The major news involving Kiwi international players overseas this week is that Tall Fern Jillian Harmon has secured a regular season championship in Italy and Corey Webster’s Greek venture is over after three weeks.
Webster’s spell with Koroivos in the Greek League is all over after three games as the GBL regular season has come to an end. It remains to be seen if Webster will take up another short-term contract overseas or return to New Zealand to prepare for the Tall Blacks campaign.
Koroivos broke a seven game losing streak to beat Lavrio 86-69, the win staved off the threat of relegation for Koroivos as they finish 12th of the 14 teams in the League with an 8-18 record.
Webster dished a game high 7 assists but managed only 5 points on the night against Lavrio. The Tall Blacks guard has not been able to find his usual shooting rhythm in Greece managing to connect with just 3 from 19 (16%) threes and 5 from 18 (28%) from his other field goal attempts across the three games he has played.
It was a mixed week for Rob Loe and his Limburg United club in Scooore League action. United (14-10) remain in fourth spot on the Belgium League ladder after a win and a loss this week.
On Saturday Limburg protected their home court with an 88-81 victory over BC Telenet Oostende, a fine win against the top of the table side. Loe, easing his way back to full fitness, played 21 minutes scoring half a dozen points to go with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.
On Wednesday Limburg had been thumped 99-67 by Crelan Okapi Aalstar. It was a night to forget for both United and Loe, the Tall Blacks centre failing to score from his six shots although he did pull down 4 rebounds and dish a couple of assists.
The play-off aspirations of Plymouth Raiders took a major hit on Sunday when they went down, at home, to lowly Bristol Flyers 78-70.
Duane Bailey scored a team high 21 points and added 7 rebounds and 4 assists for Plymouth. Bailey put up possibly a career high 14 three point attempts, converting five of them, as the Raiders hang on to a top eight spot on the British Basketball League ladder - but only just.
They share eighth spot with Leeds Force and have to match the Force record in the final week of the regular season to make the play-offs. The Raiders travel to fifth placed Glasgow on Wednesday and then entertains third placed Sheffield next Sunday. Leeds has a far easier schedule playing the two bottom placed teams, Manchester and Surrey, next weekend.
If games go to form Bailey’s UK experience may be over on Sunday and he will be free to link up with the Judd Flavell coached Southland Sharks as early as next week.
Neither Isaac Fotu nor his Zaragoza colleagues were able to make much impression on rivals Laboral Kutxa in Spanish League action on Sunday.
After an even opening quarter Zaragoza were undone to the tune of 30-11 in the second period eventually mauled 100-71 by the fourth placed Laboral Kutxa.
Fotu finished with five points and a team high 7 rebounds as Zaragoza drop a place to 15th on the Liga Endesa table with seven games left in the regular season.
Tom Abercrombie’s next outing for Turkish club Pinar Karsiyaka will be on Monday night at Darussafaka.
Europe - Women
After three straight losses Le Murra Lucca returned to winning ways with an 82-55 win against relegation bound Cagliari.
Tall Fern Jillian Harmon led all scorers with 31 points; her third 30+ points haul of the season.
The win ensured top spot in Serie A for Lucca edging Famila Schio into second place on the Italian League ladder. Schio and Lucca finished with identical 23-3 records but Lucca secured the regular season championship with a superior head to head record.
Harmon won an Australian WNBL championship with Townsville Fire followed by a WBC title with Oceano Gold Rush Otago in 2015. She is now looking to win a third consecutive championship as Lucca head into a quarter-final tie on April 21 against either Torino or Napoli.
Australia - Women
Tall Ferns Head coach Kennedy Kereama rested Jess Bygate from the Sunbury Jets latest outing in the Big V League. Bygate is carrying a minor injury and was not risked for the home encounter with Camberwell Dragons. Even without the Kiwi international the Jets secured an 80-74 victory.
Over in Western Australia there was mixed news for our two Tall Ferns playing in the State League.
Lisa Wallbutton and the Perth Redbacks were 3-0 before the weekend but came unstuck against Joondalup Wolves losing 68-47. The Redbacks gained parity in the second half but a 33-18 half-time deficit was too much to overcome. Wallbutton finished with 4pts/7rebs/1steal/1 block.
Toni Edmondson scored 12 points for Perry Lakes Hawks as they beat East Perth Eagles on Friday, 81-66. The Hawks made it two from two over the weekend. defeating Stirling Senators 83-64 0n Saturday, Edmondson having a productive 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals outing.
Perry Lakes are tied for first place on the SBL ladder with a 4-0 record with Perth Redbacks sitting fourth on 3-1.