Tall Ferns in good form ahead of trip to Japan and Taiwan


Kalani Purcell – photo credit Fiba

The Tall Ferns team heads to Japan on Tuesday morning with a number of the young, inexperienced squad displaying good club form of late.

On Friday Stella Beck scored 16 points and added 8 rebounds and 4 assists as league leaders Townsville Flames proved too hot for USC Rip City in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) winning 82-66.

Also in the QBL Brooke Blair scored 9 points for Rockhampton Cyclones as they blew away Toowoomba Mountaineers 103-60. Blair is averaging 16 points per outing for the Cyclones.

Kalani Purcell, who will captain the Tall Ferns on the trip, was in double-double form as South West Metro Pirates enjoyed twin successes at the weekend with an 81-72 win against North Gold Coast Seahawks and a 79-70 victory at Brisbane Capitals. Against the Seahawks she racked up 11 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals and was even more dominating against the Capitals(20points, 12 rebounds, 8assists and 5 steals).

Newcomer Ashleigh Karaitiana scored 15 points for Bendigo Lady Braves as they remain unbeaten in SEABL action with a 91-83 win at Geelong Supercats.

Tessa Boagni, Penina Davidson, Alyssa Hirawani, Nicole Ruske and Tera-Akiene Reed have enjoyed a week off since the New Zealand Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) concluded in Dunedin.

Both Ruske and Davidson were named to the WBC All-Star Five. Ruske played a key role for the Gold Rush as they claimed the 2018 WBC title averaging 16.2 points per game.

Davidson, recently graduated from Cal Berkeley, averaged 16.8 points and 14 rebounds per game for Harbour Breeze. Reed, also paying for the Breeze, averaged 23 points per outing.

Hirawani, despite carrying an ankle injury, still averaged 16.2 points per game for Waikato Wizards and Boagni logged 13 points and 12 rebounds for Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats.

The Tall Ferns will play three games in Japan at the end of this week before heading to Taiwan to compete at the William Jones Cup (July 25-29).

It will be the 40th edition of the William Jones Cup. In addition to New Zealand (ranked 42nd in the world) the tournament will feature Korea (16th), Japan (reigning FIBA Asia Cup champions and No 13 ranked team in the world), Chinese Taipei (40th), Chinese Taipei B and India (45th).

New Zealand Tall Ferns Team

Stella Beck (Townsville Flames/Formerly St Mary’s College, California)

Jacinta Beckley (Formerly Seattle University)

Brooke Blair (Harbour Breeze/ Rockhampton Cyclones/Formerly Idaho State University)

Tessa Boagni (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats/Formerly California State University, Northridge)

Penina Davidson (Harbour Breeze/Formerly University of California, Berkeley)

Alyssa Hirawani (Waikato Wizards/Formerly Murray State College)

Ashleigh Karaitiana (Bendigo Spirit)

Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers/South West Metro Pirates)

Tera-Akiene Reed (Harbour Breeze/Virginia Commonwealth University)

Nicole Ruske (Otago Gold Rush)


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