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NZ Premiers run Cal Berkeley close - Aug 14, 2017

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The New Zealand Premier team performed with great distinction before going down 77-69 against University of California, Berkley Golden Bears at North Shore Events Centre on Sunday.

The Premier team was well served by the teenage trio of Sharne Pupuke-Robati (10 points/ 6 rebounds), Esra McGoldrick (9 points/ 6 rebounds) and Charlisse Ledger-Walker who led all scorers with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

Cal forward Penina Davidson (190-F-95, college: California), a former Rangitoto College standout, was back on familiar territory at the NSEC and didn't disappoint family and former school mates in the 1,000 strong crowd. The Tall Fern put together a strong performance bagging 9 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals in the game promoted by New Zealand International Basketball Tours.

The Bears, one of the top college teams in the USA, play in the prestigious Pac 12 Conference opened strongly forging a 22-13 opening quarter lead.

However the Premiers, with just two training sessions under their belts, made a strong run in the second quarter to close the half down 42-34 at half-time.

With Tall Fern Deena Franklin, Darcy Rose and Connie Poletti helping the Premiers gain parity on the boards the hosts closed to within a single point (61-60) with under six minutes to play.

Cal standouts Asha Thomas (12 points/ 6 assists) and Kristine Anigwe (15 points / 5 rebounds) steadied the Bears - an 8-2 run quashed the threat of an upset.

Premiers coach Lori McDaniel was delighted with the performance of her team. 'With just a couple of training sessions together prior to the game I thought the team performed remarkably well.

'Charlisse was outstanding but I thought all the young players acquitted themselves well. We had six players in the team that are still at school and they will have gained a lot of confidence from performing so well against such a high calibre team as Cal.

'The whole occasion was a terrific showcase for basketball in New Zealand and women's basketball in particular. Hats off to New Zealand International Basketball Tours for hosting an outstanding event.

NZ Premiers 69 - Leger-Walker 23, Pupuke-Robati 10, McGoldrick 9, Ruske 6, Franklin 6, Gray 5, Penese 4, Daysh 4, Poletti 2

California, Berkley 77 - Anigwe 15, Thomas 12, Cowling 10, Davidson 9

NZ Premier Team

Makayla Daysh (Tauranga City Coasters)
Deena Franklin (Harbour Breeze)
Hayley Gray (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards)
Luye Murphy (Capital Swish)
Esra McGoldrick (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Sariah Penese (Capital Swish)
Connie Poletti (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Lady Rangers)
Darcy Rose (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
Nicole Ruske (Site Weld Otago Goldrush)
Sapphire Wairau (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)

Coaches - Jody Cameron and Lori McDaniel

Jillian Harmon selected the top New Zealander playing abroad in last week's games - 6 days ago
We bring you last week's top performances from New Zealanders who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. 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 one of league's weakest teams Torino in the Italian Serie A1 in Sunday night's game.    [read more]

Kennedy Kereama resigns from Tall Ferns head coach role - 6 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]

Jillian Harmon's double-double lands her Player of the Week award among New Zealanders playing currently abroad: - 13 days 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). Sheto an easy victory against the closely-ranked Vigarano in the Italian Serie A1 in Sunday night's game.    [read more]

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