Monthly Archives: October 2017

Corey Webster in good form in Israel






Corey Webster celebrated being named in the Tall Blacks squad for the upcoming international fixture against Korea with a game high 23 point as Ironi Nahariya beat Bnei Hertzeliya 95-82 in the Israeli League.

Webster shot the three ball particularly well connecting with 4 from 8 attempts taking his season tally in four games to 15 from 29 at an impressive 52%.

Nahariya move to 3-1 in the early stages of the season.

In Germany Frankfurt Skyliners lost just their second game of the season going down 72-60 to Bayern Munich. Tai Webster scored 9 points in the defeat as the Skyliners slip to 5-2 for the season but still remain in the top three in the Bundesliga.

Also in Germany Ratiopharm Ulm had a much needed win beating Eisbaeren Bremerhaven 85-77 to improve their record to 2-5.

Isaac Fotu only scored two points but he was a major presence at the defensive end for Ulm snaring 9 rebounds and 3 steals.

Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam – Round 1 wrap


ABSL-Summer-Jam-2017The fifth season of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam began on Saturday at the Breakers training facility in Mairangi Bay.

In the opening round of the Men’s competition there were wins for The Birdmen and Railsplitters and on the Women’s side it was Storm and Team Sky that prevailed.

Railsplitters had twenty point contributions from Jaylen Gerrand, Hyrum Harris and Breakers and Tall Blacks forward James Hunter.

Railsplitters actually trailed at quarter time with triples from Liam Thornton, Counties guard Luke Kelemete and Manny Matambanadzo propelling 68A Nelson Street to a 27-24 lead.

Nelson Street young guns Jayden Boucher and Kelemete dropped a couple of baskets apiece but Railsplitters were well served by the ‘H-Attack’, Harris and Hunter – 11 points and 7 points respectively in the second stanza as the Splitters led 61-51 at half-time.

Thornton, Derone Raukawa and Dillon Boucher kept chipping away but four triples from the hot hand of Gerrand at the back end of the third extended the Railsplitters lead to 96-78 at three-quarter time and they had little problem maintaining their advantage through the fourth.

 Railsplitters 128 – Hunter 23, Gerrand 22, Harris 21, Green 12, Samson Aruwa 12, BJ Anthony 11

68A Nelson Street 109 – Thornton19, Raukawa 19, Kelemete 15, Matambanadzo 13, Fesolai 12, Haku 9

In the second game a disappointing Breakers Development were overrun 117-77 by the Birdmen despite 22 points from forward Will Heather.

The early signs were promising for Breakers as Mitchell Dance, Tom Higgins and Kruz Perrott-Hunt helped forge a 21-20 lead although a Kevin Braswell special – best described as a running fade away Jump shot off the left foot – found the basket to give the Birdmen a 29-26 lead at the end of the first period.

Braswell and Mexican guard Juan Cruz Colla were fizzing in the second quarter and when Clinton landed a buzzer-beater from well inside his own half the Birdmen had flown out to a commanding 62-41 half-time lead.

Higgins and Heather converted triples for the Breakers in the third but Quinn Clinton, Matt Lacey, Nick Barrow and Anthony Jones ripped shreds in the Breakers defence as the Birdmen took flight to lead 92-59 with ten minutes to play.

The final period was not quit so one sided as the third but it was still very comfortable for the Birdmen.

The Birdmen 117 – Clinton 27 Barrow 22, Braswell 17, Lacey 12, Gardner 10, Jones 10

Breakers Development 77 – Heather 22, Higgins 15, Dance 11, Perrott-Hunt 8

The Women’s competition provided the comeback of the day – well almost!

Sparks found themselves well adrift as Storm did literally that – stormed into a 22-4 lead as Shauna Povey, Emme Shearer and Olivia Berry cut loose.

Some of the lead was trimmed at the tail end of the first quarter and with a much better showing in the second – threes from Mikayla Blair and Alyesha Schuster helped – Sparks were back in the hunt at half-time trailing 46-39.

Povey and Millie Nathan shared all the Storm points in the third quarter; a quarter split 13 points apiece – 59-52 at the last break.

Sparks drew within a point with a 6-0 run as Blair, Sophie Dil and Rikki Fiatau found some offensive fluency.

Alanna Hughes countered but a Blair three; her third of the game, kept Sparks in touch, trailing 73-65.

Fiatau reeled off three baskets and Mareta Davidson a brace but Storm weathered the late charge with Povey, Shearer and Berry sharing the last dozen points for Sparks.

Storm 77 – Povey 23, Shearer 17, Berry 10, Nathan 10, Theyers 7

Sparks 72 – Blair 18, Fiatau 16, Davidson 15, Schuster 8

Sky were too good for Suns in the second game with guard Riana Rangi-Brown accumulating 35 points, the largest points haul of the day. Thirteen of those came in the first period to help Sky to a 27-17 lead in the first frame.

Luye Murphy heated up for the Suns with 13 second quarter points that included three triples but Sky still held a 47-35 lead at half-time.

That lead exploded in the third with Breana Jones unleashing some triples of her own and Ashleigh Kelman-Poto dominating inside. Add in a couple of nice scores from Summer-Jean Motufoua and Sky were over the horizon at the last break leading 76-51.

Murphy and the Jenkins sisters, Annabelle and Tabitha, kept the scoreboard ticking over for Suns but it was Sky that took the hounours.

Sky 110 – Rangi-Brown 35, Kelman-Poto 23, Jones 18, Motufoua 13

Suns 82 – Murray 28, A Jenkins 25, T Jenkins 9

NZ U17 Women beaten by China in Bronze medal game


It wasn’t the result NZ U17 Women were looking for but to come away from the Asian Champs with a ticket clipped for the 2018 World Cup is an outstanding achievement.

Here is the wrap on the Bronze Medal game.

read here

Japan too good for NZ in Asian Champs semi-final


New Zealand U17 Women will take on China Later today (Saturday) in the Asian Championships Bronze Medal game.

New Zealand, despite a 22 points haul from the classy Charlisse Leger-Walker, were outgunned by a slick Japanese outfit in the semi-final game overnight.

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NZ U17 Women can plan for 2018 World Cup


NZ U17 Women still have the small matter of an Asian Champs semi-final to play overnight against Japan – tip-off 1.15am Saturday morning – but the initial goal of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup was ticked off in style in Bangalore last night.

For once the team didn’t have to rely on the mercurial talents of Charlisse Leger-Walker as the Kiwis won their quarter-final tie 80-52 against Thailand.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati was immense in the first half with Wellington forward Paris Lokotui demonstrating her considerable potential in the second frame.

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2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Preview


The Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam begins its fifth season on Saturday with games being played at the Breakers training facility, 7 Atlas Place Mairangi Bay.

Entry is free for spectators with games played at 2pm and 4pm each Saturday for the next eight weeks with the final of both the Women’s and Men’s tournaments set down for December 16.

Tournament manager Lindsay Tait has placed an emphasis on youth for the 2017 event although there are still places for former internationals Dillon Boucher, Hayden Allen, Brooke Ruscoe, BJ Anthony and, in the women’s competition, ex Tall Fern Amanda Buck.

Add current Tall Blacks James Hunter and Derone Raukawa to a swag of Junior Tall Blacks past and present and there are the makings of an exciting competition.

The Men’s tournament begins with a match up between 68a Nelson Street and Railsplitters.

68a Nelson Street, named as such in memory of the basketball hotbed that was Youthtown before its demolition, will feature Boucher senior, playing alongside his son Jayden. NBL players Ana Haku, Carl Buck and Raukawa will add depth to 68a as will Breakers Development player Mitch Newton.

Railsplitters will also have plenty of NBL talent on display with Hayden Allen joined by Anthony, Hyrum Harris and Dan Green. When available, they will also be able to call on Breakers and Southland Sharks forward James Hunter.

Suiting up for The Birdmen in the second game on Saturday will be Junior Tall Blacks star Quinn Clinton who will join a handy back court that will also include Brooke Ruscoe and Matt Lacey. They will also have some decent rebounding power with Nick Barrow, Dom Kelman-Poto, Tipene Friday and American Brandon Lucas pounding the boards.

The Birdmen will face off against the Breakers Academy that boasts a posse of junior internationals including Dan Fotu, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, James Moors, Tom Higgins, Thabo Manyere and Will Heather.

The Women’s competition will also have some senior players to compliment an abundance of young talent. The Sparks versus Storm fixture will open the competition at 2pm.

Mikayla Blair and Shanee Kiriau will lead the Sparks with assistance in the backcourt from Jada Manase and Ramona Fuaivaa.

The Westlake pair of Sophie Dill and Mareta Davidson will shoulder some rebounding responsibility in the absence of Sharne Pupuke-Robati, still on international duty with the NZ U17 team in India.

Storm will also be a player light for its opening fixture with Tall Fern Deena Franklin currently in Mongolia with the NZ team at the 3×3 Asia Cup.

In her absence Stevee Theyers will guide the team that includes Shauna Povey, Emme Shearer and the Rangitoto College duo Bella Elgar and Gracie Hasler.

Former Tall Fern point guard Amanda Buck will be driving team Sky with Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and NZ U18 international Keeley Tini in the front court. St Kentigern College standout Summer-Jean Motufoua will back up Buck with Riana Rangi-Brown and Hannah Wentworth also lining up in the guard spots.

In the 4pm game Team Sky will take on the Suns that boast a pair of sisters in its squad. The more experienced Tabitha and Annabelle Jenkins will join the St Mary’s College pair of Jazzmyne and Zaaliyah Kallahi-Fulu.

Morgan Ili and Anna Lacey will add some veteran know-how to the Suns lineup.

Career high 26 points for Isaac Fotu




Despite a career high 26 points from Isaac Fotu, Ratiopharm Ulm stumbled to its fifth German League defeat of the season going down 98-83 at Oldenburg.

Fotu put together an impressive shooting display knocking down 10 from 12 shots from the field including both his efforts from beyond the three point arc. He was also 100% from the foul line hitting all four freebies.

Ulm is now 1-5 in the Bundesliga, a hugely disappointing start for last season’s regular season champions.

Corey Webster had an equally impressive display in the Israeli League scoring 21 points including 5 from 9 from the land of plenty as Ironi Nahariya came away from Hapoel Eilat with the spoils, winning 86-72.

Not content with a handy points haul the Tall Blacks shooting guard dished a game high 8 assists as Nahariya move to 2-1 in the early stages of the season.

Back in Germany, Frankfurt Skyliners picked up win number five with a tight 72-68 victory against Bayreuth.

Tai Webster had a quiet outing by his recent standards scoring just 8 points as the Skyliners improve to 5-1 for the campaign.

NZ U17 Women one win away from World Championship qualification


It took a couple of blockbuster performances from Charlisse Leger-Walker and Sharne Pupuke-Robati to see off a determined Chinese Taipei outfit.

Double-doubles from the pair drove the ’17’s to a hard fought 71-66 win.

Game report here

Purcell and Boomers travelling well but not such a good week for other Tall Ferns


Melbourne Boomers with a trio of Tall Ferns representatives, Kalani Purcell, Rebecca Ott and coach Guy Molloy, sit atop the Australian WNBL with a 4-1 record.

The Boomers latest success was a tense 79-77 victory against Perth Lynx. Purcell notched 9 points to accompany 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in the win.

Unfortunately Ott has joined Perth Lynx swingman and Tall Ferns teammate Toni Farnworth on the injury list. Ott has a stress fracture of the fibula and will be sidelined for at least a month. Farnworth continues to rehab a fractured wrist with no date confirmed for her return to action.

It was a bad round for Micaela Cocks and Townsville Fire. The Fire went down 66-63 at home to defending champions Sydney Flames on Thursday and were then licked 86-69 on Saturday at Dandenong.

Cocks saw plenty of minutes for the Fire but only totaled 3 points, 4 rebounds and a brace of assists over the two games.

In Italy Napoli slipped to a third straight loss going down 75-61 at Ragusa. Jillian Harmon had a game high 13 rebounds and also dished 5 assists for Napoli. However it wasn’t the best of shooting games from the Tall Ferns forward as she connected with just 2 of 11 attempts from the field to finish with 9 points.

Napoli is languishing in 9th spot in the 10 team Italian League with a 1-3 record.

NZ U17 Women thump Korea at Asia Champs


Following the defeat at the hands of Australia yesterday the NZ U17 Women got its Asian Champs campaign back on track in Bangalore.

The Kiwis built on a half time lead of 47-27 to run out comfortable winners.

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