Tag: darci finnigan

NZNBL 18IN18 team preview: Auckland Dream

AUCKLAND Dream head into the condensed New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) 18IN18 competition in rare company. The Dream are coming off a title already in the Schick 3X3 Cup played over the weekend and will hope to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet when the game expands out to the full court five-player traditional game.

The four players involved in 3×3 Cup glory were Amanda Wayment, Arielle Williams-Mackey, Casyn Buchman and Darci Finnigan. Whilst Finnigan twisted her knee in the semi-final and had limited minutes in the 3×3 final, it is expected she should be right to go when the season tips off later this week. All four will play crucial roles in the team success, along with a list that will no doubt provide plenty of highlights throughout the year.

Wayment spent her college days at Brigham Young University in the West Coast Conference of the NCAA. The Cougars were the same college Tall Black and fellow Dream talent Kalani Purcell played at before graduating a year earlier in 2017. The 185cm forward is an athlete who will provide great leadership to the team having captained her college team in her senior year.

Fellow College talent Buchman returns to the Dream after playing there in 2019, averaging the 7.9 points from 19.9 minutes, shooting at an accurate 58.6 per cent. She also picked up the 3.2 rebounds, equally capable off the boards at either end, and is as tough as they come. Meanwhile 18-year-old Williams-Mackey is one to watch as a big-game player as she showed in the 3×3 final, with her accurate shooting and clutch baskets.

The turnaround between the 3×3 Cup and opening night of the NZNBL season is not long, with the Dream first up against Waikato Wizards on Thursday. Led by Tall Ferns assistant coach, Aik Ho the Dream have the talent to go deep in the 18-day tournament. There have been some crucial omissions from last year’s team in Tall Ferns talents, Natalie Taylor, Charmian Mellars and Jordan Hunter alongside Purcell, but other internationals to replace them in Katelin Noyer and Jelena Vucinic.

Both are coming off impressive college seasons, and added to the fact the exciting Sharne Robati will also run around for Auckland makes it a dream team. Rionne Papa and Tania Uluheua round out the 10-player squad, with the team one to watch in 2021 and hopeful of hitting the ground running from night one against the Wizards.

2020 Auckland Dream Full Team List:

Amanda Buck
Amanda Wayment
Casyn Buchman
Darci Finnigan
Jelena Vucinic
Sharne Pupuke-Robati
Rionne Papa
Arielle Williams-Mackey
Tania Uluheua
Katelin Noyer

2020 NZNBL 3×3 Cup: Women’s preview

NEW Zealand basketball is set to have a big month in November with the 2020 New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) 3×3 Cup taking place next weekend prior to the much anticipated 18in18 NZNBL women’s competition. There are 10 teams vying for the 3×3 title in the women’s competition, with the teams split into two pools of five sides, which will be held from November 12-14.

There are a number of differences with the 3×3 competition compared to a regular basketball match, including a court size of 15x11m and a maximum team size of four player. There is just 10 minutes per game with the first team to 21 announced the winner. The regular shot clock time of 24 seconds is also halved to 12.

The schedule sees each of the five teams play the other four teams in their pool once over November 12-13. From there, the two lowest finishers will face off against the team in the opposite group for fourth against fifth matches. The winners from there will progress to the quarter finals where the top three sides in each group will face off. The top placed teams will take on the winners from those fourth and fifth clashes, whilst second will take on third in their opposite groups. It is knockout from start to finish, with the teams advancing through until the two top teams play off in the grand final. That decider will be held at 10.11pm local time on November 14.

GROUPS:

Women’s Pool A:

Auckland Dream
Bay of Plenty Blaze
Canterbury Wildcats
Northland Phoenix
NZ Select Women

Women’s Pool B:

Capital Swish
Harbour Breeze
Otago Gold Rush
Taranaki Thunder
Waikato Wizards

There are a number of past and present Tall Ferns competing in the 3×3 Cup which is set to make it a highly competitive event. In terms of the groups, Auckland Dream, Bay of Plenty Blaze and Northland Phoenix will take part in Pool A. Canterbury Wildcats are also in the group, alongside the fancied NZ Select team.

In Pool B, Otago Gold Rush and Taranaki Thunder have some exciting talent, with Harbour Breeze a real contender. Waikato Wizards and Capital Swish round out the five-team group which will give the competitors their first taste of basketball ahead of the full five-a-side competition later in the month.

Lisa Wallbutton is the name that jumps off the page when looking at the team lists, with the former Tall Fern returning to the court to lead Otago Gold Rush. She suits up alongside Aleisha Ruske, Tara Clement and Zoe Richards forming a strong quartet for the upcoming Cup.

Brooke Blair and Ella Fotu provide some international experience to the side. Blair had come through the College program and spent time in Queensland of late, but will be one to watch in the competition. Fotu is familiar with the 3×3 format given her appearance at the 2013 World Cup, and will help provide great experience for other teammates, Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and Jazz Kailahi-Fulu.

One player who is as exciting as they come is teenager Isabelle Cook. Representing Taranaki Thunder, Cook is a high school success story and a national representative at junior level. She is one who will stand out on the court and support the likes of Vanessa Weir, Teghan Ngatai and Jenna Kensington.

The other key team to highlight includes Northland Phoenix with the ever-experienced Terai Sadler leading the way. She has played at international level for the Cook Islands, and is more than equipped to handle the 3×3 format. She is joined at the Phoenix by Leiana Cameron-Tana.

Among other players to keep an eye on is college returnee Darci Finnigan who is an impressive guard set to run out for Auckland Dream. Kayla Manuirirangi is another college talent who dominated from long range and will be an asset for Waikato Wizards, whilst Sariah Penese (Capital Swish) is a similar talent who has plenty of upside on the court. Chelseah Savage is a playmaker with her deft passes and ability to put up big numbers, and will be a key player in the Bay of Plenty Blaze attack.

TEAMS:

Auckland Dream:

Amanda Wayment
Arielle Williams
Casyn Buchman
Darci Finnigan

Bay of Plenty Blaze:

Awatea Leach
Chelseah Savage
Laura Kuka
Waiata Jennings

Canterbury Rams:

Emma Trolove
Lauryn Hippolite
Rosalia Mira Samia
Tessa Morrison

Capital Swish:

D’stani Foley
Grace Vaofusi
Jacinta Beckley
Sariah Penese

Harbour Breeze:

Ashleigh Kelman-Poto
Brooke Blair
Gabriella Fotu
Jazz Kailahi-Fulu

Northland Phoenix:

Leiana Cameron-Tana
Sophie Tua
Terai Sadler
Teuila Faalogo

NZ Select Women:

Jessica Moors
Melika Samia
Tanaka Gapare
Tiarna Clarke

Otago Gold Rush:

Aleisha Ruske
Lisa Wallbutton
Tara Clement
Zoe Richards

Taranaki Thunder:

Isabelle Margaret Cook
Jenna Kensington
Teghan Ngatai
Vanessa Weir

Waikato Wizards:

Kayla Manuirirangi
Makayla Daysh
Matangiroa Flavell
Zarya Poulava