Kiwi Kalani Purcell, in her first season as a professional player, has helped guide Melbourne Boomers to the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Grand Final.
The Boomers finished fourth in the regular season but beat regular season champions Perth Lynx in the best of three semi-final series 2-0.
Purcell scored 8 points in the 92-76 home victory on Wednesday but it was in the second victory (78-69) in Perth on Friday night that she showed her true worth filling the stats line with four points, a game high six assists, six rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks.
Purcell displayed the type of form that she demonstrated in a standout college career at Brigham Young University Cougars (BYU) where in her senior season she averaged 12.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game and holds the all-time record for the most rebounds in a season (416 in 2015-16).
Tall Ferns assistant Guy Molloy coaches the Boomers. A third member from the 2017 Tall Ferns campaign, Rebecca Ott, also features for the Boomers who will meet the winner of the Townsville Fire versus Sydney University Flames match up in the final. Townsville, with Micaela Cocks in their lineup lead that three game series 1-0 with game two to be played today (Saturday) and game three if required on Monday.
The loss by Perth brought to a close another Kiwi’s hopes of a first WNBL title. Toni Farnworth (nee Edmondson) has played ten seasons in the WNBL, the last six in Perth, but her wait for a championship will continue for at least another 12 months.