The performance of the week amongst Kiwi international hoops players overseas this week came from Tall Ferns forward Jillian Harmon. She scored 28 points as Le Murra Lucca opened their best of three Italian Championship semi-final series with a win. It was tough going for Lucca who were taken to overtime by Venezia before winning 77-73. Harmon played all 45 minutes for the regular season champions and added 5 rebounds to her points haul as Lucca protected their home court.
Game two is set down for Wednesday in Venice and game three if required back in Lucca on Saturday.
On Sunday Zaragoza entertained Isaac Fotu’s former club Manresa, both sides holding an identical 10-19 record for the season. Prior to the game it was mathematically possible Zaragoza could still be relegated but they buried that notion with an emphatic 82-65 win.
Isaac Fotu came off the bench to score 8 points and added 4 rebounds for Zaragoza who now sit mid table and have only pride to play for in the final four rounds of the Spanish League.
Also with identical records were Turkish League clubs Pinar Karsiyaka and Banvit BK. Both had 15-11 records but it was the visitors that gained their 16th win of the season with a 71-64 victory. The scores were tied 50 points apiece entering the final quarter but it was Banvit that finished the stronger.
Tom Abercrombie had a quiet game with just 5 points and 2 rebounds for Karsiyaka.
Limburg United beat Port of Antwerp Giants 91-87 in a Belgium Scooore League contest on Friday. As reported last week this game was a precursor to a quarter-final match up between the two teams that will take place in a couple of weeks time.
Tall Blacks centre Rob Loe managed 6 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for Limburg.
Australia – Women
Tall Ferns Head coach Kennedy Kereama, along with the majority of the Australian based Kiwi internationals, will be heading to Auckland later this week in preparation for the Tall Ferns trial. Before that they had some club commitments to fulfill.
In Big V League Division 1 action it was first versus second as Sunbury Jets entertained Western Port. The Jets, coached by Kereama, held a commanding 58-42 three-quarter time advantage before easing to a 71-60 victory to improve to 7-0 on the season and consolidate top spot.
It wasn’t a game to remember for Jess Bygate; the former Nelson forward scored just 4 points for the Jets as she fouled out in less than thirteen minutes.
It was round one in the Queensland Basketball League and Chevannah Paalvast is suiting up for Townsville Flames for this season. She contributed 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as Townsville defeated Cairns 79-73.
In Western Australia Toni Edmondson is in good form ahead of the Tall Ferns campaign. Edmondson followed up her 14pts/12rebs display last week with 21 points for Perry Lakes Hawks against East Perth Eagles on Friday in the State Basketball League. The Hawks won 80-44 against the lowly Eagles and improved to 6-1 for the season.
It wasn’t such good news for Lisa Wallbutton and the Perth Redbacks as they were beaten 75-71 in a tight encounter by Cockburn Cougars. Wallbutton came up with an impressive 14 points and 11 rebounds but the Redbacks gave up a five points three-quarter time advantage to slip to 3-3 for the campaign.
US College – Women
Josie Stockill, about to graduate from Colgate University, was this week recognised as Colgate's female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A neuroscience major, Stockill was one of five named to the Women's Basketball Academic All-Patriot League Team for her efforts in the classroom during the 2015-16 season. The Napier product was a three-time member of both the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and Colgate's Raider Academic Honor Roll. On the court, Stockill ended her collegiate career as the programme's career leader for blocked shots in a game (13), season (105) and career (241).