As reported last week the clubs of the three Tall Blacks players based in Spain are each embroiled in the Liga Endesa (Spanish League) relegation battle.
The penultimate round of the regular season pitched 15th placed Gipuzkoa against 16th placed Sevilla, Tom Abercrombie against Kirk Penney.
Both teams entered the game with an identical 10-22 record.
In a thrilling encounter, played in front of 7,500 fans in the impressive San Sebastian Arena, it was Sevilla that stole a critical win to eradicate their threat of relegation.
The scores were tied in the final thirty seconds of play before Sevilla executed a simple pick and roll go-ahead play. Gipuzkoa had just enough time to get off a game leveling shot but it missed and Kirk Penney (10points/4rebouns/4assists) was able to secure the rebound in front of an excited Sevilla bench.
In contrast Gipuzkoa have to lick their wounds and prepare for another relegation game next weekend – Tom Abercrombie played just 4 minutes off the bench for the blue and whites.
There was also some relief in Manresa where the home team secured an 81-75 victory against Estudiantes. La Bruixa d’Or Manresa are still very much in the relegation zone but, thanks in part to 10 points and a couple of rebounds from Isaac Fotu they have given themselves a life line.
The one cloud on the horizon for Manresa is that they travel to play League leaders and European Champions Real Madrid next weekend.
Bottom 5 Liga Endesa Standings with one round to play:
14th Andorra 12-21
16th Gipuzkoa 10-23
17th La Bruixa d’Or Manresa 10-23
18th Fuenlabrada 8-24
Corey Webster and his Serbian club Mega Leks have been enjoying a good deal of success of late. Mega Leks had begun their Serbian Super League campaign by losing their first three games but have since improved their record to 4-3.
On Saturday Mega Leks won their fourth straight game, an overtime victory against Vojvodina 88-87. The scores were tied at 79 apiece before Leks secured the win. Webster produced a strong all round performance – 12pts/4rebs/6a/1st.
A couple of days earlier Webster had fouled out in just 19 minutes as Leks defeated FMP 92-83. The shooting guard stil managed 14 points (6/10FG).
Mika Vukona flew back to New Zealand last week following his short stint at the Virtus Acea Roma in Italy after the Roma club failed to make the play offs in the Italian League.
Vukona headed back to Nelson to join up with the Giants for their weekend clash with the James Blond Super City Rangers in the Bartercard NBL. Unfortunately for the Tall Black’s forward the table-topping Giants fell 97-85 to the Rangers. A travel weary Vukona scored 10 points and picked up a couple of rebounds.
At present most overseas Women’s competitions are in their off season. However Australian Big V side Hume City Broncos are in full swing and heading the competition with an 8-1 record.
Tall Fern Samara Gallaher is putting up good numbers for the Broncos averaging 14.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Gallaher briefly returned to New Zealand at the weekend to play for Oceana Gold Rush Otago at the Women’s Basketball Championships in Christchurch.
The trip was well worthwhile as Otago went 6-0 at the weekend to secure a top six finish ahead of WBC Finals weekend in June. Gallaher was in fine form averaging 12.7 points per game.