Category Archives: WNBL

Penina Davidson and Adelaide Lightning headed to WNBL Grand Final decider

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The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Grand Final Series is headed to a deciding game in Canberra on Saturday evening after a pulsating second game was won by Adelaide Lightning last night.

Canberra had comfortably won the opening game 88-67 on its home court but the Lightning bounced back in stirring fashion closing out a nail-biter 74-73. Nicole Seekamp scored with a buzzer beater in front of 3,700 ecstatic fans at the Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide to force a deciding game in the best-of-three series.

Tall Fern Penina Davidson, in her first season as a professional since graduating from the University of California Berkeley in 2018, produced a nice cameo off the bench posting 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.

The winning basket wasn’t without controversy as the referees missed a clear double dribble as the ball was dribbled up court and there was grave doubt as to whether Seekamp got off her winning shot before the final siren sounded.

Earlier Canberra had forged a 44-37 half-time advantage although that lead has virtually evaporated by three-quarter time with Adelaide trailing by just one point (56-55). Even though Canberra led for the majority of the final period Adelaide were never more than two possessions in arrears and timed their final run to perfection.

Adelaide Head Coach and former Tall Ferns assistant Chris Lucas described the game as “An amazing game of women’s basketball. I thought it was just fantastic, it had everything.”

Whatever the outcome on Saturday Davidson has relished her rookie season in Adelaide.

“Making the Grand Final has definitely been a highlight and I couldn’t have asked for much more from my first professional contract,” she said.

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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.

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

Purcell wins battle of the Tall Ferns

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A go-ahead basket by Kalani Purcell, with 27 seconds left on the clock, helped propel Melbourne Boomers to an exciting 79-75 home win against Townsville Fire in the latest round of the Australian Women’s National Basketball League.

In a re-match of last season’s Grand Final Purcell pulled down an astonishing 15 rebounds (8 off the offensive glass) as Melbourne recorded a fourth straight win and moved to second on the WNBL ladder with a 7-3 record. The Tall Ferns forward added 9 points, 4 assists and 2 steals in a typical all-action display.

Tall Ferns teammate Micaela Cocks was also in fine form, top scoring for the defending champions with 19 points at a highly efficient 8 from 11 shooting. However the loss means that, a third of the way through the season, the Fire sit outside the top four with 3 wins and 5 losses.

Two earlier clashes in the round also pitched mate versus mate, Tall Fern against Tall Fern.

Adelaide Lightning, with Penina Davidson nabbing 6 points, led by as many as 10 points against Townsville but eventually succumbed 79-77 on their home court. Stella Beck came off the bench for the Fire contributing 3 assists and a pair of rebounds. Also for Townsville Cocks chipped in with 5 points, 3 rebounds and a trio of dimes.

Prior to the win against Townsville Melbourne had travelled west and completed a comprehensive 89-69 victory over league leaders Perth Lynx. It was just the second loss of the season for Perth (6-2) who got 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals from captain Toni Farnworth. Purcell put up more big numbers amassing 6 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block.

The next edition of mate v mate will be on Sunday when Penina and Adelaide visit Kalani and Melbourne.

Farnworth and Lynx get the double plus news on other Tall Ferns overseas

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There were some strong performances by New Zealand national team players based overseas at the weekend.

Perth are top of the Australian WNBL table with a 5-1 record after getting a road double by defeating Sydney 78-62 and Townsville Fire 79-71. Perth skipper Toni Farnworth came up with 10pts/3rebs/2a/2steals against Sydney and 7 points and 5 rebounds against the Fire.

For the Fire, that slip to 2-3 for the season, Micaela Cocks scored 10 points and added 4 rebounds and a pair of steals.

Josie Stockill made her WNBL debut for Melbourne Boomers in its 101-75 demolition of Dandenong. The Tall Ferns centre is a Development Player with the Guy Molloy coached Boomers and came on for the final two minutes of the tie and knocked down a free throw to get on the scoreboard.

On Melbourne Cup Day eve Melbourne were kept to just nine points in the closing quarter as they fell 60-58 to Bendigo Spirit in front of almost 3,000 of their own fans. Kalani Purcell snared 9 rebounds, including 5 off the offensive glass, for Melbourne in addition to 3 points, 2 assists and 3 steals but the Boomers slip to a 3-3 record.

In Italy Jillian Harmon will have taken quiet satisfaction from Ragusa’s 67-56 win against Lucca. Harmon played for Lucca in its 2017 championship winning season but on Sunday helped plot Lucca’s downfall scoring 13 points to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Ragusa moved into the Serie A top four with a 3-2 record following the victory.

Tessa Boagni produced a monster double-double of 14 points and 17 rebounds for Hatchers Valhyries in the Malaysian League. Hatchers beat Red Barron 58-48 and are fourth on the table with a 2-1 record.

Australian WNBL underway but only Penina Davidson gets the W

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Four Tall Ferns appeared in the opening round of the Australian National Basketball League (WNBL) at the weekend but only Penina Davidson enjoyed a win.

Melbourne Boomers, coached by Tall Ferns mentor Guy Molloy, are tipped by many to win the 38th edition of the WNBL but they were surprisingly beaten 82-72 by Bendigo Spirit in front of nearly three thousand fans at the Melbourne State Basketball Centre on Saturday.

Kalani Purcell added four rebounds to one free-throw as Melbourne was outscored 29-5 in the second period giving up 23 turnovers in the contest.

It wasn’t a happy occasion for Micaela Cocks as she began her eighth season with Townsville Fire. Playing her 183rd game for the club (second highest all-time for Townsville) Cocks scored six points and added 8 rebounds but the Fire were doused 73-68 by Dandenong Rangers.

Stella Beck has joined Cocks at Townsville following her successful four year career at St Mary’s College California. Unfortunately Beck will be sidelined for the first couple of weeks of the season as she recovers from a stress fracture in her foot.

Davidson began her professional career on a winning note on Saturday as Adelaide Lightning stole) an opening round win in Perth beating the Lynx 78-66.

“Fans are going to love New Zealand ‘big’ Penina Davidson,” observed respected Adelaide based basketball journalist Boti Nagy before the game.

The former University of California Berkeley standout contributed 3 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in 17 quality minutes off the bench for the Chris Lucas coached Lightning.

The win was based around a solid defensive effort from Adelaide as they held Perth to just twenty points in the middle two quarters to carry a decisive 58-41 lead into the final ten minutes.

Cantabrian Toni Farnworth, in her seventh campaign with the Lynx and her tenth WNBL season overall, scored 7 points but it wasn’t a great shooting night for Tall Ferns wing making just 3 from 12 from the floor.

Australian WNBL underway with strong Kiwi presence

It’s not just the Men’s Australian NBL that is underway this week but the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) also tips-off.

Beginning Friday there are four first round games with three featuring New Zealand Tall Ferns players.

The Sydney against Canberra clash on Friday has no Kiwi presence but on Saturday Perth Lynx featuring Toni Farnworth entertain Penina Davidson and Adelaide Lightning.

Also on Saturday Kalani Purcell and Josie Stockill will be suiting up for the Melbourne Bomers at home against Bendigo Spirit.

The first round concludes on Sunday with champions Townsville Fire hosting Dandenong Rangers. Veteran Micaela Cocks will once again be in the Fire lineup but unfortunately injury has ruled our Stella Beck.

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Micaela Cocks wins third WNBL Championship

 

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Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks has added a third Australian WNBL title to her already impressive CV.

She had won championships with Townsville in 2015 and 2016, collecting the Grand-Final MVP Award that year, and finished runner-up in 2013 and 2014.

Cocks enjoyed a standout four year career at the University of Oregon and has represented the Tall Ferns for over a decade winning a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 2006 and being a member of the NZ team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“It may be the third but it never gets old,” said Cocks.

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Micaela Cocks and Kalani Purcell headed for Grand-Final showdown

 

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A Purcell screen catches Cocks

Micaela Cocks is looking for her third Australian WNBL championship and Kalani Purcell  is striving for her first.

It has all come down to one game read more

 

Micaela Cocks and Kalani Purcell heading for WNBL showdown

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Tall Ferns teammates Micaela Cocks and Kalani Purcell will go head to head on Saturday night as Townsville Fire entertain Melbourne Boomers in game 1 of the Australian WNBL Grand Final Series.

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