Kiwis heading for play-off action in Australia

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The major news out of Australia last week concerning New Zealand international players was that Chevannah Paalvast has extended her stay with the Townsville Fire for a further year.

Having secured a championship during her maiden season in the WNBL the 24-year-old Tall Fern will return to the Fire looking to establish herself as one of the competition’s premier lock-down defenders.

During limited minutes for the Fire last season, Paalvast showed glimpses of her international form.

“I’m extremely happy to have signed with the Fire once again,” Paalvast said.

“It’s great to be back playing with some amazing teammates and coaches and to be able to stay in this community.

“It’s a great place to play basketball,” added the former Waitakere player.

During the WNBL ‘off season’ Paalvast has remained in Townsville playing in the Queensland Basketball League where she is averaging 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Townsville Flames.

She didn’t quite match those numbers on Saturday although the Flames did take care of business beating Sunshine Coast Rip 74-68.

Paalvast added 4 assists to 6 points as the Flames head into their final regular season game holding equal second spot on the ladder with two other teams.

Over in Perth both Lisa Wallbutton and Toni Edmondson will be involved in State League quarter-final action next week.

Edmondson came extremely close to a rare triple double recording 16 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists as Perry Lakes Hawks downed Kalamunda Eastern Suns 94-72.

Wallbutton was also in fine form nabbing 14 points and 12 rebounds but Perth Redbacks went down 77-65 to Willetton Tigers.

The quarter-finals will be best of three affairs with Perry Lakes facing Mandurah Magic and the Redbacks up against Rockingham Flames.

In Melbourne the Sunbury Jets have earned themselves a week’s holiday!

The Kennedy Kereama coached Jets finished the Big V First Division regular season with an unblemished 20-0 record after two one sided victories at the weekend.

On Saturday it was top versus bottom and the outcome was predictable as the Jets crushed Craigieburn 101-47. It was a little closer on Sunday but the Jets still rumbled over Keilor Thunder 90-56.

Tall Ferns forward Jess Bygate had 10 points and 5 rebounds against Craigieburn and 5pts/7rebs against the Thunder.

The Jets now get to put their feet up and watch the teams placed 3-6 in the league play-off for semi-final spots at the weekend.

Duane Bailey appears to be finding fitness and form at the right time of the season in Brisbane. The former Tall Black scored 13 points and snared 8 rebounds as the Brisbane Spartans staged a come from behind 93-81 victory against Albury Wodonga Bandits after trailing 45-33 at half-time.

With two rounds to play in the SEABL regular season the Spartans boast a 14-7 record and have secured second place on the Eastern Division table ahead of the play-offs later in August.

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