Monthly Archives: April 2016

The four semi-finalists found at Prems Qualifying


MAGS coach Daryl Cartwright

The Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade Qualifying Tournament has come down to the final four, the winner’s of the two semi-final games gaining entry to the elite top eight competition. Those games to be played at St Kentigern College on Sunday morning feature MAGS v St Kentigern College and Kelston Boys HS v Mt Roskill GS.

MAGS were without coach Daryl Cartwright, absent with a bout of food poisoning, but were still composed enough to secure top spot in Pool B. They were pushed all the way by a valiant Pakuranga College before eventually winning 80-63.

Second place in Pool B was decided by an exciting encounter between St Peter’s and St Kentigern College. St Peter’s led by the impressive Finlay Morris shaded the first half 38-33 but a Joel Vaiangina dunk edged St Kent’s ahead 54-53 at three-quarter time. The left handed centre continued to keep the score ticking over in the final quarter as the hosts forged a ten points lead with under five minutes to play. That lead was extended further in the final minutes, St Kent’s booking a semi-final berth with an 80-67 victory.

Kelston Boys High School dominated Pool A and like MAGS finished pool play with a 4-0 record. They were given a scare by Macleans college when the scores were locked 54 apiece early in the third quarter. However Kelston dominated the back end of the game to win 102-85. Later in the day they comfortably accounted for Avondale College 79-50.

Runners-up in Pool 2 was not decided until the final game of the day. The swarming Pakuranga College defence held Mt Roskill to just 8 points in the second period helping them to a 30-25 half-time lead.

Ironically Pakuranga were held to 8 points themselves in a low scoring third period as they hung on to a 38-37 advantage.

It was a single point game with 4 minutes to play but a pair of long threes from Zane Lueluaia-Hughes broke the game open and aided by Randy Sjafrie Roskill pulled off a 65-57 win to earn a semi-final play-off against Kelston on Sunday.

Day 2 Results

Pool A

St Kentigern 100 – Max Shorter 33, Joel Vaiangina 32 Macleans Coll 79 – Blake Van Uden 18, Sairaj Kuvelkar 17

St Peter’s 87 – D’Angelo Niupopo 25, Finlay Morris 20 Avondale Coll 69 – David Gatolai 17, Kennedy Nikolaison 13

Macleans Coll 85 – Blake Van Uden 25, Scott Pu 11, Alex Arthur 11 Kelston 102 – Linus Jakszt 48, Kale Lawson 15

St Kentigern 80 – Joel Vaiangina35, Kyle Robb 13 St Peter’s 67 – Finlay Morris 15, George Boersen 14

Kelston 79 Avondale 50

Pool B

Mt Albert 65 – Michael Gardner 22, Jack Morrison 16 Alfriston Coll 37 – Joel Singsam 18, Jakob Hura 7

Mt Roskill 108 – Randy Sjafrie 45, Zarne Lueluai-Hughes 36 Massey HS 78 – Roy Iro 25, Austin Cameron 24

Mt Albert 80 – Michael Gardner 17, Xjana Luamanuvae 11, John-Afi Stowers-Atafu 11 Pakuranga 63 – Devan Nathan 15, Christian Blanque 13

Alfriston 77 – Joel Singsam 34, D’troit Leef-Hama 13 Massey 74 – Austin Cameron 27, Emmanuel Tusa Fa’alili 15

Pakuranga 57 65 Mt Roskill

Standings after Pool Play

Pool A

4-0 Kelston Boys HS

3-1 St Kentigern Coll

2-2 St Peter’s College

1-3 Macleans Coll

0-4 Avondale Coll

Pool B

4-0 Mt Albert GS

3-1 Mt Roskill GS

2-2 Pakuranga College

1-3 Alfriston Coll

0-4 Massey HS

MAGS cruise on Day 1 at Prem Qualifying


Mt Albert Grammar School underlined their status as favourites at the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade Qualifying Tournament.

Being played at St Kentigern College, MAGS dominated proceedings on day one against Mt Roskill GS and Massey High School.

Pakuranga College and Kelston Boys High School are also unbeaten entering day two on Saturday and will be hopeful of making the semi-finals on Sunday.

The top two teams from each pool will contest the semi’s with the winner of each game securing Premier Grade status for the 2016 season.

The two qualifiers will join Rangitoto College, Westlake Boys HS, Liston College, Rosmini College, Onehunga HS and Auckland Boys GS in this season’s competition.

Day 1 Results

Pool A

Kelston Boys 98 – Linus Jakszt 23, Samuel Brooking 22 St Peter’s 51 – Christian Fromont 13, Espinosa Toffer 12

Avondale 82 – Darnell Kalolo 25, Peneueta Brunt 15 Macleans Coll 91 – Blake Van Uden 35, Sairaj Kuvelkar 16

Kelston Boys 78 – Linus Jakszt 27, Myles Pinono 19 St Kentigern 61 – Joel Vaiangina 14, Max Shorter 13

Macleans 66 – Andrew Fei 15, Alex Arthur 13 St Peter’s 81 Gerard Boersen 25, D’Angelo Niupopo 22

Avondale 78 St Kentigern 88

Pool B

Pakuranga 79, Tevita Latu 26, Devan Nathan 14 Massey 62 – Emmanuel Tusafa’alili 15, Austin Cameron 8

Mt Albert 92 – Trent Kimianga-Tau 14, Jonty Vink 13 Mt Roskill 54 – Zarne Lueluai-Hughes 20, Jordan Tahana 15

Pakuranga 86 – Tevita Latu 26, Ezekiel Flores 10 Alfriston 48 – Joel Singsam 15, D’troit Leef-Hama 10

Mt Albert 112 – Michael Gardner 24, Xjana Luananuvae-Su’a 22 Massey 45 Tyler Lonergan 8

Mt Roskill 62 Alfriston 41

Standings after Day 1

Pool A

2-0 Kelston Boys HS

1-1 Macleans College, St Peter’s College, St Kentigern Coll

0-2  Avondale Coll

Pool B

2-0 Mt Albert GS, Pakuranga College

1-1  Mt Roskill GS

0-2 Massey HS, Alfriston Coll

NZ Under 16 Boys & Girls teams named


Named in the NZ U16 team Charlisse Leger-Walker has already represented NZ at Under 19 level

Basketball New Zealand has announced the players that will represent New Zealand in four under-16 age-group basketball teams that will travel to Australia in June and July to take on some of Australia’s top junior teams.

Four squads have been selected:

·         New Zealand U16 Girls

·         New Zealand U16 Boys

·         New Zealand ‘A’ U16 Girls

·         New Zealand ‘A’ U16 Boys.

 The New Zealand U16 teams will play in the Australian State Championships from 29 June to 10 July, in Melbourne. This tournament is the most prestigious age-group national basketball event in Australia, where the best of the best juniors in Australia and New Zealand compete.

 The New Zealand ‘A’ U16 boys and girls teams will compete in the Medibank Classic from 9 June to 14 June, which is an invitational competition primarily for clubs. 2016 will be the first year that New Zealand team has been invited to this tournament.

Coach of the New Zealand Under 16 Boys team, Dave MacKay, says these events will be a big test.

“Both of these competitions bring together the most talented junior players in Australia. While the ultimate goal for any junior basketballer is to get to the World Championships, we will treat these Australian tournaments with equal respect because it’s the task that’s right in front of us and the competition is tough.

“I know our players relish the chance to test themselves at these respected Australian events, especially when they all know it’s the same tournaments where the likes of NBA stars Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills competed and developed as juniors.”

MacKay says the Australian State Championships and the Medibank Classic are all part of the long-term preparation for these junior players. While the 2018 World Championships are a target, the teams must first qualify through the 2017 FIBA Asia Pacific Championships.

“One of the reasons we have selected a group of 20 girls and 20 boys, as opposed to one girls team and one boys team, is to ensure there’s a broad group of players being developed, especially with the 2017 FIBA Asia Pacific Championships next year. It gives everybody an equal chance to strengthen their game as they develop, so they all have the opportunity to prove their abilities as we build towards the big international events.

“I believe we’ve selected a really gifted group of players. It’s a sign that basketball in New Zealand is continuing to grow in strength,” says McKay.

The 2016 Under 16’s Programme





27 – 29 May

National Preparation Camp


All 40 athletes.

8 – 14 June

Travel and Medibank Classic

Melbourne – Australia

NZ ‘A’ U16 teams

27 – 28 June

NZ 16 Camp


NZ U16 teams

29 June – 10 July

Travel and Australian State Championships

Melbourne – Australia

NZ U16 teams

Players and Teams

 New Zealand U16 Girls

Ella Bradley – Waikato Basketball Council

Isabelle Cook – Taranaki Country Basketball Association

Gracie Hasler-Ewin – North Harbour Basketball

Charlisse Leger-Walker – Waikato Basketball Council

Jordyn Maddix – North Harbour Basketball

Caitlin O’Connell – Taranaki Country Basketball Association

Sharne Pupuke-Robati – Counties Manukau Basketball

Briarley Rogers – Tauranga City Basketball Association

Rosalia Samia – Basketball Hawkes Bay

Rashaan Smith – North Harbour Basketball

New Zealand U16 ‘A’ Girls

Olivia Avery – Nelson Basketball Association

Tayla Dalton – North Harbour Basketball

Mareta Davidson – North Harbour Basketball

Parehuia Delamere – North Harbour Basketball

Isabella Elgar – North Harbour Basketball

Emily Knight – Canterbury Basketball Association

Koha Lewis – Waikato Basketball Council

Eniselina Pale – Marlborough Basketball Association

Ashlee Strawbridge – Basketball Mid Canterbury

Moanekah Va’ai – Basketball Auckland

New Zealand U16 Men

Shalom Broughton – Tauranga City Basketball Association

Tom Cowie – Southland Basketball Association

Mitchell Dance – North Harbour Basketball

Joseph Hylton – North Harbour Basketball

Kainoa Lepou – Waikato Basketball Council

Logan McIntosh – North Harbour Basketball

Jared Thornton – Taranaki Country Basketball Association

Morgan Trott – Taranaki Country Basketball Association

Ezrah Vaigafa – Wellington Basketball Association

Marvin Williams – Basketball Auckland

New Zealand U16 ‘A’ Men

Tyler Auelua – Wellington Basketball Association

Emmerson Kavakura – Wellington Basketball Association

Cullen Marsters – Waikato Basketball Council

Corban Mason – Waikato Basketball Council

Louis Oskam – Canterbury Basketball Association

Anzac Rissetto – Nelson Basketball Association

Colin Robins – Canterbury Basketball Association

Jacob Tawhiao – Hibiscus Coast Basketball Association

Reihana Topia-Maxwell – North Harbour Basketball

Nathan Walker – Southland Basketball Association

Edmondson and Wallbutton head overseas performances


A double double for Toni Edmondson

The performances of the week amongst our international basketball players overseas belonged to the two Western Australian based Tall Ferns, Toni Edmondson and Lisa Wallbutton.

Playing for Perry Lakes Hawks in the Western Australian State League Edmondson produced 14 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots as the Hawks beat Mandurah Magic 66-56 on Friday.

It was a tight first half but Perry Lakes, now 5-1 for the season, broke the game open in the third quarter with 21 points to 9 to set up the win despite a strong fourth period from Mandurah.

Perth Redbacks had lost two games on the trot but bounced back on ANZAC Day to defeat East Perth Eagles 76-59. Lisa Wallbutton also recorded a double double notching 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Redbacks improve to 4-2 on the season holding fifth spot on the State League ladder a couple of places behind the 5-1 Hawks.

In Melbourne Tall Ferns Head coach Kennedy Kereama’s Sunbury Jets moved to 6-0 for the season in Big V League Division one action.

On Saturday the Jets were far too strong for Hawthorn cruising to a 67-38 one-sided win

Tall Ferns forward Jess Bygate had 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist in 16 minutes for the Jets as she eases back towards full fitness.

Europe – Women

After winning the Serie A regular season title a couple of weeks ago Le Murra Lucca opened their play-off campaign with a comfortable 85-62 quarter final victory over Napoli on Wednesday.

Played at the Pala Tagliate Lucca opened an 8-0 lead and were never threatened. Jillian Harmon (15 points) was one of five Lucca players in double figures.

Game two was played in Naples on Sunday. That was a lower scoring affair, although the result was the same, Lucca winning 68-47 with Harmon contributing 8 points as they progress to a semi-final meeting with Venezia next weekend.

Europe –Men

Zaragoza moved to equal 14th on the Liga Endesa table after defeating bottom placed Gipuzkoa in San Sebastian 84-75 on Sunday. Isaac Fotu had a relatively quiet game scoring 8 points (converting four from eight shots) and also securing a couple of rebounds.

Next week Zaragoza will entertain Fotu’s former club Manresa, both sides holding an identical 10-19 record for the season.

Rob Loe only played 18 minutes for Limburg United in the Belgium Scooore League fixture with Proximus Spirou on Sunday but it was long enough for him to grab a game high 7 rebounds. The former Westlake Boys centre also produced 4 points and an assist, steal and block as Limburg lost 90-76.

United are now tied for fourth place with Port of Antwerp Giants in the Scooore League. The two teams meet next week at Limburg with just a couple of rounds remaining before play-off action. With the current standing unlikely to alter in the last two rounds the game is a likely precursor to a quarter-final match up between the two teams.

Tom Abercrombie’s club Pinar Karsiyaka had its scheduled game against Galatasaray deferred for a couple of weeks. Galatasaray are in the midst of a two game Eurocup Final series against Strasbourg trailing 66-62 from the first leg. Game two is in Istanbul on Wednesday.S

Post game comments from Rangers v Hawks encounter


Corey Webster made an immediate impact for the James Blond Super City Ranges in his first game for the team since his signing last Tuesday.

Off the bench Webster led all scorers with 29, had five steals and four turnovers, assisting the Rangers to their 99-88 victory and at the same time sending the Indigo Hawks to their ninth straight loss at AUT North Shore  on Friday night.

The Hawks led after the first quarter 27-24 as the Rangers ran into foul trouble towards the end of the period allowing the Hawks to capitalise from the charity stripe.
The lead was maintained by the Hawks through most of the second quarter before Webster showed his brilliance from the arc to pull the local team out to a 52-46 advantage at the break.

The fast pace of the game continued into the third period with Eric Devendorf, who ended the game with 24, teaming up well with Terrance Roberts.

Given possession Hawks sole import Kareem Johnson’s low post moves were hard to stop. Johnson scored 23 for the game plus 11 rebounds with Luke Aston and Arthur Trousdell both on 12.
The Rangers were eight ahead into the final ten minutes but this quickly changed with Webster stealing possession at will and converting uncontested. The Hawks through Ashton, Alonzo Burton and Paora Wnitana tried to rescue the situation from the outside but the Rangers held on for victory. Egged on by the spectators the Rangers tried to score a ton but the ball just wouldn’t drop and Johnson and Joseph Blas had the final say scoring the final seven points of the game.

Jeff Green was pleased with the win and the Rangers great defensive effort ahead of a hectic schedule for his team over the next week.
“The way we play we have to play good D because we can score, everyone can score, and add in Corey so that’s a lot easier. So it’s not about whether we can score it’s whether we can stop the other team and that’s the key for us. It always has been right from the word go all season, play some defence and let’s go,” said Green.
He added that Webster was also a perfect fit for the team.
“Corey knows a lot of the guys and we run a lot of the Breakers stuff anyway so it was easy for him. So we just ran the place he knew.”

Webster said that he was using his time with the Rangers to keep in shape for the Tall Blacks.
“I’m here for the rest of the season just using it to stay in shape and we’ve got a tough schedule for Tall Blacks so just get my fitness up and keep playing basketball so I’m happy to be back on the court,” he said.
Webster will be taking part in the Tall Blacks FIBA’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila Philippines in early July.

Captain Dillon Boucher who had six rebounds and four assists was pleased with the teams’ strength right to the end.
“We had the legs in that last quarter we picked up the defensive pressure and felt like we got some good steals and some easy baskets and that blew the lead out which is nice and it gave the starters some chance to rest, ready for tomorrow night’s game,” he said.
Boucher was also pleased with Webster’s performance.
“He’s a real pro and he knows how to score and he made his 29 tonight look effortless and he got his hand on the ball multiple times, and got steals and did a good job. He had a pretty good debut for the team.
“He certainly can put the ball in the hoop that’s one thing he knows how to do. And his defence was good tonight he got after it and created some easy opportunities.”

Kirstin Daly-Taylor coach of the Hawks remained optimistic despite suffering yet another loss this season.
“We played three-quarters really well but just sticking it out with the physicality of the game is just mind blowing when you’ve only got one import, we’re quite small,” she said.
“I’ve been out three years and I have certainly forgotten how physical it is. So I’ve got a bit of work to do with the boys and that understanding part of protect the ball because we certainly gave a lot of ball away,” she added.
Daly-Taylor said there were a number of lessons to take away from the game.
“You want to shoot the ball but sometimes you’ve got to think about shooting, because if we can’t rebound they’re going to get it and go. There were a couple of patches where we didn’t shoot and we attacked and it was just brilliant and that’s how we have to play the Rangers. We’ve got to attack the rim not live or die on the outside shot. It was a really good game for us for us that’s a brilliant score and I’m actually quite happy.”

Gayle in doubt for Canterbury Wildcats

Ashley Gayle 5854_Wildcats_Poster_0802_picmonkeyed

Ashley Gayle has been in dominant form for the Wildcats

In last Sunday’s Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) clash, played at Dunedin’s Edgar Centre against the Otago Gold Rush, Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats centre Ashley Gayle was carried from the court early in the third quarter.

An initial suspected achilles injury was  examined by Crusaders team doctor Deb Robinson, and Gayle was found to have sustained ligament damage only, to her right ankle.

The 6’4” American Gayle is now focused solely on her rehab plan, while her participation in the WBC finals tournament next month remains uncertain. She continues in her community coaching roles around the province.

Gayle’s team won the fixture 59-57 on two clutch free-throws by Tall Fern trialist Terai Sadler with just 4 seconds on the clock. Behind by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, with veteran Sally Farmer playing the centre position in Gayle’s absence, the Canterbury women were able to keep their composure, posting a 21-7 fourth quarter to snatch victory.

The Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats remain unbeaten and alone at the top of the WBC table heading into finals weekend scheduled for 12-14 May in Porirua.

WBC Top 6 Standings ahead of championship play-offs:

9-0 Canterbury Wildcats.
7-2 ACM Lady Hawks.
7-2 Otago.
6-3 Waitakere Lady Rangers, Waikato Wizards

Exciting – One Year to Go

1YTG Sports Partner Graphic

Lucas commits to Tall Ferns


Lucas to remain with Tall Ferns

Tall Ferns assistant coach Chris Lucas has announced that he is stepping down from one of his current coaching roles; fortunately it is not the one involving the Tall Ferns.

The highly credentialed South Australian has recently announced that he is relinquishing his position after five years at the helm of the Townsville Fire. During that time the Fire have enjoyed unprecedented success winning the Australian Women’s National Basketball League championship for the last two seasons after finishing runners-up in the two preceding years.

It has been a tough decision to make but Lucas has spent large parts of the past eight years away from his wife and family in Adelaide as he has pursued his basketball coaching dreams.

“To have had a semi-final, four grand finals and two championships in my time at the club is something that is pretty special and something that I am very proud of.”

“I have had five years in Townsville and three years before that in Canberra and been fortunate enough to have been involved in seven of the last eight WNBL Grand finals. My family have been extremely supportive of my dreams and my passion of coaching women’s basketball and I think this is now the time to give back to them.”

Fortunately for New Zealand basketball Lucas still feels he can commit to this year’s international programme. The Tall Ferns commitment will again take him away from family but only for five or six weeks as the Ferns prepare for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in France in June.

“I have every intention of continuing to be involved in the programme and trying to get through to the Olympics.”

When overlooked by Basketball Australia for their international programme in 2015 Tall Ferns head coach Kennedy Kereama was quick to add Lucas to his coaching team.

“I wanted someone who could challenge me philosophically and someone who has also been in my position as an international head coach. Chris has a wealth of knowledge and to really enhances the Tall Ferns programme,” said Kereama.

Veteran Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks has spent the past five seasons playing under Lucas’ tenure at Townsville and has no doubts about his qualities.

“Chris brings world class experience into the programme. He has been a part of the Australian set up and they are top three in the world so he knows what it takes to win and has an immense understanding and knowledge of the game.

He is passionate and dedicated and will work hard to give the players the best he can.”

Fellow Olympian Lisa Wallbutton also speaks highly of Lucas.

New Zealand v Australia - Women's FIBA Oceania Championship

Lisa Wallbutton 

“Chris is an extremely passionate coach, he has a good analytical eye for the game and his tactical knowledge is one of the strengths he brings to the Tall Ferns programme. Chris brings a winning mentality to the team coming from a very successful programmes in Australia, he knows how to get the best out his players and create a winning culture,” she said.

“I still have a burning desire to help the Tall Ferns achieve the ultimate goal”, said Lucas.

Those words will be music in the ears of Kereama and his 23 player training squad that assemble in Auckland early next month.The full squad is:

Corey Webster joins Rangers

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Four

The James Blond Super City Rangers have announce the signing of Corey Webster for the remainder of the 2016 Bartercard NBL season.  Webster has just returned from a short stint playing for Koroivos in Greece and is keen to return to action.

The shooting guard enjoyed a highly successful 2015-15 ANBL campaign helping the SKY CITY Breakers to their fifth grand final in six years. Webster led the Breakers scoring with 548 points at 19.6 points per game.  Prior to that, Webster enjoyed a highly publicized stint in the NBA, being signed by the New Orleans Pelicans and going deep into their pre-season before ultimately returning to the NZ Breakers.

“I’m excited to be joining the Super City Rangers and thank Coach Green and the organization for making this opportunity available to me. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help promote this league, help the Rangers as much as I can on and off the court, and to best prepare myself for upcoming Tall Blacks commitments.” Said Webster.

Rangers coach Jeff Green has been chasing the signature of the talented shooting guard for a few months and is delighted to finally have got his man.

“This is a coup for our organization, with Corey turning down other opportunities in Europe and elsewhere to commit to the Rangers.  Corey is at the very peak of his career and abilities, and not long ago at all was on an NBA pre-season roster, so it’s a very exciting time at the Rangers and speaks to Corey’s desire to help promote the sport locally rather than simply chase the dollars.

“To add a scorer of Corey’s caliber to an already very good scoring team will give opposing defences major matchup problems.  Corey will compliment what we already have on the offensive end, everyone talks about his offensive skills but he has the ability to play within a defensive system and excel,” added Green

Webster’s Supercity Ranger captain and Breakers boss Dillon Boucher remarked, ”We are all very excited to have Corey in a Rangers uniform, anytime you can have a player like Corey join your team midseason, it is a massive boost. He will not only bring his usual high scoring firepower but also a wealth of high level experience as well”.

The North Shore local last appeared in the Bartercard NBL in 2014 when he played for the championship winning Wellington Saints, averaging 25.8 points per game.

Webster becomes the sixth Rangers player on the roster to have suited for the Tall Blacks alongside current internationals Lindsay Tait, Mika Vukona, Reuben Te Rangi and former New Zealand representatives Dillon Boucher and Brook Ruscoe.

The Rangers next game is against Indigo Hawks at AUT Sports Centre, Friday April 22nd, 2016.

Bailey heading home, Cocks staying put


Duane Bailey should be back in Sharks colours this week

The major news involving Kiwi international players overseas this week is that Duane Bailey is about to depart London bound for Invercargill and Tall Ferns star Micaela Cocks has re signed for Townsville Fire for a further two seasons.

Duane Bailey came close to a triple double for Plymouth Raiders against Glasgow Rocks on Wednesday but it was virtually his last offering in the British Basketball League season.

At the beginning of the week the Raiders shared eighth spot with Leeds Force and had to match the Force record in the final two games of the regular season to make the play-offs. Leeds had the far easier schedule playing the two bottom placed teams, Manchester and Surrey.

However Plymouth were defeated 87-77 on the road at Glasgow Rocks on Wednesday where Bailey had an impressive stat line of 12pts, 10rebs, 7assists, 2 blocks and a steal.

The loss opened the door for Leeds who duly won their final two games and condemned Plymouth to ninth spot despite the Raiders winning their last game, 84-76, at home to Sheffield on Sunday (Bailey, 8 points and 5 rebounds).

Bailey has confirmed that he expects to be back in time to play for Southland Sharks in the New Zealand NBL this week. The Sharks have a tough three games in five days road trip beginning with a visit to Nelson on Thursday. It may be more realistic for Bailey to target the game in Taranaki on Friday. Southland round out the tri-trip against the Saints in Wellington next Monday.

Plymouth finished with a 13-20 record, one win and one place outside the play-off picture.

In other news from Europe Zaragoza was only 6 points behind visitors Gran Canaria at three-quarter time on Sunday but could make little headway in reducing the lead eventually falling 96-87. Isaac Fotu had an efficient shooting night on his way to 14 points and 4 rebounds. The former Rangitoto College standout converted both of his free throws as well as 6 from 9 field goals.

Zaragoza remain 15th on the Liga Endesa table with a 9-19 record but must beat bottom placed Gipuzkoa in San Sebastian next week to avoid becoming embroiled in the relegation battle.

Tom Abercrombie’s club Pinar Karsiyaka had a comfortable 82-60 win against Torku Konyaspor in Turkish League action on Saturday. Abercrombie had 11 points, 2 rebounds a pair of steals and an assist as Karsiyaka consolidate sixth place in the TBL with a 15-11 record. Four rounds remain in the regular season.

Limburg United had a bye in the Belgium League this week giving Rob Loe and his team a weekend off.

Australia – Women


Micaela Cocks staying with Townsville Fire 


In a week when the Tall Ferns 23 player training squad was named it was also announced that Micaela Cocks has signed on for a further two years with Townsville Fire.

The WNBL Grand Final MVP has enjoyed tremendous success at Townsville, the Fire not missing the play-offs in her five years with the club. Cocks has made 129 appearances for the defending champions and is looking forward to further triumphs with the Queensland club.

“I have really enjoyed contributing to the success of the Fire over the past five years and I could think of nothing better than winning a third championship for Townsville and all of our wonderful fans,” Cocks said.

“Townsville is my home away from home now and I’m looking forward to the season ahead. It should be another great year.”

Before that Cocks has the Tall Ferns Olympic Qualifying Tournament to look forward to.

On the court a number of the Tall Ferns training squad were in action at the weekend.

In Western Australia it wasn’t a weekend to remember for the two Tall Ferns playing in the State League.

The Perth Redbacks (3-2) suffered a second successive loss going down 76-68 to Stirling Senators. Lisa Wallbutton finished with a massive 15 rebounds to go with 9 points and a brace of assists. Other than free throws (5 out of 8) it wasn’t the best of shooting nights for the former Harbour forward connecting with just 2 from 13 attempts from the field.

Toni Edmondson also had a shooting night to forget managing a paltry 3 from 15 attempts. The swingman finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists as Perry Lakes (4-1) lost its first game of the season going down in a tight one, 68-67 to Joondalup Wolves.

In Melbourne Tall Ferns Head coach Kennedy Kereama’s Sunbury Jets embarrassed two opponents in Big V League Division one action.

The Jets accounted for Weribee Devils 108-45 on Saturday and Craigieburn Eagles 95-40 on Sunday.

The victories were achieved without much contribution from Jess Bygate who is still nursing an injury.

Europe – Women

Neither Jillian Harmon or Erin Rooney were in action for their respective clubs at the weekend.

Harmon’s Le Murra Lucca await the outcome of the Torino versus Napoli three game series ahead of their Italian League quarter-final tie on April 21.

Rooney’s club Calais had a bye in the French League although it is unclear when the guard will return to action having not played since mid February due to injury.