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Oceania Championships Standings
1. Austral. 3-0
2. New Zea. 1-2
3. Fiji 0-

Australia Celebrating their gold medal at Fiba Oceania Championships for Women 2007 (Photo: Fiba)

  New Zealand loses Oceania series Final to Australia  - Sep. 29, 2007 
New Zealand - Australia 46:87

New Zealand lost the second consecutive game against Austrlia at the Oceania series in Dunedin. The Opals remained unsurpassable challange for Tall Ferns as they both now heading for Beijing Olympics in 2008. It was yet another argument that Aussies are still dominant at the region's scene.
The Opals started the game quickly and scored in double figures before the hosts managed to open their scoring stats. Australia easily secured a 22:13 lead after the first frame and did not give it up further on. The gap grew to a 22:37 mark at halftime and New Zealand looked hapless. Micaela Cocks (173-G-86), Toni Edmondson and Lisa Pardon (173-G-82, college: Oregon St.) scored consecutive points midway through the third stanza as Kiwis came as close as 12 points. But it was just a momentum as Australia reacted immediately and cleared off to a 20-point distance moments later. They capped the game with another nearly perfect 22:6 quarter and celebrated well-deserved title.
Natalie Porter (185-F-80) topscored for Australia with 14 points. Renae Camino (177-G-86) ensured 12 points for the winners. New Zealand were paced by 10 points from Angela Marino (166-G-86). Lisa Pardon provided 8 points in a losing clause.
Tall Ferns shot just 26% of field goals and 46% of free throws. The Opals replied with 53% from the field and 62% from free throw line. Australia had an obvious advantage under the rims as they outrebounded the home side 56:32.

New Zealand: Angela Marino 10, Lisa Pardon 8, Jessica McCormack (194-C-89) 6+7 boards
Australia: Natalie Porter 14, Renae Camino 12, Carly Wilson (180-G-82, agency: LBM Management) 11

  Tall Ferns leave Fiji no chances for Beijing - Sep. 28, 2007 
New Zealand - Fiji 118:31
New Zealand secured their spot at the next year's Olympic Games in Beijing. They easily speared Fiji in the Oceania championship game today and fulfilled their minimum task for the tournament. Tall Ferns kept Fiji scoreless for about a half of the first frame and later grabbed a double-digit lead. New Zealand players forced their opponents to 9 turnovers throughout the opening quarter and comfortably led 29:7. The things got even worse for Fiji in the second term as they were kept scoreless for about 8 minutes and fell behind 30 points at halftime 12:50. With the outcome decided Tall Ferns eased the pressure a bit and Fiji managed to score 13 points in the third stanza though conceding 27. The final frame appeared to be once again a one-sided traffic as Tall Ferns cruised past collapsed Fijian defense and nailed 41 points to seal their overwhelming dominance.
Karlene Kingi led balanced New Zealand offense with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Angela Marino (166-G-86) nailed 16 points, while Jessica McCormack (194-C-89) added 14 points and 8 boards for the winners. Sera Colata nailed 15 points and made 2 steals for Fiji. Leilani Saukawa and Brittany Hazelman netted 5 points apiece in defeat.
Kiwis shot solid 60% from the field, while Fiji managed only 22% of field goals. Tall Ferns also outrebounded their opponents 54:26 and forced them to incredible 37 turnovers.
New Zealand will now try to improve on their performance against Australia. They take on the Opals tomorrow in the Oceania series final. Noni Wharemate (171-G-82, college: UTEP) and Jody Tini (179-F-76) are questionable for the game with injuries.

New Zealand: Karlene Kingi 20+8 boards, Angela Marino 16, Jessica McCormack 14+8 boards
Fiji: Sera Colata 15, Leilani Saukawa 5, Brittany Hazelman 5

  Australia, New Zealand and Fiji struggle in Dunedin - Sep. 27, 2007 
Dunedin hosts Oceania Women's Championships on 26-29th September 2007. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji contest the event, which will be broadcast live across New Zealand. Australia, who have gained automatic entry to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, will still participate in the series, making it a three-team series for the first time in many years.

IIn the first game New Zealand Tall Ferns opened their Fiba Oceania championship campaign with a hurting loss to Australia. Tall Ferns faced the defending World champions in Dunedin and could not beat the forecasts. The Opals turned out to be stronger and once again proved their ‘one-of-the-best-teams-in-the-world' status. Depleted Australia was without services of WNBA stars Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor. However the class of the Opals' squad was overwhelmingly good for young Kiwis. Australia dominated from the very start and piled up a 17:11 advantage after the first frame. Aussies shot more accurately from the field and won every other defensive battle. They outscored Tall Ferns 19:11 in the second quarter and enjoyed a comfortable 36:22 lead at halftime. New Zealand never showed any signs of recovery after the intermission. Natalie Porter (185-F-80) and Emma Randall (190-C-85) continued to spur their team ahead and Australia entered the fourth stanza with an insurmountable 56:35 advantage. New Zealand team can hardly match the tempo and looked weary late in the game. It resulted in the Opals winning the last part 22:11 and celebrating an overall victory.
Natalie Porter led the action with 16 points. Emma Randall added 13 points for Australia, while Alicia Poto (46-G-78) (46-G-78) netted another 12 for the winners. Jessica McCormack (194-C-89) (194-C-89) answered with 10 points and 12 boards for New Zealand. Angela Marino (166-G-86) (166-G-86) nailed 15 points in a losing clause. New Zealand converted 30.5% from the field and 58% from free throw line. They were outrebounded 37:42 and committed 18 turnovers.

In the second game Australia overwhelmed Fiji 136:32. Renae Camino (177-G-86) led the winners with 27 points, while Kathleen McLeod added 21. Sera Colata produced 12 for Fiji. The latter was unable to stop the Australian team. The Opals were leading 110-13 after three quarters and were holding the pacific islanders to a 4/38 shooting game during this period. Australia played the last quarter on a cooler mode, 26-19. Fiji and New Zealand will face each other tomorrow for a direct qualification to the Beijing Olympics.

New Zealand - Australia 46:78/strong>
New Zealand: Angela Marino 15, Jessica McCormack 10+12 boards, Michaela Cocks 7
AAustralia: Natalie Porter 16, Emma Randall 13, Alicia Poto 12

Australia- Fiji 136:32
Australia: Renae Camino 27, Kathleen McLeod 21, Rohanee Cox, Abby Bishop, Marianna Tolo, Emma Randall 15
Fiji: Sera Colata 12, Seini Dobui 6 Agnes Sokosoko 5.

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