Tall Blacks prominent in NBL play-offs

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Jarrod Kenny has helped steer Perth to the play-offs for a 30th consecutive season.

There is New Zealand representation in all four teams contesting the semi-finals of the NBL this week with the pair of games on Friday sorting out the top four from the also-rans.

 In Illawarra the Hawks did the Breakers a huge favour by eliminating the Adelaide 36ers from play-off basketball on Friday. The Hawks, aided by 13 points from Kirk Penney, won 106-95 and locked in third place for good measure.

Earlier in the evening the Breakers had done what was required of them to secure a top four spot by defeating an undermanned Melbourne United 106-95. Development player and one test Tall Black Tohi Smith-Milner scored 5 points in his second outing of the season for United who had already qualified in top spot.

Earlier in the week Perth Wildcats travelled to Sydney without four starters and not surprisingly were downed 103-77 by NBL cellar dwellers Sydney Kings, 103-77. Jarrod Kenny scored 11 points, all in the first half, for the Wildcats but Dion Prewster went scoreless for the Kings.

 Two early threes at the start of the fourth quarter from Leon Henry helped propel the Townsville Crocodiles to a convincing 85-68 victory against Cairns Taipans in the fourth and final ‘Reptile Rumble’ of the season. Henry scored another 6 points on Saturday night as the Crocs rounded out their campaign with a thrilling 126-123 overtime success against the Sydney Kings.

 Perth wrapped up the regular season, and second place in the standings, disposing of Adelaide 100-84 on Sunday night. Jarrod Kenny dealt in pairs in this one – 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists.

 Europe 

CAI Zaragoza made it to the Eurocup last 16 for the first time in club history by downing Szolnoki Olaj (Hungarian League champions) 70-80 on the road on Wednesday. 5 points, 1 rebound and a steal for Isaac Fotu as Zaragoza finished their group with a 4-2 record. Next up for Fotu and his colleagues is a home and away tie with Dolomiti Energia Trento, currently sixth in the Italian Serie A.

Back in Liga Endesa Spanish League action Zaragoza travelled to ACAM Murcia on Sunday and were beaten 110-102 with Fotu scoring 7 points (2/6FG) and pulling down a pair of rebounds.

Plymouth Raiders had a tough weekend facing British Basketball League leaders Newcastle Eagles (19-2) on Friday before travelling back south to take on Surrey Scorchers on Sunday.

Duane Bailey was most impressive on Friday scoring a team high 25 points (12/23FG) before fouling out at Newcastle with seven minutes to play. The power forward also garnered 7 rebounds and dished a pair of assists.

Just 8 points, a rebound and two steals for Bailey at Surrey on Sunday but more importantly Plymouth came from 7 points down at half time to win 73-64. The victory keeps Plymouth in eighth spot on the BBL ladder.

American College 

Nebraska University Huskers has had a win and a loss in the last week. It lost its fourth game in five going down at Wisconsin on Wednesday, but comfortably beat Penn State 74-50 0n Saturday – the Huskers are now 6-7 in Big Ten Conference play.

Tai Webster contributed 9 points, a couple of rebounds and an assist against Wisconsin but failed to score against Penn.

Jack Salt didn’t suit up for Virginia University as the Cavaliers moved to 9-4 in the Atlantic Coast conference with a 67-49 win against Virginia Tech on Tuesday and a narrow 63-62 loss on Saturday against Duke.

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