Category Archives: Tall Blacks

Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster to go head to head

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Tall Blacks teammates Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster will be opposing each other in EuroCup action next week.

Fotu, playing a second season in Germany for Ratiopharm Ulm, will host Turkish side Galatasaray on October 10 (October 11 NZT) in the second round of EuroCup group stage play – both teams are in Section A.

Galatasaray is the new home for Webster, the New Zealand guard having moved from German team Frankfurt Skyliners in the off-season.

The EuroCup tipped off this week with Galatasaray recording an 84-73 win at home to Morabanc Andorra. Webster, on debut, started in the point guard spot and tallied 7 points (2/4FG) and 4 assists in 25 minutes of action.

Fotu top scored for Ulm but unfortunately the German club got off to a losing start going down 88-73 to Crvena Zvezda Mts Belgrade. The Kiwi scored 16 points on a very efficient 7 from 10 shooting that included 2 out of 3 triples. The power forward also added 6 rebounds including three off the offensive glass.

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Tall Blacks FIBA World Ranking unchanged

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Despite boasting a 7-1 record in the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying campaign, on the back of seven straight wins, the Tall Blacks remain in 38th place on the recently published FIBA World Ranking list. They are ranked sixth in Asia behind Australia (10th), Iran (25th), China (29th), Philippines (30th) and Korea (33rd).

With games against Jordan (46th) and Syria (87th) in the next Qualifying window at the end of November it appears there is little chance of New Zealand’s ranking climbing in the near future.

The FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, was updated following the fourth window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers and several teams near the top will consider themselves lucky not to have fallen down the order.

Click here to view the full FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike.

The USA (767.1 points) and Spain (704.1) remain first and second, while France (647.2) held on to third place as their closest rivals, Serbia (644.2), matched them by splitting their games (1 win and 1 loss) to start the Second Round of the European Qualifiers.

There is an intriguing battle for fifth place between the current holders Argentina (625.0) who have Lithuania (620.2) hot on their tail.

Meanwhile, 10th-place Australia (483.7) are feeling the pressure from Brazil (482.9).

With all of these small gaps, the top 10 could look a lot different following the fifth window in late November-early December.

Further on down, Hungary moved up two spots to 40th following a convincing win over Netherlands and a close loss to 15th place Italy.

Bulgaria also jumped up a couple of places, from 50th to 48th on the back of handing France – a team ranked 47 places higher than them at the time of the game – their first defeat of the Qualifiers. They are hot on the heels of the teams right above them – Estonia, Jordan and Iceland – so more good results in the next window will see them move up even further.

There were notable gains in Europe and Asia after the latest action in the Pre-Qualifiers for the Continental Cup 2021.

Denmark moved up two spots to 70th after defeating a pair of teams that played in the First Round of the World Cup Qualifiers. They claimed a 98-94 away win to Belarus and followed that up with a 76-72 defeat of Sweden.

Saudi Arabia climbed a massive 12 places to 112th after going undefeated (4-0) to win the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers – Western Region tournament. That perfect record included wins over Palestine (91st) and tournament hosts Bahrain (107th).

The FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, is updated following every window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. It takes into consideration rating points of games played in top official FIBA competitions and their Qualifiers during an 8-year period.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt called up to Tall Blacks camp

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Rosmini College guard Kruz Perrott-Hunt has been called into the Tall Blacks 20-man training squad ahead of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers against Hong Kong and China later this month.

The 17 year-old found out about his elevation to the national senior team camp on the eve of his departure to China where he is attending the Nike Asia Camp alongside Rosmini teammate Mitchell Dance and Auckland Grammar forward Anzac Rissetto.

The four-day Tall Blacks training camp will be held in Wellington beginning next Monday and will cap off a hectic month for Perrott-Hunt who last week competed for Harbour Basketball at the Under 19 National Championships where he was named to the Tournament Team.

The Year 13 student is a senior member of the Rosmini Premier Basketball team. The reigning National Champions have made an unbeaten start to the season over the first six rounds of the Auckland Secondary Schools competition.

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare was able to witness first hand the abilities of the athletic combo guard over the summer when he trained on a regular basis with the SKYCITY Breakers team.

In addition to his high school commitments Perrott-Hunt will showcase his skill set in front of American college coaches in Las Vegas in July where he will suit up for the Harbour U19 team.

He will log even more air miles in August if he is selected for the New Zealand team to attend the FIBA U18 Asia Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tai Webster scores 19 points but Skyliners lose in quarter-final tie

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Tai Webster put up big numbers as Frankfurt Skyliners went down 85-72 to Bayern Munich in German League play-off action.

The Tall Blacks guard scored a team high 19 points on a pretty good shooting night where he went 6 from 10 from the floor and didn’t miss a free throw landing seven straight. Webster also produced 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in 33 minutes of action.

The loss was the first in a best-of-three quarter-final series with the second game to be played on Saturday.

Isaac Fotu and Ratiopharm Ulm missed out on play-off action after finishing tenth in the regular season. Ulm lost seven of their last nine games to slip out of the top eight.

Fotu scores 20 points and the Wester’s accumulate 42 points in Europe

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In Germany Tai Webster powered his way to a game high 26 points (8/14 2PG, 3/4 3PG, 1/2 FT) as Frankfurt Skyliners comfortably beat Mitteldeutscher 83-67. The Skyliners remain seventh on the Bundesliga table with a 16-12 record. In front of over 4,000 home fans Webster also had five rebounds and a couple of steals.

It was the seventh 20+ points haul of the season for Tai who is averaging 15.4 points per game and sits inside the top ten scorers in the Bundesliga.

Despite Ratiopharm Ulm going down 94-87 to Telekom Bonn, Isaac Fotu still managed to put together a fine individual performance. He went 8 from 12 from the floor and three from three from the foul line on his way to 20 points. In addition he swept up 11 rebounds (5 off the offensive glass) and effected a couple of steals.

It was his highest rebounding haul of the season and his first double-double of the campaign.

Ulm are ninth on the Bundesliga table with a 14-12 record.

Corey Webster put together a fine stats line adding 3 steals, 4 assists and 4 rebounds to 16 points but it wasn’t enough to stop Ironi Nahariya sliding to a sixth straight loss in the Israeli Winner League. Nahariya went down 99-81 to Hapoel Holon and have slipped to a share of bottom place on the twelve-team table with a 7-15 record.

In Italy Jillian Harmon and her Napoli team enjoyed an Easter break ahead of their quarter-final play-off series with her former club Lucca.

Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks now in Cairns ahead of Commonwealth Games openers

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The Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks spent time in the Commonwealth Games village as they prepare for the upcoming tournament.

They are now in Cairns as they countdown to their tournament openers that see the Tall Ferns play Malaysia on Thursday and the Tall Blacks face Nigeria on Friday.

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W’s in Europe for Jillian Harmon and Tai Webster

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Due to her club commitments in Italy Jillian Harmon is unavailable for the Tall Ferns Commonwealth Games programme just getting underway in Australia.

Harmon and her Napoli team lost their final regular season game against Lucca 74-66. Lucca are of course the club Harmon won a championship with last year before signing with Napoli.

Harmon recorded an impressive 20 points (10/18FG), 8 rebounds and 5 assists in a game that proved to be a forerunner to the upcoming play-offs – the two teams are drawn to play each other in the Serie A quarter-final after Easter.

Corey Webster added 18 points (8/16FG) to a game high 7 assists but Ironi Nahariya slipped to a fifth straight loss going down 95-86 at Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Nahariya are now eleventh on the twelve team Israeli Winner League table with a 7-14 record.

Webster has become as much a facilitator as a scorer this season leading Nahariya in the assists category (4.0apg) as well as being the second highest scorer on the team averaging 13.6 points per game.

In Germany Frankfurt Skyliners moved up to seventh on the Bundesliga table after a valuable 79-75 win at Telekom Bonn. Tai Webster contributed 11 points and 3 assists as Frankfurt recorded a fourth win in the last five outings to further enhance their top eight standing with a 15-11 record.

Ratiopharm Ulm stayed a win and a place behind the Skyliners after a decisive 91-74 win at Wuerzburg. This was a fine road win considering Ulm were without the injured Isaac Fotu for the trip and Wuerzburg had the same number of wins (13) as their opponents before the game began.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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