Monthly Archives: July 2017

Tall Ferns beat North Korea

New Team shot

It was a little ugly at times but the Tall Ferns, on the back of a standout performance from Jillian Harmon, secured an important 71-50 Asia Cup victory over DPR of Korea in Bangalore on Monday.

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Harmon outstanding but China too good for Tall Ferns

Tall ferns

Despite 14 points from forward Jillian Harmon China proved too good for the Tall Ferns in the Kiwis opening game at the FIBA Asia Cup in Bangalore.

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Tall Ferns Asia Cup preview


The Tall Ferns are now in Bangalore ahead of their Asia Cup opener against China early on Monday morning.

What are their chances of a top four finish and a place in the 2018 Fiba World Cup

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NZ Under 17 Men off to the Philippines

u17 camp web photo

The Aon New Zealand Under 17 team has been officially named today ahead of their tour of the Philippines, departing on Wednesday.

They will be traveling to Manilla in preparation for the Under 16 FIBA Asia Championships, to be held in October although FIBA has yet to announce the host nation.

The Kiwi’s will be hosted by Ateneo University, which is one of the highest profile universities in the Philippines, known for its academic and sporting reputation.

The visit has been made possible through the help of Tab Baldwin. The former Tall Blacks coach has established himself in the Philippines since 2014, where he was appointed head coach of the famous Gilas, the national Filipino team.

Baldwin has since stepped down from the Gilas Head Coach role. While he still advises the Filipino national programme, his coaching duties have been employed by Ateneo University as the schools premiere’s men’s basketball coach.

Head Coach of the Aon New Zealand Under 17 team, Dave Bublitz, says Tab Baldwin has been instrumental in arranging this amazing opportunity for this young New Zealand team.
“Tab has set up an eight day programme consisting of seven games against local universities, high schools and two games against the Filipino National U 16 team.
“The squad will stay, eat and play in the University compound. The athletes will experience the style of basketball that they will most likely come up against in the FIBA Asia Championship, as well as acclimatizing to the local cuisine and the different levels of heat and humidity.
“It is an exciting opportunity for the athletes to cement their spots for the Asia Champs in October.”

Aon New Zealand Under 17 Men’s Squad:

· Shalom Broughton (Tauranga Basketball Association)
· Tom Cowie (Southland Basketball Association)
· Mitchell Dance (Harbour Basketball Association)
· Haven Dixon (Wellington Basketball Association)
· Hayen Druce (Harbour Basketball Association)
· Kainoa Lepou (Waikato Basketball Association)
· Cullen Marsters (Waikato Basketball Association)
· Louis Oskam Waitaha (Canterbury Basketball Association)
· Sharne Perham (Rotorua Basketball Association)
· Te Tuaio Rautangata (Waikato Basketball Association)
· Anzac Rissetto (Auckland Basketball Services Ltd)
· Jaylin To’o (Waikato Basketball Association)
· Marvin Williams-Dunn (Auckland Basketball Services Ltd)

· David Bublitz – Head Coach
· Doug Courtney – Assistant Coach
· Aaron Young – Assistant Coach and Stats
· Delwyn Whale – ManagerNZ Under 17’s

Cal Berkley v NZ Premier’s coming soon


Sunday August 13th, 4.00pm at North Shore Events Centre is a date, time and place New Zealand Basketball fans should put in their diary.

It is not very often we get an American college team of the calibre of the University of California,Berkley visiting our shores. The Golden Bears, with Tall Fern Penina Davidson in their lineup, are playing just one game in New Zealand.

It is an opportunity not only to see Cal but also some of New Zealand’s most talented players including Tall Ferns Deena Franklin and Georgia Agnew (both Harbour Breeze), Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards), Connie Poletti (Canterbury Wildcats and Sariah Penese (Capital Flyers) in action.

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Mixed bag for NZ U16’s and U18’s have to settle for silver


It was medal games for three of our four international teams on Saturday.

Both the Men’s and Women’s teams faced Australia in the Gold Medal Games at the FIBA Oceania Champs in Guam but both had to settle for second place.

The women were competitive throughout going down 81-60 whilst the Men, seriously outsized lost 93-55.

U18 Men

Only Oscar Oswald, named in the Tournament Five, and Kruz Perrott-Hunt provided the Aussies with any problems. Oswald finished with 20 points and 6 rebounds on an impressive 8 from 10 shooting night. Perrott-Hunt landed 5 from 11 attempts on his way to 12 points.

The Kiwis were smashed 49-33 on the boards and were also forced into 27 turnovers.

Meanwhile in Perth the U16 Boys went down 95-83 against Victoria Metro in the bronze medal game at the U16 Australian Championships. The Girls reversed the losing trend finishing a creditable fifth after beating New South Wales Country 73-54.

U18 Women

In Guam the Women made a promising start shading the first quarter 23-2

Hutt Valley’s Leah Mafua splashed a couple of shots early in the second but Australia were ahead 30-27 at the mid point of the second.

Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 5 straight points to tie things up at 32 each but Australia scored the last seven points in the half to lead 39-32 at the main break.

Charlotte Whittaker scored inside as did Tsubasa Nisbet but Australia stretched its lead to double figures and beyond – 50-38 at which point coach Jody Cameron called a timeout.

Leger-Walker scored in transition but the momentum was with Australia and despite scores from Lauryn Hippolite and Nisbet led 59-44 at three-quarter time.

The NZ scoring ground to a halt in the early stages of the fourth and they soon found themselves twenty points adrift.

To their credit NZ didn’t allow the lead to blow out but giving up 21 offensive rebounds and only converting 2 from 21 triples will be stats the coaching staff will look to address before the Asian Champs next year.

Whittaker (14pts), Mafua (11pts/6rebs) and Leger-Walker (21pts/5rebs/4assists) were outstanding in a losing cause.

U16 Boys

The Under 16 Boys trailed Victoria Metro 45-39 at half time – the dependable Mac Stodart with 15 points and Harry Payne on 10 points.

NZ shaded the third by a basket – 69-65 with ten minutes to play -Stodart playing a sterling hand with 14 points in the period.

The Vics took the game away from NZ with a 7-0 burst to open the fourth and were never threatened thereafter.

Stodart finished an impressive tournament with a game high 35 points (he averaged 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game). Payne was next best with 16 points at 18 points per outing. Reihana Maxwell-Topia had 9 points in this one and averaged 7.3 points and 9.1 rebounds while point guard Ezrah Vaigafa threatened a triple double with 8 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.

Coach Cameron commented, “ I was pleased with the intensity and commitment our girls played with tonight. We had a few calls not go our way, however we missed a lot of shots and struggled to keep them of the defensive boards in the second half. We’ll look forward to preparing for the FIBA U18 Asian Champs next year.”

U16 Girls

The Girls led New South Wales Country 31-29 at the interval with eight players on the scoresheet, captain Ashlee Strawbridge the most on 6 points.

Aon New Zealand Under 16 Girls team 2017.jpgThey then proceeded to dominate the third stanza 22-11 – Emme Shearer and Caitlin O’Connell scoring all but three of the points between them.

The Kiwis didn’t allow NSW a sniff in the final period and finished the tournament strongly after being knocked out at the quarter-final stage.

Shearer led all scorers with 20 points (averaged 12 points per game), O’Connell had 11 points and Parris Mason 10 points.

Waita Jennings was strong with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists with the teams leading rebounders Jess Moors (6 rebs) and Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (8pts/9rebs) also to the fore.

NZ U18’s deal Samoa twin defeats but U16 Boys beaten


It was a double dose of Samoa for New Zealand Under 18 Men and Women in the semi-finals of the FIBA Under 17 Oceania Championships in Guam on Saturday.

The Men were first on the floor and after a tentative first half put their collective feet on the accelerator to win 96-58.

Canterbury guard Max de Geest landed a couple of first quarter threes to help New Zealand to a 22-12 opening stanza lead.

Samoa closed to within five (36-31) late in the second but a three from Palmy North’s Cooper Boyce-Towler in the shadows of half-time gave NZ a 42-34 lead at the interval. De Geest (8 pts) and Kruz Perrott-Hunt (7pts) led the Kiwi scoring effort at the break.

Back to back baskets from Matt O’Connell took NZ out to 54-36 four minutes into the third period. The lead stretched to twenty points when Perrott-Hunt converted from beyond the arc – Isaac Faamausili in transition and Joseph Ahie from the perimeter capped off a fine stretch for NZ ahead 74-42 at three-quarter time.

The final quarter was purely academic as New Zealand prepare for Australia in the Final on Saturday – a place in the 2018 Asia Champs already assured.

De Geest with 19 points (5/9 3PG) led the NZ scoring as Perrott-Hunt O’Connell, Faamausili and Oscar Oswald all made double digit contributions.




The New Zealand Women’s team are also heading to the Asia Champs after defeating Samoa 81-36 in their semi-final.

Samoa led 13-11 after a scrappy, low scoring opening quarter before Lauryn Hippolite and Charlisse-Leger Walker broke the Samoan defensive shackles to forge a 23-15 lead.

Three consecutive Charlotte Whittaker buckets kept NZ in the ascendancy but Samoa were still in the hunt at half-time trailing 35-19. The Cantabrian duo of Hippolite (8pts) and Whittaker (12pts) led the scoring effort at the interval.

Tsubasa Nisbet and Leah Mafua extended the NZ lead and with Whittaker dominating the defensive boards the advantage began to grow – 49-21 at the mid point of the second.

Hippolite landed back to back threes as the Kiwi lead reached alarming proportions for Samoan fans – 60-23 at three-quarter time – no way back for Samoa in the fourth.

Whittaker (22p/11r) and Nisbet (10p/12r) both finished with double doubles while Mafua, Hippolite and Charlisse Leger-Walker made double figure contributions.

Like the Men it will be Australia to play in the final on Saturday.


The New Zealand Boys made a fast start in their semi-final encounter with Queensland South at the U16 Australian State Champs, the Kiwis out to a 51-43 half-time lead – Harry Payne (15pts) and Mac Stodart (13pts) leading the way.

A disappointing third quarter ensued as New Zealand was outscored 20-11 to trail 63-62 at the last break. – Reihana Maxwell-Topia scoring seven of the eleven points.

When NZ slipped 8 points behind three minutes into the final stanza coach Zico Coronel needed a timeout.

Stodart scored after the restart but the boys in black soon slipped ten points behind – the Kiwis looked out of gas.

Stodart and Maxwell-Topia scored on consecutive plays but NZ were still 9 down with three to play.

Sam Jenkins made a three as did Payne – Queensland’s turn for a timeout leading 84-78 with 54 seconds to play.

Queensland converted free throws from the ensuing possession and New Zealand’s quest for a grand-final place was buried going down 87-80.

Payne and Stodart scored 21 points apiece, Maxwell-Topia had a double double of 14 points and 11 rebounds while Ezrah Vaigafa was busy with 10 assists and 5 steals.

A bronze medal game awaits the team on Saturday against Victoria Metro

The Under 16 Girls will play-off for 5th and 6th after defeating Western Australia Metro in the late game on Friday.

NZ were well served by Rotorua’s Waita Jennings who came up with a double double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Caitlin O’Connell scored 13 points and the J Squad got on the boards again – Jazz Kailahi-Fulu nabbed 10 rebounds (plus 12 points) and Jess Moors secured nine.

They meet NSW Country on Saturday.

NZ Boys beat NSW at U16 State Champs but Girls defeated


While the New Zealand Under 18 Men and Women were enjoying a day off in tropical Guam the Under 16’s were still hard at work in Perth.

It was quarter-finals day at the U16 Australian State Champs with the Girls facing No 1 ranked Victoria Metro in the late game and the Boys up against New South Wales Metro.

It is not often New Zealand finish top of their pool at a State Champs but that is exactly what the Zico Coronel coached Boys team did. Their reward was not one they probably expected at the outset – a match up against traditional powerhouse New South Wales Metro.

No NSW team is a poor one – and although they finished fourth in their pool they would be dangerous opponents.

And so it proved as New Zealand were forced to come from 7 points down – 59-52 early in the final period.

Mac Stodart then scored the next 5 points followed by a brace of baskets from Harry Payne to tie the scores with 7 minutes to play – 61 points each.

Stodart and Sam Jenkins landed threes and crucially 6 from 8 free throws were sunk as the boys in black outscored the Sky Blues 13-5 in the closing minutes to win 74-68.

Earlier the first half was tight – NSW 38-35 ahead at the interval. Payne joined Stodart on nine points at the break with Reihana Maxwell-Topia next best on six.

An even third stanza kept the difference at three points – 55-52 with Stoddart and Payne again the main providers for the Kiwis.

The pair finished with 26 and 20 points respectively – point guard Ezrah Vaigafa a useful 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists as the Kiwis progressed to the semi-final.

The Under 16 Girls went down 67-48 to the highly fancied Victoria Metro in their quarter-final tie.

New Zealand trailed in each quarter- 31-18 at half-time and 51-30 at the three-quarter mark before edging the last frame by two points.

Waiata Jennings put together an impressive stats line of 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 7 steals. Emme Shearer was also in double figures with 10 points and Sophie Adams notched 9 points.

The New Zealand effort was hampered by 34 turnovers, the girls now playing for spots 5-8 on Friday and Saturday.

More good news from NZ U18 and U16 camps

There were more good results for the New Zealand age group teams playing abroad on Wednesday as the Under 16 Boys gained the distinction of ending pool play as top dogs and both U18 teams eased into the semi-finals.


We are used to classing ourselves as underdogs on the international stage due to our relatively small population.

However on Day 3 of the 2017 Fiba Under 17 Oceania Championships in Guam the New Zealand Women’s team could regard themselves as big shots and certainly favourites.

They faced Palau and I have to confess I had no idea where in the Pacific this tiny nation is located. A quick search on Google Maps and you find Palau nearer the Philippines than any of its major Oceania neighbours.

Boasting a population of just 27,000 – approximately the same as Levin – the Palauans, not surprisingly, were no match for the Kiwis outclassed 135-8.

Thirty five steals attained by New Zealand emphasized the gulf in ability as seven players helped themselves to double digit scores led by Wellingtonian Lawrin Tipene (26pts), Cantabrian Tsubasa Nisbet (21pts) and Harbours Keeley Tini (20pts).

The win means the team finished pool play with a 3-0 record and advance to a semi-final match up with Samoa on Friday.


The Men also advanced to a semi-final encounter with Samoa after thumping the Marshall Islands 125-33. The Marshall Islands are big compared with Palau having a population as large as Whangerai!!

Canterbury guard Max de Geest led the way with 19 points and others to make double figure contributions were Joseph Ahie (15pts), Kruz Perrott-Hunt (13pts), Taiaroa Flavell (13pts), Matt O’Connell (11pts) and Tom Higgins (10pts).

Both teams have a day off on Thursday.

The NZ Under 16 Girls had a win and a loss on Day 4 of the Australian state Champs in Perth. In the morning they defeated Northern Territory 79-49 but in the later game went down in overtime – 75-69 against South Australia Metro.

Mid Canterbury’s Sophie Adams scored 15 points and Waikato’s Dominique Stephens 14 points to lead the scoring against NT.

All 10 players featured in the scoring column as coach Natalie Visger shared out the court time mindful that the team faced a more challenging opponent in the shape of South Australia Metro later in the day.

That decision proved to be sound as an overtime encounter eventuated. It was close throughout but the Kiwis were outscored 14-8 in the extra five minutes after the scores were locked 61 apiece in regulation.

Emme Shearer led all scorers with 21 points, supported by Stephens and Waita Jennings with 11 points each.

The double J’s led the rebounding count – Jess Moors corralled ten and Jazz Kailahi-Fulu eleven.

The NZ Girls finished fourth in Pool B with a 3-3 record.

Also in a late game the NZ Boys finished top of Pool B with a 5-1 record after comfortably beating Australia Capital Territories 82-54.

Coach Zico Coronel was able to put some of his leading lights on an easy workload allowing Robert Coman to grab extra minutes and lead the team with 18 points. Taine Murray added 16 points with Cian Emery and Sam Jenkins making a dozen points each.

Another good day at the office for NZ age group teams.

Tuesday was another good day for the New Zealand age group teams playing abroad although the Men in Guam had to work hard for their success.


On Day 2 of the 2017 Fiba Under 17 Oceania Championships the New Zealand Men’s team was given an almighty scare by hosts Guam.

The guard orientated Guam team were a constant threat from the perimeter making 11 from 23 triples at a very respectable 48%.

NZ were far less efficient in that department making just 4 from 13 (31%). In contrast they bossed the boards to the tune of 47 to 28 with Auckland’s Tom Higgins securing 12 of them – plus 14 points.

Guam led early doors 19-16 and were still well in contention at three-quarter time only trailing 65-60. A strong fourth from the Kiwis did the trick – but it wasn’t easy

Isaac Faamausili led the scoring with 15 points (7/9FG) and he was ably assisted by Cooper Boyce-Towler (11pts), Oscar Oswald (10pts/8rebs) and Max De Geest (12pts).


It was a far more straight-forward outing for NZ Women defeating New Caledonia 110-31, having led 65-19 at half-time.

Olivia O’Neill had a unique double double scoring just 2 points but dishing 13 assists to compliment 18 rebounds in the win. Grace Hunter, Amiee Book, Tsubasa Nisbet, Charlotte Whittaker and the Lauryn’s, Mapusua and Hippolite, all managed double figures.

In Perth the NZ Under 16 Boys had a double assignment with the key match up being the morning encounter with Queensland North both teams boasting 3-0 records in Pool B at the Australian State Championships.

The Kiwis looked in control of proceedings with a 71-61 lead early in the fourth quarter but were forced to withstand a fierce Queensland onslaught in the closing stages.

Queensland edged ahead 78-77 with under 4 minutes to play but when point guard Ezrah Vaigafa gave the Kiwis an 84-80 lead with 58 seconds left all looked under control.

However Queensland scored on their next two possessions to tie the game at 84 apiece.

It was left to Rangitoto College and Harbour guard Harry Payne to seal the win connecting with a three with just 4 seconds left to secure a notable win.

Payne led the NZ scoring with 22 points and was ably supported by Vaiagafa (16/8r/4a) and 16 points apiece from Sam Jenkins and Mac Stodart. Southlander Stodart also secured a game high 15 rebounds.

In the late game on Tuesday NZ Boys encountered an over physical South Australia Metro and went down 83-65. Mac Stodart continued his good form with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Harry Payne was next best with 13 points, Ezrah Vaigafa contributed 10 points and Sam Jenkins produced a handy 9 points and 7 rebounds.

New Zealand U16 Girls improved to 2-2 with a 66-50 victory against Queensland North.

A 21-7 opening burst from the Kiwis proved the difference as only two points separated the two sides over the remaining three periods.

Westlake Girls guard Jess Moors led the effort with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Other notable performers included Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (12pts), Sophie Adams (13pts) and Dominique Stephens (6 points and 10 rebounds).