Category Archives: WNBL

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



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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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.

Australian WNBL log jam – three Tall Ferns involved


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There is a three-way tie at the top of the Australian WNBL with three Tall Ferns players in the midst of the action. Townsville Fire, Melbourne Boomers and defending champions Sydney University Flames each have an 8-4 record just over halfway through the regular season.

One of those players is Micaela Cocks. Her Townsville Fire team got the better of Melbourne Boomers (73-66) but came unstuck in Perth on Sunday going down 73-66.

After a 17 points haul the previous weekend Cocks had to settle for just 7 points across the two games in this round.

Melbourne of course boasts two Kiwi internationals with Kalani Purcell and Rebecca Ott in their lineup. However they didn’t enjoy the best of weeks losing to both of their closest rivals.

The loss to Townsville was followed by defeat at home to Sydney, 101-89.

Ott has just returned after injury but did post 4 points against the Sydney.

Purcell is amongst the top 10 rebounders in the WNBL and demonstrated that fact by snaring a team high 11 rebounds in Townsville.

Averaging 7.2 rebounds per game Purcell came up with another 5 against Sydney to go with 9 points

Canberra Capitals now sit dead last on the ladder after going down 83-80 at home to Bendigo Spirit. Chevannah Paalvast failed to put any points on the board but did dish a season high 5 assists.

In Italy Napoli won again with an 84-60 win against Vigarano. Jillian Harmon produced her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds as well as 5 assists.

Napoli now has a 4-4 record. Harmon is third on the Italian League individual standings for both points scored (18.0) and rebounds (9.6) per game.

Purcell and Cocks shine in WNBL


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Tall Ferns Micaela Cocks and Kalani Purcell made telling contributions for their respective clubs in the Australian WNBL last weekend.

Melbourne Boomers have bounced back to form with a couple of victories defeating top of the table Sydney University Flames 88-65 and Adelaide Lightning 77-74.

Once again Kalani Purcell was at the heart of the Boomers effort claiming 10 rebounds in each of the Melbourne wins. She added 6 points, 6 assists and 2 steals in Sydney and 4 points and 2 assists against Adelaide.

Incidentally Australian centre Liz Cambage knocked down a career high 44 points for Melbourne against Adelaide

The pair of wins lifts the Boomers to 7-4 for the season and third place on the WNBL ladder.

Sydney remains in top spot but Townsville Fire are second after Micaela Cocks helped the 2016 champions to a comprehensive 94-59 victory against Bendigo Spirit.

Cocks landed 16 points for the Fire including a more than useful four out of six from beyond the three-point arc.

Chevannah Paalvast played 10 minutes – although didn’t trouble the scorers – as Canberra Capitals were defeated 85-67 in Perth.

Jillian Harmon wasn’t in action at the weekend as the Italian League is taking a break whilst the European Championship Qualifying Tournament is taking place.

Paalvast signs for Canberra Capitals


And then there were five.

News that Chevannah Paalvast has signed a one-year deal with the University of Canberra Capitals takes the number of New Zealand internationals that will play in the 2017-18 Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season to five.

Paalvast has joined the Capitals after a two-year stint with Townsville Fire winning a championship with the North Queensland club in 2016.

During the WNBL off-season Paalvast played alongside fellow Tall Fern Micaela Cocks in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) for Mackay Meteorettes. The Meteorettes reached the QBL grand final series before going down to the Brisbane Spartans in the best of three series. The former Waitakere standout averaged 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for Mackay.

The 26 year old Kiwi guard told the WNBL website, “I have heard nothing but positive stories about the Capitals and this was reinforced by the way they have welcomed me in.”

Canberra coach Paul Gorris is delighted with the signing, “What always stood out for me was her defensive ability and her athleticism.”

“For me, it was about personal development as I wanted to keep playing and I had heard so many wonderful things about Gorrie. I thought he would be a really good coach for my development,” said Paalvast.

The signing is also good news for the Tall Ferns programme with five players that recently featured in the Asia Cup campaign now signed with WNBL clubs. The quintet are likely to form the backbone of the New Zealand team when the Commonwealth Games are played on the Gold Coast and in Cairns next April.

In addition to Paalvast, Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire), Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx), Kalani Purcell and Rebecca Ott (both Melbourne Boomers) will be on duty when the new season tips-off on October 5th.