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Big Wins of 2023

2023 was a huge year for basketball here in New Zealand. Let’s take a look at some of the #BigWins from the year as we look onward to 2024.

 

 

3×3 Asia Cup

In April 2023, the New Zealand 3×3 National Teams flew to Singapore for the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup – both teams earning themselves medals in this high-calibre competition.

The 3×3 Tall Ferns picked up Silver after a hard-fought finals game vs Australia; Sharne Pupuke-Robati named to the Tournament Team after averaging 6.6ppg and 6.2rpg across 5 games.

The 3×3 Tall Blacks earned the Bronze medal following a 31-13 win over China in the third place game; Tai Wynyard was named to the Tournament Team thanks to his 6ppg and 5.8rpg over 5 games.

 

Age Group Nationals

BBNZ held multiple national age group tournaments across Aotearoa throughout the year – including U15, U17, U19, U23 and D-League. Check out the big winners.

 

Tall Ferns

Another big win of 2023 was the Tall Ferns’ huge 83-78 victory over the Philippines at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in June.

The win came courtesy of some second-half heroics by Charlisse Leger-Walker, who scored 34pts, 6ast and a multitude of highlights. Tera Reed was equally dominant with her 23pts & 7reb, while Penina Davidson had a solid 10pt & 11reb double-double.

The win was huge for two reasons; it catapulted New Zealand into the Asia Cup semi-finals for the first time ever, while also giving the Tall Ferns an Olympic Qualifiers invite in Feb 2024.

 

U16 Asian Championships

In July the U16 National Women’s team travelled to Jordan, making it all the way to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Australia. Their 66-63 win over Chinese Taipei allowed them to claim the Bronze medal, along with a place at the FIBA U17 Women’s World Cup in Mexico this year.
September saw the U16 National Men’s team head to Doha, where they were undefeated in 5 games before falling 76-79 to Australia in the Final. Oscar Goodman was named MVP of the FIBA U16 Asian Champs following a standout tournament; the squad also punching their ticket to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Turkey this year.

 

 

Secondary Schools Basketball

We start with the Secondary School Nationals, held in Palmerston North in September.

 

Tall Blacks

We shift our focus to the Tall Blacks’ gritty 88-86 win over Egypt at the FIBA World Cup in September!

Playing their 5th & final game of the tournament, the Kiwis knew a victory was needed to secure a place at one of the 4 Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in July 2024.

Game MVP Finn Delany led the way with 27pts on 8-12 shooting, supported by strong bench efforts from Izayah Le’afa (27pts & 4 steals) and Isaac Fotu’s 14pts. Captain Reuben Te Rangi (9pts) Te Rangi making a pair of huge free throws under pressure to ice the win for New Zealand.

The Tall Blacks are back in action on 25 Feb 2024, taking on Hong Kong at EventFinda Stadium for a Asia Cup Qualifier game – tickets at https://bbnz.cloud/tickets

 

 

Trans Tasman 3×3 Series

The inaugural Trans-Tasman 3×3 series took place in October – with our 3×3 national teams both dominating the Australian Gangurrus.

The 3×3 Tall Blacks finished the Men’s Series with a 7-1 record while averaging 20.6ppg vs Australia’s 16.2ppg; making 41 shots from outside the arc compared to just 21 for the Aussies. Taki Fahrensohn was named Men’s Series MVP after leading the 3×3 Tall Blacks in scoring (7ppg) & rebounds (4.1rpg), hitting 15 shots from downtown across the series.

The 3×3 Tall Ferns secured the Women’s Series in their final game, finishing with a 5-3 record thanks to superior rebounding (19.4rpg vs 16.6 for Aussie) and outside shooting; hitting 19 shots from downtown while holding the Aussies to nine. Chevannah Paalvast was named Women’s Series MVP after leading the 3×3 Tall Ferns in total points (35), rpg (4.9rpg) and blocks (6).

 

 

U17 Oceania Championships

The Junior Tall Blacks settled for the Silver medal in PNG, after losing to Australia in the Final; their top two finish earning them a ticket to the FIBA U18 Men’s Asian Champs this year. The Men’s All-Star five team included a pair of Kiwis in Julius Halaifonua (9.3ppg, 5rpg) & Tama Isaac (10.2ppg, 5.2rpg, 4.6apg).

The Junior Tall Ferns also fell to Australia in the Grand Final, earning both a Silver medal and a coveted place at the FIBA U18 Women’s Asian Champs in 2024. The Women’s All-Star five team featured both Kavanah Lene (15.2ppg, 5.4rpg) and Elise Gilbert (11.2ppg, 3.6rpg).

 

 

E Blacks

The E Blacks had a thrilling win over Lebanon in the eFIBA World Finals in Sweden last November.

Appearing at the World Finals for the first time – and as the youngest squad – the E Blacks saw tough losses in pool play vs Brazil, France and eventual champs USA. But on day two, New Zealand downed Middle East champions Lebanon 95-68 to secure both their first win and a seventh place world ranking

The star of the game was 17-year-old Flumeto a.k.a. Jaxon Sutton; his 51-point performance making him the first player to score 50+ points in the comp’s history, as he shot 18-23 from the field – including 12-15 from beyond the arc.