Category Archives: Kiwi’s Abroad

Kiwis in good form in Europe including a big performance from Corey Webster


It was a pretty good week for our leading Kiwi players in Europe with all four making major contributions.

In Israel, Ironi Nahariya went down 96-88 at home to Ironi Nes-Ziona but the loss couldn’t be blamed on Corey Webster. The Tall Blacks shooting guard scored a game high 27 points as well as dishing 6 assists. His shooting line made good reading – 3 from 5 threes, 11 from 15 in total from the floor and both free throws knocked down. Webster’s 27 points equaled his season best for Nahariya for whom he averages 16 points per game.

Frankfurt Skyliners guard Tai Webster was missing from action last week due to illness but returned to the court in the 90-82 Bundesliga win against Oettinger. Webster recorded 14 points (4/7FG), 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a pair of steals as the Skyliners improved to 14 wins -11 losses, holding 7th spot on the German League ladder.

Webster did well containing Sydney Kings star point guard Jerome Randle who had 14 points for Oettinger – that’s better than most Australian NBL guards managed this season.

Two places behind the Skyliners are Ratiopharm Ulm who beat bottom of the table Walter Tigers 95-82. Isaac Fotu was in good form for Ulm notching 18 points (8/11FG) and 5 rebounds. It was a much-needed win for Ulm as they had lost their previous four games.

In Italy Jillian Harmon produced 17 points (8/17FG), 7 rebounds and 2 assists as Napoli recorded a valuable 69-66 win against San Martino. Napoli had lost their previous two games but the win solidifies their 4th placed spot in Serie A with just one round of the regular season remaining.


Corey Webster struggles to match Tall Blacks form

corey webster

The outstanding shooting form Corey Webster displayed for the Tall Blacks in the recent FIBA international window seems to have temporarily deserted him.

The shooting guard has made just 2 from 15 threes in the two games he has played for Ironi Nahariya since returning to the Israeli League following the New Zealand games in China and Korea.

Webster had 10 points, 5 assists and 2 steals in the 83-62 loss at Maccabi Ashdod and 13 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the 89-79 home defeat to Maccabi Rishon.

With the two losses Irono Hahariya (7-10) have slipped to 10th on the 12-team Israeli League ladder.

Also suffering a pair of losses have been Isaac Fotu and Ratiopharm Ulm. In fact Ulm were absolutely pummeled on Fotu’s first game back from Korea going down 89-54 against Ludwigsburg – 4 points for the Kiwi forward.

Fotu top scored with 15 points (6/9FG) for Ulm in their latest game, a 90-67 loss to Brose Basket but an accumulated points differential of -58 points suggests there is a little work needed at the defensive end in practice this week.

Ulm have fallen to 10th on the Bundesliga ladder with a 12-11 record.

There was a little more joy for Tai Webster as he posted 16 points (5/15FG), 3 rebounds and 6 assists as Frankfurt Skyliners defeated Wuerzburg 78-72.

In their most recent game the Skyliners fell 95-92 in a thriller against Goettingen but were without Webster in the lineup with the Tall Blacks point guard missing due to sickness. The Skyliners are a couple of places above Ulm on the German League ladder with 13 wins and 11 losses.

After a four game winning streak Napoli have recently lost two games on the bounce – the most recent defeat a 70-49 loss at third placed Ragusa. Jillian Harmon was one of just two Napoli players in double figures scoring 14 points (5/15FG) and adding 8 rebounds. Napoli remains fourth on the Italian League ladder with an 11-9 record.

The Tall Ferns forward leads the Serie A in scoring (19.2ppg), is 3rd in rebounding (9.7rpg) and 7th in the assists category (3.5apg).

Isaac Fotu loses bragging rights to Tai Webster


Prior to the last FIBA international window Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu went head to head for their respective clubs in Germany before boarding a plane to New Zealand for the Tall Black’s game against Korea.

Once again, ahead of the Tall Blacks trip to China and Korea, the Bundesliga fixtures pitched the two Kiwis in direct opposition.

The storyline was the same in both instances with the visitors getting the W on each occasion.

Back in November Fotu and his club Ratiopharm Ulm stole the win on Frankfurt Skyliners home court.

There was a reverse of fortunes on Wednesday night as the Skyliners pinched the narrowest of wins (78-77) at Ulm with Webster making 5 points (2/2FG, 1/1FT) and dishing 3 assists. Fotu had 10 points (5/6FG) and 5 rebounds for Ulm.

Ulm are in seventh spot on the German League ladder with a 12-9 record one place ahead of Frankfurt who have the same number of wins but have an additional loss.

Both Kiwis are in good form ahead of the internationals. Fotu scored 24 points in each of the previous two games for Ulm and Webster also nabbed 24 points a couple of games back for Frankfurt.

Webster is averaging 15.7 points and 4.8 assists per game for the Skyliners with Fotu claiming 13.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per outing for Ulm.

The pair will fly direct to China after the weekend to link up with their Tall Blacks teammates ahead of the Asian Zone World Cup Qualifiers against China next Friday and Korea in Seoul three days later. The bulk of the Tall Blacks team depart from Sydney on Monday following the Breakers game against the Kings on Sunday afternoon.

24 points each for Fotu and Tai Webster

Isaac Fotu copy

Our four leading European based players almost scored 100 points between them at the weekend.

The two German based players, Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu, scored 24 points apiece, Corey Webster posted 18 points, with Jillian Harmon chiming in with 23 points.

Isaac Fotu amassed his fourth twenty points haul of the season as Ratiopharm Ulm won on the road beating Goettingen 94-84. His 24 points (7/10FG, 8/9FT) were accompanied by a stats line of 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and an assist. The third consecutive win for Ulm moves them into 6th spot on the Bundesliga ladder with a 12-7 record.

A crowd of 4,860 was on hand to see an injury ravaged Frankfurt Skyliners outpaced in the final quarter losing 88-81 at home to Riessen. Tai Webster’s team high two-dozen were scored at a good clip converting 8 of 11 from the field and 3 from 4 from the charity stripe.

Overall Webster is enjoying a good season as he is top eight in the Bundesliga for scoring (15.8 ppg) and assists (4.8 apg)

Corey Webster scored 18 points as Ironi Nahariya returned to winning ways beating Galil Gilboa 101-98 in a high scoring affair. Webster was in good touch converting 6 from 10 from the field and three from three from the foul line.

Nahariya remain eighth in the Israeli League with a 7-9 record.

In Italy Jillian Harmon posted a second consecutive double-double as Napoli beat Vigarano 78-61. The Tall Ferns forward collected 12 rebounds to compliment 23 points with Napoli now up to third equal on the Italian League ladder with a 10-7 record.

Harmon is the Italian League leading scorer averaging 19.6 points per game and the fourth placed rebounder claiming 9.5 boards per outing.

OK 89 points is not that close to 100 but it’s still pretty good!

Webster brothers in good form in Europe

corey webster

The Webster brothers led the scoring for their respective club teams in Europe at the weekend but there was a contrast in the outcomes of their games.

Older brother Corey made 18 points – including four from seven threes – but Ironi Nahariya were defeated 72-69 by Bnei Hertzeliya. Nahariya have slipped to eighth in the Israeli League with a 6-9 record.

Tai Webster scored a game high 21 points (6/13FG, 8/8FT) and also posted 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals for German side Frankfurt Skyliners. The Skyliners struggled against bottom club Walter Tigers before eventually winning 65-57 to improve to 11-8 and eighth spot on the Bundesliga table.

One place above the Skyliners are Ratiopharm Ulm (11-7) after an 87-72 victory over Jena. Isaac Fotu produced 11 points (5/9FG), 6 rebounds and 4 assists as Ulm secured a second straight win.

In Italy Jillian Harmon came up with a big double-double of 28 points (12/25FG) and 14 rebounds to lead Napoli to a 71-67 win against Broni. The victory pushes Napoli up to fourth on the Italian League ladder with a 9-7 record.

Talma helps Biola University make history

alex talma

There was triple delight for former Westlake forward Alex Talma in his latest outing for Biola University Eagles.

Firstly it was Talma’s 50th game for the Eagles and secondly he nailed a game winning free throw, with just 2.2 seconds left on the clock, to clinch a 68-67 win against Holy Names University.

It is nice to make the winning shot in any game but it was a significant result for Biola. Not only was it their first win in the PacWest Conference this season but it was also Biola’s first ever win in NCAA Division 11 having previously played in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Talma, who finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds and an assist, will now have his name etched in Eagles history for eternity.

Kiwis key contributors in Europe

Fotu .jpg

It was a last gasp effort but Ratiopharm Ulm, with a score on the buzzer, beat Oettinger Rockets 81-79. Isaac Fotu was outstanding for Ulm racking up 25 points (10/15FG, 5/6FT) to accompany 3 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.

Fotu’s third twenty points haul of the season helped lift Ulm to eighth on the German League ladder with a 10-7 record.

Also in Germany Tai Webster scored 15 points (7/10FG) as Frankfurt Skyliners suffered a heavy 96-74 loss to Bayreuth to slip to 10-8 for the season and a spot behind Ulm on the Bundesliga table. Webster added 5 rebounds and 6 assists but it was the Skyliners third loss on the bounce.

Webster sits 8th on the German League scoring list averaging 15.0 points per game and is 4th on the assists slate with 5.0 dimes per outing.

In Italy Napoli got back to winning ways comfortably beating Battipaglias 95-61. Napoli are fifth on the Serie A ladder with a 7-6 record. Jillian Harmon produced her sixth double-double of the season (20 points and 10 rebounds) shooting a perfect ten of ten from the foul line in the process.

The Tall Ferns forward leads the Italian League scoring averaging 18.9 points per game and is third on the rebounding chart with 9.1 boards per outing. To emphasise her all court game she is also fifth on the assists list averaging 3.6 per game.

Bad week in Europe for Kiwis


It was a bad weekend for our four Kiwi national representatives playing in major leagues in Europe – all four suffered defeats.

In Germany Tai Webster and Frankfurt Skyliners suffered a home loss to Telekom Bonn beaten 81-76 to slip to 10-7 for the season. Webster enjoyed a good personal showing with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Ratiopharm Ulm are a win behind Frankfurt after a narrow 80-77 loss at Brose. Isaac Fotu, with 14 points (5/7FG), was one of four Ulm players in double figures.

In Israel Corey Webster scored 8 points and dished 5 assists but Ironi Nahariya were defeated 98-90 at Hapoel Holon. Nahariya slip to a 5-6 record sitting seventh on the Israeli League ladder.

Napoli went down 76-70 at home to Ragusa in the Italian League falling to sixth on the ladder with a 7-6 record. Jillian Harmon scored a fair chunk of the Napoli points – 28 to be exact, two shy of her season best. Harmon leads the Italian League scoring averaging 19.1 points per game and is fourth on the rebounding list with 9.4 boards per outing illustrating the outstanding season the Tall Ferns forward is having.

Mate v Mate, Tall Fern v Tall Fern


Micaela cocks

Micaela Cocks and Kalani Purcell have stood side by side in New Zealand colours on the international stage on many occasions. However next weekend they will be on opposite sides of the court competing for the biggest prize in Australasian basketball.

Cocks plays for Townsville Fire and Purcell for Melbourne Boomers – the two teams will go head to head in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Grand Final Series beginning next Saturday.

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Purcell into Australian WNBL Grand Final



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.