Kiwis Abroad

Basketball - U19 World Champs, New Zealand v Argentina, 2 July 2009 Rob Loe put together an outstanding performance that included a season high 22 points for KAO Dramas as they visited 6th placed AGO Rethymno Aegen in the Greek League. Dramas began the game placed 13th in the 16 team competition but surprised their more favoured opponents recording a meritorious 91-76 win on the road. Loe scored 22 points, his action around the hoop attracting plenty of attention as he got to the charity stripe 12 times, converting 10 attempts. The Tall Black centre added 4 rebounds and 2 blocks to complete a fine performance as Dramas improved to 5-10. Spanish club Sevilla are two from two since the arrival of Kirk Penney having previously won just three games all season. Unfortunately Penney couldn’t trouble the scorers in the game against CAI Zaragoza. He was scoreless (0/4FG) as Sevilla won a thriller in overtime – 99-97 against 8th placed Zaragoza who had familiar opponents Kevin Lisch (15pts) and Chris Goulding (10pts) in their line up. Sevilla moved off the bottom of the table with the much needed victory. On Sunday Isaac Fotu returned to Bilbao the city where he and the Tall Blacks made such a good impression during their pool games at last year’s World Cup. Unfortunately his club La Bruixa d’Or Manresa was unable to snare a win against their more fancied opponents, Bilbao winning 86-77.  Fotu was prominent for the visitors scoring 12 points on the back of 4/8FG that included 2 from 5 three’s. Manresa (5-15) remains 15th in the 18 team league. Jarrod Kenny scored a dozen points for Licher Baeren in the South Division of the German B league. Baeren visited Langen, both teams with an identical 6-11 record, but it was the home team that prevailed 72-63 to move a place ahead of 10th placed Baeren. In the NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder shared the spoils with New Orleans Pelicans, both teams picking up a road win. On Thursday OKC won in New Orleans 102-91 but lost to an Anthony Davis buzzer beater, 116-113 two days later. Incredibly Russell Westbrook erupted for a career high 45 points in game one and improved that to 48 points in game two. Kiwi centre Steve Adams was a reliable presence. 8 points and 9 rebounds in the first game he followed that up with a lengthy stat line of 10pts/6rebs/1 assist/2stls/1 block in the home game. OKC recorded a convincing 131-108 win on Monday when they entertained the LA Clippers on Monday. Unfortunately Adams was restricted to 12 minutes court time after picking up a hand injury that required him to shoot a left handed free throw. The freebie was successful before Adams exited proceedings with 5 points and 2 rebounds. Nearer home the Townsville Crocodiles were too good for the Sky City Breakers on Saturday night winning 79-71 with swing man Leon Henry enjoying a night that included an athletic dunk worthy of the NBL highlights reel. Henry finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Entering the penultimate round of the Australian Women’s National Basketball League there have been contrasting fortunes for the Tall Ferns and their respective teams this season. The Townsville Fire sit top of the table with a 16-4 record contrasting sharply with the 4-16 record of West Coast Waves. Toni Edmondson and the Perth based Waves were consigned to the wooden spoon as West Coast suffered a 93-85 home loss to Sydney University. Edmondson, in her role as a starter, scored 6 points (3/6FG), secured 3 rebounds and added a single dime. At the other end of the table Townsville Fire have one hand on the regular season trophy following a convincing 94-67 victory against the Canberra Capitals. The Fire finish the season with two games next week, the final round of the regular season, knowing one win will secure top place. The Fire are two wins ahead of nearest rivals Bendigo. Tall Ferns Micaela Cocks and Jillian Harmon have made a terrific impact coming off the bench for the Fire and against the Capitals Cocks scored 10 points (2/3 3pts), her international colleague Harmon nabbing a couple of points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Erin Rooney’s Arras team moved to third on the table as they won 72-66 on the road against seventh placed Tarbes 72-66 in the French League. Rooney was in excellent form dishing 8 assists to compliment 4 rebounds and 8 points. The game was evenly poised at three quarter time but a solid 16-11 final period sealed the win for Arras.


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