Category Archives: Kiwi’s Abroad

News on Kiwis playing in Europe

Jillian Harman posted an impressive 20 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals as Ragusa rounded out the Italian League regular season with a 96-78 victory against Torino. The Tall Ferns forward has been a standout for Ragusa averaging 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds across 20 games.

Ragusa finished third on the Serie A ladder with a 16-4 record ahead of the play-offs.

2018 Tall Fern Jacinta Beckley is averaging 8.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in her first professional season playing for Ujbuda in the Hungarian League. Ujbuda have struggled this season winning just four of twenty-one games and sitting 11thof 12 teams on the Hungarian League ladder.

Beckley will link up with former Tall Ferns coach Kennedy Kereama at Sunbury Jets in Melbourne when the Hungarian League concludes. The Jets will be looking to defend their Big V League title.

Galatasaray are up to fifth in the Turkish League after defeating Besiktas 93-87. Tai Webster scored 18 points (3/4 3PG) and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple of steals. Galatasaray have a 12-8 record with seven rounds left in the regular season and a top eight play-off spot appearing likely. Webster is averaging 11.6 points and 4 assists in Turkish League games.

In Germany Isaac Fotu is back on court for Ratiopharm Ulm after a two month injury lay-off. The Tall Blacks forward played just 4 minutes, scoring 3 points, as Ulm beat Crailsheim 99-87. They sit seventh on the German League standings with a 12-11 record – a cluster of four teams are at 12-12 in a congested race for the play-offs.

Max Darling has scored 21 and 17 in consecutive games for Osijek in the Croatian League. In the last outing he added 10 rebounds to his 21 points (6/7FG) for his first double-double of the season. Osijek sit equal 5thon the Croatian Premier League table with a 9-9 record.

Tony Tolovae is enjoying a good season in Norway ahead of his return to the Canterbury Rams. Playing for Gimle BBK Bergen he is averaging 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Gimle overcame Baerum 78-64 in the semi-final opener with Tolovae making 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Maxim Stevens contributed 7 points and 4 rebounds for Kronberg in its 90-76 win against Stuttgart in the German Regional South-West League. The NZ Under 18 representative is averaging 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds for Kronberg.

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Kaitlin Burgess commits to the Golden Eagles

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Former Rangitoto College basketball standout Kaitlin Burgess has signed with the College of Southern Idaho to a full ride scholarship beginning in August this year.

Kaitlin has just completed her final year at Riverton High School, Utah after moving from Rangitoto at the end of the 2017 academic year. In her recently completed senior year she averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, leading the Riverton High Silverwolves to the quarter-finals at the State Championship.

“I am excited to be given the opportunity to be part of such a great basketball programme and I look forward to working with coach Randall and the girls at CSI next season” said Kaitlin.

The Golden Eagles play in the Scenic West Athletic Conference which is the same conference as Utah State Eastern University, where former Mt Albert Grammar School forward Sharne Pupuke-Robati will be attending later this year.

Kaitlin is following in the footsteps of Rangitoto College alumni Penina Davidson, Brooke Blair and Jaycin Tini who all enjoyed successful college careers in the Sates.

In addition to Burgess and Pupuke-Robati, the trio of Charlotte Armstrong, Awatea Leach and Leah Mafua are other Kiwi women that have committed to playing in the States in the 2019-20 season and beyond.

Penina Davidson and Adelaide Lightning bolt into WNBL Final

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And then there was one!

This time last week Tall Ferns Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx), Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers) and Penina Davidson (Adelaide Lightning) were all vying for a shot at the Australian Women’s National Basketball League title.

Now there is just one New Zealand representative chasing Australia’s prime domestic honour after Perth and Melbourne were swept 2-0 in their respective best-of-three semi-finals series.

Having lost 95-76 against regular season champions Canberra Capitals last weekend Perth put up a stronger showing at home on Thursday night. However, the basketball gods were not doing them any favours as two of the Lynx starters, Kayla Steindl and Asia Taylor, played limited minutes due to injury. Toni Farnworth (4 points and 2 rebounds) and her teammates battled bravely but eventually went down 91-75 – eliminated in the semis for the second successive season.

If that result was somewhat predictable the elimination of the Melbourne Boomers, coached by Tall Ferns mentor Guy Molloy, was perhaps more of a surprise.

After starting the season 3-6 Adelaide won all but two of its remaining 13 fixtures although they had lost all three regular season games against Melbourne. However, carrying the confidence of wining seven of its last eight games into the semi-final series, Adelaide pinched an important road win (76-60) last weekend. They completed the job at home on Thursday winning a high quality encounter 100-96.

Davidson, in here rookie pro season, played just three minutes in game two but had been a key spark off the bench in the first encounter scoring 8 points (4/7FG) whilst also securing a couple of rebounds.

Kalani Purcell was her usual industrious self for Melbourne totaling 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of blocks over the two games but her efforts, and those of her teammates, were not quite enough against an inspired Lightning.

The Lightning return to the finals for the first time since 2008 and we will be following the fortunes of Davidson, the Tall Ferns and former Cal Berkeley forward, closely.

The finals will also be a best-of-three series beginning in Canberra on February 9th.

More accolades for Micaela Cocks

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Micaela Cocks, who became just the second player behind Rachael McCully to chalk up 200 games for the Townsville Fire, won the Players’ Player award for a record-breaking fourth time at the Fire’s Awards evening at the weekend.

Cocks went back-to-back in 2011/12 and 2012/13 and has now repeated the accomplishment after winning the award in 2017/18.

Remarkably, the Players’ Player is the eighth club award the New Zealand Olympian has won during her time at the Fire.

Cock’s received a further accolade on the night as she, alongside Mia Murray and Suzy Batkovic was awarded a life membership.

After missing the finals for the first time in eight seasons, the Fire will look to bounce back in the 2019/20 Australian WNBL season with a new-look squad following Suzy Batkovic’s retirement with Cock’s and fellow Kiwi Stella Beck almost certain to be part of that line-up.

Three out of five Tall Ferns in WNBL play-offs

Kalani

Three out of five ain’t bad.

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) play-off’s begin next week with three of the teams contesting the semi-finals featuring current Tall Ferns players.

Penina Davidson in her first season as a professional since graduating from the University of California Berkeley, is in the Adelaide Lightning lineup.

Adelaide, coached by former Tall Ferns assistant coach Chris Lucas, return to the play-offs for the first time since 2013 and after finishing third in the regular season will face second placed Melbourne Boomers in one semi.

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Current Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy is the Melbourne mentor and has Tall Ferns forward Kalani Purcell to lead his team’s defensive effort. Purcell is in her second season with the Boomers and leads the team in steals (1.5spg) and is second in rebounding (5.5rpg).

The first game of the best-of-three series is in Melbourne on Sunday January 27.

Toni Farnworth, like Purcell a Commonwealth Games silver medalist, captains the Perth Lynx that are appearing in a fourth straight semi-final. The experienced Farnworth and the Lynx are bidding to win their first championship.

Perth will face regular season champions Canberra Capitals with the opening game in Canberra on Friday January 25.

The Townsville Fire duo of Stella Beck and Micaela Cocks finished the season on a positive note with a 90-82 victory against Sydney Flames. Beck, promoted to the starting five, scored 10 points to accompany 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. The win was not enough to carry the defending champions back to the play-offs, the Fire finishing fifth with a 10-12 record.

Kiwi v Kiwi – Reed v Nicholls

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams versus La Salle University Explorers Atlantic-10 match up featured good mates Akiene-Tera Reed and Michelle Nicholls in opposition.

The pair spent their last two high school years together at Life Centre Academy in New Jersey before securing scholarships at their respective NCAA Division I universities.

Reed is again leading the Rams scoring this season (averaging 13.2 points per game) and against La Salle scored a team high 12 points as VCU secured an emphatic 68-38 win.

Nicholls (second on the La Salle scoring list this season averaging 7.7ppg) came up with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 25 minutes for La Salle but it was a disappointing night for the Explorers who gave up a colossal 34 turnovers.

Reed will face more Kiwi opposition next week when VCU travel to the Bronx to face Fordham University who have Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings in their lineup.

 

200th appearance ends in disappointment for Micaela Cocks

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The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) title defence is over for Micaela Cocks and Townsville Fire.

Cocks had a three-point attempt rim out to try and force overtime in the 77-72 loss to Dandenong but ultimately her 200thappearance for the Fire ended in disappointment.

The acting captain finished with 14 points (5/10FG) but ultimately her effort, and that of Stella Beck (4 points), were not enough.

It wasn’t a good weekend for another Kiwi skipper though. Toni Farnworth and Perth Lynx were beaten 64-59 in Melbourne by the Boomers. Farnworth’s shooting touch has deserted her of late and she went zero from five in this one.

Kalani Purcell doesn’t need to score too many points to influence a game and again the Tall Ferns forward played a key role for Melbourne despite scoring just three points.  She pulled down a team high 10 rebounds, a team best 3 steals and dished 4 assists in a typical all court display.

The two teams will meet again, this time in Perth, on Thursday.

Adelaide Lightning maintained fourth spot on the WNBL ladder with an 110-61 dismantling of Sydney. Penina Davidson scored in double figures for the Lightning adding 5 rebounds to 13 points (4/8FG).

 

WNBL Ladder:

13-5 Canberra Capitals

13-5 Melbourne Boomers

11-7 Perth Lynx

11-7 Adelaide Lightning

8-10 Dandenong Rangers

7-11 Townsville Fire

7-11 Bendigo Spirit

2-16 Sydney Flames

Fotu and Ulm progress in EuroCup

ratiopharm ulm vs. ALBA Berlin, esayCredit Basketball Bundesliga, Basketball, 30.09.2017

 Photo: Langer/Eibner-Pressefoto

Ratiopharm Ulm are on a three game winning stretch in the EuroCup following a 70-63 win against fellow German side Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt. Isaac Fotu’s contribution was 6 points and 6 rebounds including four at the offensive end.

Back to back wins in December carried Ulm out of section play with a 5 win-5 loss record and into the final sixteen.

They now find themselves in Group D and will need to finish in the top two to progress to the quarter-finals. The two German clubs are joined in the group by Russian club Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and French side Asvel Villeurbanne. The opening win against Frankfurt in the group is a welcome boost to Ulm’s chances of a spot in the last eight.

Tai Webster and his Turkish club Galatasaray failed to progress to the EuroCup last 16 after finishing with a 3-7 record in initial pool play. They will now focus on the Turkish League where they currently sit fifth on the table with a 7-5 record.

Early Xmas for Nisbett, West and McGoldrick

In NCAA Division I Women’s action Amy West, Tsubasa Nisbett and Esra McGoldrick were each given early Xmas presents in the last few days.

Tsubasa Nisbett was awarded her first appearance of the season by Georgia Southern University Eagles. The Eagles swooped on Coastal Georgia winning 68-46 to improve to 4-5 for the season with the Nisbett corralling a couple of rebounds to mark her debut.

Fellow Cantabrian Esra McGoldrick scored her first points in North Carolina State colours, scoring a pair of  baskets as the Wolfpack hounded Maine into submission winning 84-46. The Wolfpack are now 11-0 for the season.

Amy West also scored the first 4 points of her collegiate career for Liberty University Flames last Friday. Unfortunately the Flames were burnt by a buzzer beating three going down 66-63 against East Carolina. The Manawatu Freshman scored from two of her three scoring attempts.

The three Kiwis on the Fordham University roster were prominent as the Rams enjoyed a convincing 69-48 win against Columbia University.

Mary Goulding scored 14 points and added 4 rebounds whilst Kendell Heremaia had a trio of 4’s striking that number in points, rebounds and assists.

Zara Jillings totalled a career high equalling 8 rebounds to go with 6 points (3/5FG) and 3 assists.

Akiene-Tera Reed equalled her best points haul of the season scoring 20 points (3/7FG, 14/16FT) but it wasn’t enough to prevent Virginia Commonwealth going down 54-49 against Radford. Reed also snared 6 rebounds for the Rams.

Cal State Fullerton Titans gave Amiee Book her first start of the season and the freshman guard didn’t disappoint knocking down 3 of her 5 shots from beyond the arc in a 77-65 win against Antelope Valley. That makes 19 made threes for Book from 38 shots in the first ten games of the season at a more than healthy 50%.

It took an overtime period before Northern Colorado Bears secured the win against Chattanooga but they prevailed eventually winning 68-65. Krystal leger-Walker was her usual stats stuffing self – finishing with 5 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

Sophmore Michelle Nicholls scored 10 points (4/8FG) but La Salle University slipped to a ninth defeat in ten games going down 83-57 to St John’s.

Mate v Mate, Tall Fern v Tall Fern

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Stella Beck looks to drive past Toni Farnworth

There were a couple of editions of mate v mate, Tall Fern v Tall Fern, over the weekend in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

Toni Farnworth filled the stats line for Perth Lynx in their visit to Townsville Fire on Friday but the Lynx were torched by the Fire 97-72. Farnworth only made 2 points but came up with a game high 6 assists to accompany 6 rebounds a block and a steal as she filled most of the stats categories.

Micaela Cocks is in hot form for the Fire at the moment and she came up with 14 points (4/8 3PG) and 4 assists whilst Stella Beck also chipped in with a couple of points for Townsville.

Over 2,000 home fans saw Melbourne Boomers come from behind to beat Adelaide Lightning 83-78 with Tall Ferns forward Kalani Purcell her normal vibrant self – 6 points, 5 rebounds, a steal and a block.

Penina Davidson, in her debut season for Adelaide, had a couple of points and a pair of rebounds as the Lightnings five game winning streak came to an end. The win lifts Melbourne past Perth to the top of the WNBL ladder.

WNBL Ladder (at 17.12.18)

10-5 Melbourne Boomers

9-5 Perth Lynx

8-5 Canberra Capitals

8-7 Adelaide Lightning

7-6 Dandenong Rangers

6-7 Townsville Fire

6-9 Bendigo Spirit

2-12 Sydney Flames

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