchise-record of 18,100 people headed to Climate Pledge Arena to witness one of the game’s legendary point guards suit up one more time in their backyard (at least before the playoffs). 

Teams in the spotlight

There are only two playoff spots left after the Dallas Wings’ secured their postseason berth after defeating the New York Liberty thanks to a career-high 31-point performance from Marina Mabrey. 

That leaves the Atlanta Dream (14-19), Phoenix Mercury (14-19), Minnesota Lynx (13-20), Liberty (13-20), and Los Angeles Sparks (13-20), in a fierce tussle for the remaining seats. There are four regular season game days left. Who will make the cut? This playoff race will go down the wire and any team can make a surprise entry. 

Big-time baller

Napheesa Collier is our big-time baller this week. Better yet, we can call her big-time mommy. 

The do-it-all Lynx forward was back from maternity leave after giving birth just last May to her daughter, Mila. She helped Minnesota beat the Atlanta Dream, 81-71. She finished with six points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block in roughly 20 minutes. 

Though Collier isn’t back to a hundred percent fitness-wise, she is a big boost for the Lynx who are trying to secure a playoff spot. 

Watch out for…

The WNBA Playoffs is just around the corner but before we get to that, we still have one more farewell party to throw. Sylvia Fowles’ final home game will be on Saturday (PH time) and it will be against none other than Sue Bird and the Storm. The game has all kinds of playoff-seeding implications, but what if the Lynx don’t make it into the postseason and it’ll be Fowles’ final game ever? Are we all ready to say goodbye to an all-time great?