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Tall Ferns finish sixth at Asia Cup - Jul 29, 2017

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The Tall Ferns have finished sixth at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Bengaluru after a disappointing 65-45 loss to Chinese Taipei in the 5th/6th play-off game.

A horror first half saw New Zealand fall 20 points behind and although they briefly pulled the deficit back to 11 points early in the second half they were unable to maintain any offensive momentum.

A lackluster performance was illustrated by the shooting statistics - 15 from 64 (23%) from the field including just 2 from 21 (9%) threes.

Jillian Harmon and Kalani Purcell, the Tall Ferns standout players at the tournament, both had a shooting performance to forget - an identical 1 from 9 attempts apiece.

The Tall Ferns only had four free throws from Kalani Purcell to show for their efforts in the opening quarter as they were blitzed 20-4 in the first stanza. The Kiwis shooting stats at the end of the period made for painful reading - 0 from 14 attempts.

Micaela Cocks (174-G-86, college: Oregon) scored from the field in the opening minute of the second frame to reboot the stalled scoreboard.

In the pool game played between these two teams earlier in the week the Tall Ferns had to come from 17 points behind to secure the win - in this one they fell 20 points behind (30-10) after 15 minutes.

The position improved marginally in the closing stages of the first half as Toni Edmondson and Cocks scored a pair of baskets each however Chinese Taipei still led 33-19 at the interval.

Edmondson and Harmon baskets pulled the Tall Ferns to within 11 points (34-23) but defensive lapses allowed Taipei to regain control and extend their lead out to 42-25.

Josie Stockill scored from her own offensive rebound and Cocks made a corner three but Taipei were in control at three-quarter time leading 48-32.

Purcell once again took her rebounding count into double figures but her shooting woes, like that of her colleagues, continued.

Teenage guard Zara Jillings scored her first points in a Tall Ferns singlet late in the game but that was one of the few bright moments in a game that most will want to forget.

Tall Ferns head coach Kennedy Kereama thought tiredness was a factor.
'The energy was there at the start but when shots don't drop it drains you and I think fatigue really got to us today. However we will be better for the experience of playing in the Asia Cup.'

The Tall Ferns programme will now go into recess before resuming in April at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. The Women's Basketball tournament at the Games will be an eight team event involving Australia, Canada, India, Mozambique, Jamaica, England, Malaysia and New Zealand beginning on April 5th.

Tall Ferns 45 - Cocks 10p/8r, Purcell 8p/10r, Edmondson 8, Paalvast 4, Harmon 4, Stockill 4, Bygate 3, Franklin 2, Jillings 2
Chinese Taipei 65 - P Huang 10, H Bao 10, Y Lin 9

Jillian Harmon selected the top New Zealander playing abroad in last week's games - 21 hours ago
Here is the weekly review of the top performing New Zealand players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an international power forward Jillian Harmon (185-87, agency: LBM Management). She was the major contributor in Napoli's victory against the closely-ranked San Martino in the Italian Serie A1 in Sunday night's game.    [read more]

Top performing Kiwis from last weekend - 6 days ago
In Italy Napoli (6-4) are up to fourth on the Serie A ladder after a fourth straight win defeating San Martino 84-70. Jillian Harmon was her usual busy self, accumulating 21 points (8/14FG), 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Melbourne Boomers (11-6) solidified their spot in second place on the Australian WNBL ladder with a couple of wins including an 86-42 demolition of Bendigo Spirit. Kalani Purcell(188-F-95, college: BYU) had 9 points (4/5FG) and 9 rebounds in the massacre. Perth Lynx have cl...   [read more]

Kennedy Kereama resigns from Tall Ferns head coach role - 8 days ago
Long time New Zealand Tall Ferns head coach Kennedy Kereama has announced his resignation from the position with immediate effect. Kereama had been a member of the Tall Ferns programme for ten years having begun his association with the team as the video technician at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was later appointed to the assistant coaching role under Shawn Dennis, before inheriting the Head Coach position 12 months later, when Dennis stood down. Kereama's most recent assignment was the...   [read more]

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