Category Archives: James Blond Supercity Rangers

One win apiece for Fotu and Webster after latest EuroCup encounter


Tall Blacks Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster locked horns in EuroCup action overnight in Istanbul where Fotu’s Ratiopharm Ulm visited Webster’s Galatasaray.

When the two teams met back in October it was the German club that prevailed in overtime (103-92) but on Wednesday it was the hosts that came out on top winning 77-69 in regulation.

Despite the win it wasn’t a game that will live long in Webster’s memory. The Kiwi point guard entered the contest averaging 13.8 points and 5 assists per game but, restricted by foul trouble, managed just 2 points and 3 assists in this one – fouling out in just under 19 minutes.

Fotu led the Ulm rebounding count with 7 boards and also added 9 points but it wasn’t enough to stave off defeat.

Both clubs have a 3-4 record with three games to play in Group A of the Eurocup. The top 4 teams in each pool progress to the last sixteen and it would appear that both clubs will need to win two of their final three games to be sure of progressing.

With both players missing the Tall Blacks World Cup Qualifiers in Christchurch and Wellington at the end of the month it will likely be February before the two get together again when the New Zealand team travels to Lebanon and Jordan.

Post game comments from Rangers v Hawks encounter


Corey Webster made an immediate impact for the James Blond Super City Ranges in his first game for the team since his signing last Tuesday.

Off the bench Webster led all scorers with 29, had five steals and four turnovers, assisting the Rangers to their 99-88 victory and at the same time sending the Indigo Hawks to their ninth straight loss at AUT North Shore  on Friday night.

The Hawks led after the first quarter 27-24 as the Rangers ran into foul trouble towards the end of the period allowing the Hawks to capitalise from the charity stripe.
The lead was maintained by the Hawks through most of the second quarter before Webster showed his brilliance from the arc to pull the local team out to a 52-46 advantage at the break.

The fast pace of the game continued into the third period with Eric Devendorf, who ended the game with 24, teaming up well with Terrance Roberts.

Given possession Hawks sole import Kareem Johnson’s low post moves were hard to stop. Johnson scored 23 for the game plus 11 rebounds with Luke Aston and Arthur Trousdell both on 12.
The Rangers were eight ahead into the final ten minutes but this quickly changed with Webster stealing possession at will and converting uncontested. The Hawks through Ashton, Alonzo Burton and Paora Wnitana tried to rescue the situation from the outside but the Rangers held on for victory. Egged on by the spectators the Rangers tried to score a ton but the ball just wouldn’t drop and Johnson and Joseph Blas had the final say scoring the final seven points of the game.

Jeff Green was pleased with the win and the Rangers great defensive effort ahead of a hectic schedule for his team over the next week.
“The way we play we have to play good D because we can score, everyone can score, and add in Corey so that’s a lot easier. So it’s not about whether we can score it’s whether we can stop the other team and that’s the key for us. It always has been right from the word go all season, play some defence and let’s go,” said Green.
He added that Webster was also a perfect fit for the team.
“Corey knows a lot of the guys and we run a lot of the Breakers stuff anyway so it was easy for him. So we just ran the place he knew.”

Webster said that he was using his time with the Rangers to keep in shape for the Tall Blacks.
“I’m here for the rest of the season just using it to stay in shape and we’ve got a tough schedule for Tall Blacks so just get my fitness up and keep playing basketball so I’m happy to be back on the court,” he said.
Webster will be taking part in the Tall Blacks FIBA’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila Philippines in early July.

Captain Dillon Boucher who had six rebounds and four assists was pleased with the teams’ strength right to the end.
“We had the legs in that last quarter we picked up the defensive pressure and felt like we got some good steals and some easy baskets and that blew the lead out which is nice and it gave the starters some chance to rest, ready for tomorrow night’s game,” he said.
Boucher was also pleased with Webster’s performance.
“He’s a real pro and he knows how to score and he made his 29 tonight look effortless and he got his hand on the ball multiple times, and got steals and did a good job. He had a pretty good debut for the team.
“He certainly can put the ball in the hoop that’s one thing he knows how to do. And his defence was good tonight he got after it and created some easy opportunities.”

Kirstin Daly-Taylor coach of the Hawks remained optimistic despite suffering yet another loss this season.
“We played three-quarters really well but just sticking it out with the physicality of the game is just mind blowing when you’ve only got one import, we’re quite small,” she said.
“I’ve been out three years and I have certainly forgotten how physical it is. So I’ve got a bit of work to do with the boys and that understanding part of protect the ball because we certainly gave a lot of ball away,” she added.
Daly-Taylor said there were a number of lessons to take away from the game.
“You want to shoot the ball but sometimes you’ve got to think about shooting, because if we can’t rebound they’re going to get it and go. There were a couple of patches where we didn’t shoot and we attacked and it was just brilliant and that’s how we have to play the Rangers. We’ve got to attack the rim not live or die on the outside shot. It was a really good game for us for us that’s a brilliant score and I’m actually quite happy.”

Corey Webster joins Rangers

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Four

The James Blond Super City Rangers have announce the signing of Corey Webster for the remainder of the 2016 Bartercard NBL season.  Webster has just returned from a short stint playing for Koroivos in Greece and is keen to return to action.

The shooting guard enjoyed a highly successful 2015-15 ANBL campaign helping the SKY CITY Breakers to their fifth grand final in six years. Webster led the Breakers scoring with 548 points at 19.6 points per game.  Prior to that, Webster enjoyed a highly publicized stint in the NBA, being signed by the New Orleans Pelicans and going deep into their pre-season before ultimately returning to the NZ Breakers.

“I’m excited to be joining the Super City Rangers and thank Coach Green and the organization for making this opportunity available to me. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help promote this league, help the Rangers as much as I can on and off the court, and to best prepare myself for upcoming Tall Blacks commitments.” Said Webster.

Rangers coach Jeff Green has been chasing the signature of the talented shooting guard for a few months and is delighted to finally have got his man.

“This is a coup for our organization, with Corey turning down other opportunities in Europe and elsewhere to commit to the Rangers.  Corey is at the very peak of his career and abilities, and not long ago at all was on an NBA pre-season roster, so it’s a very exciting time at the Rangers and speaks to Corey’s desire to help promote the sport locally rather than simply chase the dollars.

“To add a scorer of Corey’s caliber to an already very good scoring team will give opposing defences major matchup problems.  Corey will compliment what we already have on the offensive end, everyone talks about his offensive skills but he has the ability to play within a defensive system and excel,” added Green

Webster’s Supercity Ranger captain and Breakers boss Dillon Boucher remarked, ”We are all very excited to have Corey in a Rangers uniform, anytime you can have a player like Corey join your team midseason, it is a massive boost. He will not only bring his usual high scoring firepower but also a wealth of high level experience as well”.

The North Shore local last appeared in the Bartercard NBL in 2014 when he played for the championship winning Wellington Saints, averaging 25.8 points per game.

Webster becomes the sixth Rangers player on the roster to have suited for the Tall Blacks alongside current internationals Lindsay Tait, Mika Vukona, Reuben Te Rangi and former New Zealand representatives Dillon Boucher and Brook Ruscoe.

The Rangers next game is against Indigo Hawks at AUT Sports Centre, Friday April 22nd, 2016.

Thoughts from coaches Flavell and Green


Judd Flavell

By Murray McKinnon

The James Blond Supercity Ranges dug themselves out of a hole in the first quarter and went on to score their second win of the season beating the Zerofees Southland Sharks 87-79 at the AUT North Shore on Saturday.

The Sharks opened the scoring with a three from Ana Haku and with further shots from beyond the arc by Everard Bartlett and Derone Raukawa had the Rangers rattled to finish the first quarter ahead 31-18.


With a stern message from coach Jeff Green the Rangers set about rescuing the situation going on an unanswered 11 point run to level the score at 41 each. They went into the second half at 45 all.

Reuben Te Rangi set the stadium alight in the third quarter spurred on by a vocal group of supporters scoring 12 points, which included three threes. Just one point separated the teams the Sharks ahead 69-68 going into the final ten minutes.

The Ranges lifted their defensive intensity in the final quarter giving Eric Devendorf numerous scoring opportunities in transition.

Devendorf led the scorers with 28, Te Rangi collected 23 and Tait 17.

Jordair Jett sprained his left knee with minutes remaining in the game, but still was the top scorer for the Sharks with 19, and Alex Pledger had 16 and 11 rebounds with Haku on 14 and 12 rebounds.

Dillon Boucher said that defence in the second half was the key to the Rangers win.

“We gave up 31 points in that first quarter and no one was happy so we wanted to lock down that second quarter and I thought we actually locked down for the next three quarters and to only give up 79 point after 31 in the first quarter is a great defensive effort. We know we’re a potent scoring team and we know if we play a little bit of D we become very tough all of a sudden.”

He added that consistency is still an element that is missing.

“We needed to play well and I thought tonight we played well in patches, we weren’t consistent but we played well when we needed to. Unfortunately Jordair Jett went down injured and that helped our cause and we’re just looking forward to getting Mika Vukona back next week and to bolster our stocks a little and we feel like we need to go down to Taranaki and play a lot better than we did against them up here,” said Boucher.

Coach Green also emphasised the need to work on improving the defence.

“It is where we need to work harder and we got ourselves in a hole in the first quarter, but in the end it was our defence that brings us home because we can score with the best of them, but we’ve got to learn to stop people. 
From the second to the fourth quarter we did a good job we held them to 14 points in the second quarter and in that last quarter we just knuckled down defensively.”

Sharks coach Judd Flavell lamented the costly turnovers given up by his team.

“They’re a team that thrives on opportunities when we give them possession. We didn’t do a good job of looking after possession we gave up too many offensive rebounds in that second half and in that second quarter we had too many turnovers and we weren’t disciplined enough to keep the ball and look after it.

So hopefully we learn from that. And we need to because that’s definitely a game where I felt our own discipline let us down,” said Flavell.

The Sharks went on to Taradale where they beat the Indigo Hawks 101-87 on Sunday afternoon.

The Rangers next play Taranaki in New Plymouth on Sunday April 10.

Rangers v Rams post game thoughts


“At least I have a job for another week” says Jeff Green

By Murray McKinnon

The James Blond Super City Rangers are on the board, grabbing their first win of the NBL season with victory over the Canterbury Rams, 103-87, at the AUT Sports Centre on Saturday.

Play was even through the first quarter, with the Rangers left open from the arc, allowing Lindsay Tait, Reuben Te Rangi and right on the buzzer Brook Ruscoe to slot in three pointers. Rangers were ahead 27-25 going into the next 10 minutes.

With the score at 46-36 mid-way through the second quarter Canterbury, fresh from beating the Southland Sharks at home, burst into life with ten unanswered points, Ethan Rusbatch and new point guard Justin Graham pivotal in the run.
However the Rangers responded going to the break ahead 52-46 helped by a corner three  from Josh Bloxham.

The up tempo affair continued in the third period with the two teams trading baskets leaving the Rams still six points in arrears at three-quarter time.

It was a struggle for the Rams in the final quarter the Rangers winning the period 29-19. Terrence Roberts was in top form in the last few minutes for the Rangers putting on a great show of eight points in succession including a couple of dunks and a long range three.

Tait was outstanding with 19 points, 15 assists and five defensive rebounds. Devendorf ended with 21 points and five rebounds and Roberts 17 points and six rebounds.

Rusbatch was the Rams top scorer for the second straight game with 22 points, Marcel Jones had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Alipate contributed 15.


Rams coach Mark Dickel offers no excuses for loss

Coach of the Rams Mark Dickel said that the tough travel schedule was not a factor in losing.
“No excuses, Super City played really well they were desperate and they wanted the game more than we did and all credit to them they really deserved the win, we just didn’t play hard enough or well enough to deserve to win,” he said.
Dickel added that he has a good team if they put the effort in.
“We’re more than capable if we play the game right and we share the ball and everyone hustles, we’ve got good players but you gotta to put the effort out on the court.”

Rangers’ coach Jeff Green said it was great to get the monkey off their back and secure a win.
“At least I’ve got a job for another week, I’ve never started off 0-3 in my whole career whether it’s mini-ball or the NBL so it was new territory for yourself and the team and to start to think about what was going wrong,” said Green.

The Rangers coach said there were three factors that went into their win.
“It was a combination of the defence which we haven’t been able to play on a consistent basis. I think we played great defence which led to great offence so we got a lot of easy points off transition. So that put them under a lot of pressure and then I thought offensively in the half court our execution was outstanding we ran some plays that were good. And the third factor was our big guy Terrence Roberts came to play he showed he is 6ft 10in with a 7ft 2in wing span he didn’t foul out that’s because I took him out before he fouled out. But it was all about defence, we ran them off the three point line, they got hot for a little bit but then we kept extending it and they’d come back which is what basketball is all about, swings and roundabouts,” he said.

Green finally saw the team in action that he knew he had.
“When you’re consistent on both ends of the court that’s the sort of team that I know we’ve got. We’re undersized, they’re a beast they got seven offensive rebounds in that third quarter which kept them in it but if they hadn’t got those it would have been a bigger blow-out..”

Rangers snare Ruscoe and Alexander



Marco Alexander returns to Auckland for 2016 NBL season

The James Blond Super City Rangers have added depth to its guard stocks by adding Marco Alexander and Brook Ruscoe to its squad for the 2016 Bartercard NBL Season.

Ruscoe has had spells with a number of NBL clubs including the Nelson Giants and Auckland Pirates. Last season the 25 year old played for the Manawatu Jets averaging 20.4 points per game but the Jets having chosen to sit out the 2016 NBL season thus giving Ruscoe the opportunity to join the Rangers.

Alexander, a former Rangitoto College standout, returns to Auckland after an injury riddled 2015. His spell with Australian club Melbourne United was cut short due to a serious hip injury that required surgery. A slow recovery limited the 24 year old to just 11 appearances for the Hawkes Bay Hawks last season in the NBL.

Alexander is delighted to link up with the Jeff Green coached Rangers that will be looking to go one better than last season when the team was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the NBL. “I’m excited to join the Rangers and provide a spark for us. It’s great to be part of an experienced squad and we have the right pieces to go all the way”, said Alexander

Confirmed signings for the Rangers are Ruscoe, Alexander, Lindsay Tait, Dillon Boucher, Mika Vukona and Reuben Te Rangi.

The Rangers will open the NBL season with a trip to the Wellington Saints on Thursday March 10th, 2016.

Boucher commits to the Rangers


Dillon Boucher, a total of 13 NZ and Australian NBL titles

The James Blond Super City Rangers today confirmed that Dillon Boucher has been re-signed as player-assistant coach for the next three NBL seasons. Continue reading

Tait joins James Blond Super City Rangers

Tait joins the Rangers on a three year deal.

Tait joins the Rangers on a three year deal.

The James Blond Super City Rangers did their NBL title aspirations no harm at all this week by signing Tall Blacks point guard Lindsay Tait on a three-year contract. The signing of Tait will likely herald major changes to the Rangers roster as the Auckland franchise build a team capable of winning the 2016 championship Continue reading

China U19 Men’s Team in Auckland

The China  Under 19 Men’s team are playing a couple of games in Auckland as part of their preparation for the FIBA Under 19 World Cup. China head to the World Cup, to be played in Greece during June as the top ranked Asian nation.

The Rangers select team will include a number of up and coming young players from the Auckland region including New Zealand age group internationals Isaac Davidson, Matt Freeman, Jaylen Gerrand and Matt Lacey.


Giants spoil Green’s return

1427820955527It has been eight years since Jeff Green secured a win in the Bartercard NBL and it will be at least another week before he enjoys the taste of further success. Green is back in the coaching saddle having not coached in the New Zealand National Basketball League since 2007. Continue reading