Just two Kiwis remain active in the Australian Men’s and Women’s National Basketball Leagues and they are both wearing the red of Perth.
Jarrod Kenny and the Perth Wildcats look certain to retain their NBL title having gone 2-0 up in the five game Grand Final series against Illawarra Hawks and Toni Edmondson and Perth Lynx are one win away from returning to the WNBL Grand Final.
The Wildcats produced a composed performance in Wollongong on Wednesday winning 89-77, the same score line that decided game one.
Kenny played his part in marshalling the scoring threat of Hawks shooting guard Rotnei Clarke whilst also managing 4 points, 4 assists and 2 steals in game two.
Game three is back in Perth on Sunday.
The Lynx will also return to the court on Sunday to play the deciding semi-final game against Dandenong Rangers. On Friday the Lynx tied the best of three series at one apiece with a 91-71 victory on their home court.
Edmondson had a shooting night to forget converting just 2 from 12 scoring attempts but her length and athleticism aided the Lynx defence that restricted Dandenong to just 10 points in the final frame. Lynx led 63-61 at the three-quarter mark but powered away in the fourth. Edmondson finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds and a pair of steals.
On the Eastern coast Townsville Fire was defeated 76-61 by Sydney University Flames. The defeat means, for Micaela Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast, their dream of a three-peat is over. Having won the last two WNBL championships the Fire were no match for the Flames beaten convincingly in both semi-final contests.
It wasn’t a night to remember for the Kiwi pair with Paalvast not taking to the floor and Cocks failing to score for the only time this season. She did manage three rebounds and a steal but the season has ended on a disappointing note for the two Tall Ferns guards.