Category Archives: WBC

2019 WBC Reflections

2019 champs

Following a magnificent 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) season I have spent the last few days reflecting on its success.

Here are some thoughts

And what’s ahead in 2020? More teams? More returning players from overseas? More coverage on Sky? More live streaming/

Shame we have to wait another nine months.

 

 

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A Dream WBC Final

Dream

Auckland Dream staged a remarkable comeback to win its first Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) title last night, an occasion that was a dream in so many ways.

The game, between two outstanding teams, was the best women’s basketball game seen in New Zealand for many a year.

Harbour Breeze would have been worthy champions but they run down by the Dream in a classic finish.

It was a dream finale with the game going into overtime and the result in doubt until the final posession.

It was a dream contest to have shown live on SKY Sport.

It was a dream to have so many high quality athletes showcasing their ability – ten current or former Tall Ferns on show amongst the two finalists and many others amongst the other ten teams.

It was a dream encounter with every possesion a contest.

In the end it wasn’t a dream it was reality and here’s an inadequate summary of the drama that unfolded link

 

 

Auckland Dream unbeaten – WBC Day 3 wrap

 

Dream

Auckland Dream are unbeaten  after the first three rounds of the 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) played in Christchurch over the last three days.

Boasting current Tall Ferns Kalani Purcell, Natalie Taylor and Jordan Hunter plus a host of other experienced players they will be the team to beat.

Day 3 review here

 

WBC Day 2 Review

WBC 

Auckland Dream made it two wins from two outings in Division 1 action at the 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC), at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch on Saturday. The Dream pulled away in the third quarter to beat Waikato Wizards 81-59.

Sisters Charmian Mellars (18pts) and Kalani Purcell (16pts) led the Auckland scoring whilst the St Peter’s School duo of Jayzelee Waihi (17pts) and Ella Bradley (11pts) top scored for Waikato.

Also two from two are Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats after they outlasted Harbour Breeze to win 69-62. Russian forward Marita Davydova (24pts/14r) and Ajiah Pepe (17pts) were outstanding for the hosts. Laken Wairau also caught the eye as she flirted with a double double collecting 9 rebounds to accompany 10 points. Ella Fotu led the Breeze scoring effort with 15 points, Japanese guard Yume Negishi the only other player in double figures with 10.

 Defending champions Otago Gold Rush bounced back from its opening day horror showing against Auckland Dream to record a comfortable 64-43 win against Taranaki Thunder.

 Bronwyn Kjestrup led the way for the Gold Rush scoring 18 points (7/11FG) whilst three other players contributed 9 points apiece. Rochelle Fourie top scored for the Thunder making all eight of her shots from the floor to finish with 16 points.

 North Canterbury Spirit got its defence of the WBC Division 2 title off to a good start beating both Rotorua Lady Geysers and Northland Phoenix. North Carolina State University forward Esra McGoldrick led the way for the Spirit with 47 points across the two games.

Day 2 Results

Division 1

AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush 64 – Bronwyn Kjestrup 18, Natalie Visger 9, Aleisha Ruske 9, Hayley Gray 9

Taranaki Thunder 43 – Rochelle Fourie 16, Tara Clement 7, Teesha Smith 6

 

Waikato Wizards 59 – Jayzelee Waihi 17, Ella Bradley 11, Koha Lewis 10

Auckland Dream 81 – Charmian Mellars 18, Kalani Purcell 16, Rebecca Van Kuyk 13

 

Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats 69 – Marita Davydova 24, Aijah Pepe 17, Laken Wairau 10

Harbour Breeze 62 – Ella Fotu 15, Yume Negishi 10, Ash Kelman-Poto 9

Division 2

Rotorua Lady Geysers 64 – Awatea Leach 14, Amelia Palmer 11, Aroha Haumaha 11, Pareunuora Pene 11

North Canterbury Spirit 71 – Esra McGoldrick 30, Maia Watling 10, Amy West 10

 

Northland Phoenix 21 – Truly Harding 10, Jeannie Cameron 4

Capital Swish 70 – Letava Whippy 29, Arielle Parai 15, Maia Watene 6

 

Harbour Zephyr 55 – Tiarna Clarke 23, Raykesha Fiatau 10, Jess Moors 6

Wellington 77 – Leah Mafua 20, Emilino Motu 12, Tanaks Gopare 11

 

Northland Phoenix 40 – Leiani Tautiepa 19

North Canterbury Spirit 73 – Esra McGoldrick 17, Amy West 10, Kendal Hastie 9

 

Capital Swish 94 – Letava Whippy 32, Arielle Parai 18, Dalen Pilitati 13, Maia Watene 11

Rotorua Lady Geysers 71 – Aroha Haumaha 28, Awatea Leach 14, Amelia Palmer 13

 

South Canterbury Stealers 46 – Dallas Frederikson 10, Jorja Miller 9, Ellen Walsh 7

Harbour Zephyr 71 – Tiarna Clarke 16, Olivia Berry 10, Tessa Talo-Tomokino 10

WBC Opening Day results and scorers

 

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Auckland Dream laid down a marker on the opening day of the 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship  (WBC), at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch on Friday crushing defending champions Otago Gold Rush 62-25.

After the two teams split 24 points in the opening quarter remarkably Otago were held to zero points in the second quarter and only added 13 in the whole of the second half.

In another quirky statistic Auckland had 11 scorers but no player in double figures – Casyn Buchman led their scorers with 9.

Earlier Harbour Breeze, led by a 26 points haul from forward Ash Kelman-Poto, proved too strong for Waikato Wizards winning 73-46. Westlake Girls teenager Emme Shearer and Tall Fern Deena Franklin scored 11 apiece whilst another Tall Fern Krystal Leger-Walker top scored for the Wizards with 8.

The livestreamed game was largely one-way traffic with hosts Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats crushing Taranaki Thunder 91-24. Russian forward Maria Davydova completed a double double (11 points/11 rebounds) in just 17 minutes of action whilst NZ age-group internationals Helen Mathews (19pts) and Rosalia Samia (13pts) led the Wildcats scoring. Rochelle Fourie was the best for Taranaki with 8 points.

Basketball fans were unfortunately robbed of seeing three of New Zealand’s best young Tall Ferns in action as Tessa Boagni (Canterbury), Penina Davidson (Harbour) and Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato) are all sidelined with ankle injuries.

In Division 2 action there were wins on day one for Harbour Zephyr, Northland Phoenix and Wellington.

Round 1 results:

Division 1

Waikato Wizards 46 – Krystal Leger-Walker 8 Miriam Stevens 7, Koha Lewis 6

Harbour Breeze 73 – Ashleigh Kelman-Poto 26, Deena Franklin 11, Emme Shearer 11, Yume Negishi 8

 

Auckland Dream 62 – Casyn Buchman 9, Charmian Mellars 8, Natalie Taylor 8, Kalani Purcell 7

AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush 25 – Natalie Visger 6, Natalie smith 5, Nicole Ruske 5

 

Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats 91 – Helen Mathews 19, Rosalia Samia 13, Sapphire Warau 12, Maria Davydova 11/11r

Taranaki Thunder 24 – Rochelle Fourie 8, Teesha Smith 5

Division 2

Wellington 70 – Tanaka Gapare 18/18r, Leah Mafua 15, Emilena Motu 10, Jyordanna Davey 10

Rotorua Lady Geysers 45 – Aroha Haumaha 20, Awatea Leach 7

 

South Canterbury Stealers 50 – Dallas Frederikson 22, Jorja Miller 8, Jessica Davidson 8

Northland Phoenix 61 – Jaimee-Lee Tito 13,  Leylanni Cameron-Tana 12, Lelani Tautiepa 10

 

Capital Swish 64 – Letava Whippy 27, Arielle Parai 12, Dalen Pilitati 9

Harbour Zephyr 71 – Tiarna Clarke 15, Wuanyei Ah Hing 13, Jess Moors 12, Raykesha Fiatau 12

Women’s Basketball Championship tips-off Friday.

Otago

The Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) is set to tip off tomorrow, with the 13 teams from two divisions releasing their rosters this week.

A Division One game will be livestreamed on each of the three days. The opening game of the season in Division 1 sees Harbour Breeze take on Waikato Wizards at 4.00pm at Cowles Stadium.

Peppered with Tall Ferns, NZ Select and elite age-group players, the 2019 Division 1 season is promising to be the best yet. Early indications suggest the Am I Fit Otago Goldrush will have a tough time retaining their title if they are to overcome the talented line-ups from the Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats, Auckland Dream, Harbour Breeze, Taranaki Thunder and the Waikato Wizards.

In Division 2 , the championship is wide open and until the opening tournament tips off tomorrow afternoon at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch, the favourites are hard to pick.

A number of current and former Tall Ferns will take the floor this weekend. The Auckland Dream have an all-star line-up including Tall Ferns Captain Natalie Taylor and her three sister Kalani Purcell, Charmain Mellars, and Hailey Moala. Experience Tall Ferns guard and Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Jordan Hunter will be there too. Tall Ferns Assistant Coach, Aik Ho, takes the lead coaching role with Tania Hunter (Jordan’s Mum) as assistant.

The Wildcats will be strong contenders with the ever-competitive guard in Shea Crotty. She’ll be linking with Tall Fern Tessa Boagni and the exciting Russian talent that is Marita Davydova. The Cantabrians also bring a swathe of current or former New Zealand age-group reps.

The Am I Fit Goldrush bring a strong list of returning players that helped take the 2018 title. Veteran Natalie Smith will captain the team with Tall Fern Nicole Ruske will undoubtedly lead from the guard position.

The Harbour Breeze will see Tall Ferns Deena Franklin, None Martin, Tera Reed and Penina Davidson working alongside talented up and comers like Tayla Dalton and returning US College players like Ella Fotu and Matangiroa Flavell. Word from the team is that it’s unlikely Penina Davidson will be able to take the court as she recovers from the ankle injury she suffered at the FIBA 3X3 World Cup Qualifiers in Puerto Rico earlier this week.

The Waikato Wizards are always a fierce rival for any WBC team. They bring Tall Ferns Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker, Alyssa Hirawani, plus young talents Ella Bradley and Jayzelee Waihi. Natasha Lenden will captain the side and Tall Fern great Leanne Walker as coach.

The Taranaki Thunder will be the listed underdog this year, but with the likes of talented youngsters Isabelle Cook, Rachelle Fourie and captain Simone Cook, they have the flair to create upsets along the way.

Division 2 will be too close to call, with seven teams looking to build their programmes, particularly feeder teams into the Division One sides including Harbour Zephyr, South Canterbury Stealers, and defending champs McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit. The opening game in Division 2 sees Wellington take on Rotorua at 2.15pm, Friday – Waikato Country are a late withdrawl from Division 2

Rosters:

The rosters for this weekend’s tournament can be found here: http://www.nz.basketball/Competitions/WBC/Draw-Info

 

Livestream:

Three games will be livestreamed on www.nz.basketball/tv and on the @BasketballNZ facebook page:

  • Friday, 10th May – 7:45pm Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats V Taranaki Thunder
  • Saturday, 11th May – 7:45pm Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats V Harbour Breeze
  • Sunday, 12th May – 4pm Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats V Auckland Dream

 

Division One teams:

  • Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
  • AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush
  • Auckland Dream
  • Harbour Breeze
  • Taranaki Thunder
  • Waikato Wizards

 

Division Two teams:

  • Capital Swish
  • Harbour Zephyr
  • North Canterbury
  • Northland Phoenix
  • Rotorua Lady Geysers
  • South Canterbury Stealers
  • Wellington

WBC defending champions snare Hayley Gray

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Hayley Gray in Canterbury colours – photo courtesy of Richard Connelly

The Otago Gold Rush are thrilled to announce that former Canterbury Wildcats captain Hayley Gray will be joining the Otago Gold Rush for their Women’s Basketball Championship title defense in 2019.

Basketball Otago General Manager Justin Ludlow says Gray has been an instrumental figure in Canterbury women’s basketball since her debut with the Wildcats at the age of sixteen.

“She played an important role in the Wildcats back to back championship wins in 2016 and 2017, and she captained the team during that time.

“Head coach Greg Brockbank and I met with Hayley recently, and we were just thrilled with her attitude and determination for the game which will be a great asset for us in 2019. She wants to see more females playing basketball at all ages and wants to play a part in that in our region which is fantastic.

“She is still passionate about the game and giving back to the next generation of young female basketballers who aspire to have the opportunities which she has had within the game, and which are still a key component of her desire to remain involved at the highest level. She is excited that she will be able to continue this with the Otago Gold Rush as they look to defend their title won in 2018,” says Ludlow.

“I am really excited to be getting back out on the court again this year, especially with the defending champions. It is always challenging moving cities and teams, but the Otago Gold Rush have been very welcoming and supportive, and I cannot wait to hit the floor running in this year’s WBC. I imagine it will be a tight race to the title as the WBC continues to grow in strength, but I am confident the silverware won’t be moving from the South,” says Gray.

An ACL injury hampered Gray’s 2018 commitments with the North Canterbury Spirit in the WBC’s second division. Gray used this time to give back as a coaching assistant in what proved to be a third championship in three years with the Spirit crowned second division champions during the finals in Dunedin.

The experienced guard has recently relocated to Queenstown with her partner to establish and operate the Black & White Coffee Cartel café in Frankton and believes her experience and leadership qualities will add value to the Gold Rush during the 2019 season.

The Otago Gold Rush begin their WBC campaign against the Auckland Dream on Friday 10 May in Christchurch.

Penina Davidson outstanding but Rainbow Wahine too good for Premiere North

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The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine eventually proved too strong for New Zealand International Basketball Tours Premiere North pulling away in the final quarter to win 71-57 at Auckland Boys Grammar School on Thursday.

It was a margin that didn’t do justice to the Premiere team’s effort as they led for a time in the third period and only trailed 49-46 with ten minutes to play.

An understandably stuttering start, given that the Premiere team gathered for the first time on the morning of the game and Hawaii only arrived in the country on Wednesday, was shaded by the visitors 18-12.

The Premiere coaching staff were not afraid to use their youngest talent in unison – all four high school players, Tayla Dalton, Jazz Kailahi-Fulu, Shauna Povey and Sharne Pupuke-Robati were on court together ahead of the Rainbow Wahine taking a 31-22 lead into the locker room.

A good sized crowd got behind the home team as they made a strong start to the second half.

The Premiere team made a conscious effort to get the ball inside to forwards Penina Davidson (22 points and 10 rebounds), Makayla Daysh and Pupuke-Robati (10 points) – a tactic that reaped some benefit as the hosts opened the half with a 10-3 run.

Davidson, ahead of her departure to take up a contract with the Adelaide Lightning in the Australian WNBL, displayed her scoring versatility with a long three to compliment some skillful inside work, the Premiere’s taking the lead after additional good work from Donna Fermanis and Arielle Parai.

As expected from a quality NCAA Division I team the Rainbow Wahine responded and carried a 49-46 advantage into the last quarter.

The Premiere’s effort faded in the final minutes, the University of Hawaii closing out a deserved first-up victory on their four game tour of New Zealand and Australia.

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After a day of relaxation in Auckland on Friday the Rainbow Wahine head to Christchurch for a game against NZ Premiere South – Sunday, 4.30pm start at Cowles Stadium.

Another entertaining game is in prospect with Tessa Boagni headlining the Premiere lineup. The former California State University Northridge forward was outstanding for the Tall Ferns last month during their gold medal winning campaign at the William Jones Cup.

For further information visit the New Zealand International Basketball Tours website http://nzibt.org/

NZ Premiere North 57 – P Davidson 22/10r, S Pupuke-Robati 10, A Parai 6, M Daysh 6, T Dalton 5, K Tini 2/6r, D Fermanis 4, Kailahi-Fulu 1

University of Hawaii 71 – L Salanoa 12, M Woodfolk 11, S Reier 11, C Middap 11

Otago and Waikato Wizards to contest WBC Final

 

charlisse copy

It should be a cracking final. The WBC grand finale will feature the young Waikato team led by Charlisse Leger-Walker against a more experienced Otago Gold Rush.

read report on semi-finals

WBC Finals – Day 1 Wrap on all games

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There are still semi-final places up for grabs at the WBC play-offs although defending champions Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats have been ousted.

In one of the all-time great WBC games they were pipped at the post by South Island rivals Otago Gold Rush.

read more

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