Tag: ella fotu

Sharks and Dream secure NZNBL 3X3 Cup titles

SOUTHLAND Sharks and AUCKLAND Dream have claimed their respective New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) Schick 3X3 Cups over the weekend, with the Sharks winning the male title and the Dream taking out the female title.

Auckland Dream won in a nail-biting final 18-16 over Harbour Breeze to claim the title, with both sides winning all six games leading into the final. The Dream had topped Pool A and then defeated their Pool opponents NZ Select in the semi-finals, whilst Breeze topped Pool B by defeating Otago Gold Rush in the other semi. The two teams were the standout sides in the women’s draw, always looking like the teams to beat, with the Dream winning their two finals by a combined 14 points, whilst the Breeze did not quite have it like their namesake, winning with a combined eight points.

In the end, just two points separated the sides in the decider, with a two-point successful make from Casyn Buchman the difference with just six seconds left on the clock. To that point, the momentum had ebbed and flowed with the Breeze taking control early, before the Dream hit back through young star, Arielle Williams-Mackey. She helped her side to get back into it, before the experienced Amanda Wayment drew it, and Buchman finished it off.

Along with the injured Darci Finnigan who twisted her knee in the semi-final, the quartet was overcome the obstacle of limited minutes for their teammate in the decider to post the win and secure the title after being the fourth seeds heading into the tournament. For the Breeze, Ella Fotu, Brooke Blair, Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu tried hard and almost got there after a sensational tournament, but just fell short in the end.

In the men’s competition, Southland Sharks defied the odds to topple one of the tournament favourites in Hawke’s Bay Hawks in the final. Like the women’s final, just two points separated the sides as the Sharks got up 21-19 to secure the title. Seeded fifth at the event, the Sharks won two of their four Pool games in Pool B to finish third on the overall table behind Auckland Huskies and Franklin Bulls, while the Hawks also finished third with two wins from four games, behind Tasman Suns and Otago Nuggets.

Finals are a different ball game, particularly knockout finals, with the Suns defeated by the seventh placed NZ Select Team which faced the Hawks who belted the Bulls 21-12 in their quarter final. The Hawks overcame the NZ Select Team by three points to advance to the final, whilst on the other side, the Sharks toppled the Nuggets by three points, then defeated the top of the table Huskies by four points to reach the decider.

Remarkably the match went blow-for-blow right up until 19 apiece and everything relying on the last basket. Two stars of New Zealand basketball in Derone Raukawa and Hyrum Harris were superb on either end, whilst Dom Kelman-Poto backed up his great work from the NZNBL Men’s competition with another big effort this tournament. It was Alonzo Burton who sank the game winner to end what was the most remarkable finals.

Harris, Kelman-Poto, Burton and Alex Pledger celebrated the 21-19 victory, having done it the hard way after the Pool stage of the competition. For Raukawa, Ethan Rusbatch, Everard Bartlett and Taane Samuel – who had all backed up from their NZNBL efforts – it was so close, yet so far, falling short of a title but having had a lot of fun along the way in the 3×3 tournament.

Picture: NZNBL

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