Whilst all the talk, quite rightly, has been about the stunning finish to cap the Sky City Breakers fourth NBL Grand Final victory plenty more has been happening in Kiwi basketball circles this week.
Across the Tasman, a couple of hours after the Breakers win, Townsville Fire was closing out the Australian Women’s National Basketball Championship.
Tall Ferns Micaela Cocks and Jillian Harmon and their Townsvile Fire teammates were too good for Bendigo Spirit claiming their first title 75-65. Runners-up in the last two years the Fire made no mistake this time. A decisive 26-16 second quarter did the trick much to the delight of the 2,000 fans in Townsville.
Both players have played key roles coming off the bench for the Fire. Cocks has played a similar role to that of Rhys Carter at the Breakers and Harmon has added the Tai Wesley like forward punch.
The Townsville club has been presented with the keys to the city for their outstanding season.
In the Greek League Dramas, as expected, were too good for bottom placed Panionis, winning 79-72. Rob Loe provided 4pts/5 rebounds/3 assists as Dramas improved their record to 7-12, remaining in 10th spot on the ladder.
There was a huge surprise in the Spanish League as top beat bottom. La Bruixa d’Or Manresa snapped a 4 game losing streak to outlast top of the table Unicaja 8076. Isaac Fotu scored 8 points and garnered 4 rebounds. The Kiwi forward shot 2/4 from the land of plenty and also scored 2/2 free throws as Manresa shot 20 of 24 freebies on the night to record their best win of the season.
Also in Spain third last Sevilla travelled to second last Fuenlabrada and lost a nail biter 82-81. Kirk Penney was outstanding for Sevilla scoring 17 points – 6/10FG that included 3 from 5 three pointers.
In Germany Jarrod Kenny posted 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assist as Licher Baeren beat Fraport SKY 67-56 in the German B League South Division on Sunday.
Last but certainly not least Steven Adams made his comeback for the Oklahoma City Thunder in their 108-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday (NZ time).
Adams had been absent from the NBA for exactly 4 weeks after breaking a bone in his hand. He came off the bench to contribute 6pts/6rebs/2 blocks as the Thunder improved their record to 35-29.