Following this morning’s final pool games in the Commonwealth Games 3×3 basketball competition, both the 3×3 Tall Ferns and 3×3 Tall Blacks will be advancing to the next rounds of action – and remain in medal contention.
3×3 Tall Ferns
With a 3-0 record in pool play, the 3×3 Tall Ferns have been among the most dominant teams in the Women’s 3×3 competition. They have been led by the play of Jillian Harmon, who has emerged as arguably the top offensive player in the competition; she’s currently the tournament’s leading scorer with 8.3 per game, while also leading with a 30.4 Player Value and 17.9 Shooting Value.
Meanwhile Ella Fotu has been a defensive nightmare for opponents, leading the competition in Blocks (2 per game) and 2nd in highlights with 4.7 per game. Kalani Purcell all-around play sees her ranked 6th overall in Player Value (20.8), second in highlights (4 per game), 2nd in Key Assists (2.7) and fourth-equal in blocks (1 per game).
And Tiarna Clarke remains the team’s best outside threat, leading the 3×3 Tall Ferns in 2-point shots (5-12 from outside, a 40% clip).
By finishing the top of Pool B, the 3×3 Tall Ferns advance directly into the semi-final round, where they await the winner of Canada vs Scotland in the quarter-finals. This semi-final game is scheduled for Tuesday 2 August @ 8.30am NZT.
3×3 Tall Blacks
The 3×3 Tall Blacks have had a rockier road into the playoffs, losing their first two matches before beating Trinidad and Tobago in their third and final pool game. This win placed them third in Pool B, ensuring them a place in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
Although the 3×3 men’s team don’t appear in many of the competition stats, the play of Tai Wynyard – arguably their most important player – in their most recent game was encouraging – his 8 points and 8 rebounds his best marks in the competition. He currently ranks 4th in the tournament in Shooting Accuracy (0.70) and 6th-equal in Shooting Value with 9.8, while teammate Jayden Bezzant ranks 4th-equal in highlights (4 per game) and leads the team in Player Value with 11.8 and drives with 3 per game.
Dom Kelman-Poto leads the team in rebounds (5 per game), with almost half of these (7 total over 3 games) being on the offensive end. And although Richie Rodger has struggled with his shot thus far in pool play, his perimeter defence has been solid throughout.
The 3×3 Tall Blacks next opponent will be against Canada in the quarter-finals – on Tuesday 2 August @ 2am NZT. The winner of this game earns the right to face unbeaten hosts England in the semi-finals.
Game Recaps – 3×3 Tall Ferns
Game 3: New Zealand 18, British Virgin Islands 5
The 3×3 Tall Ferns have locked themselves a place in the Semi-finals this morning, with a 19-5 win over British Virgin Islands at the Commonwealth Games. Jillian Harmon led the way with an incredible 10 pts & 12reb (6 offensive) while shooting 2/2 form outside. Kalani Purcell had 4 & 2blks, Ella Fotu 3pts & 3blks and Tiarna Clarke with 2. The Kiwis played to their height advantage with a 27/17 rebounding advantage, including 11 offensive boards. Game stats: https://tinyurl.com/y4kxf5xc
Game 2: New Zealand 21, Canada 11
The 3×3 Tall Ferns have continued their hot start in the Commonwealth Games, with a dominant 21-11 win over Canada. Tiarna Clarke was on fire in this one, shooting a perfect 4-4 from outside for her 9pts. Jillian Harmon had 8pts & 6reb, while Kalani Purcell had 4pts and 5reb. New Zealand’s defence was huge – holding Canada to 2-14 shooting inside the arc and forcing 9 turnovers; Ella Fotu with a pair of blocks. Game stats: https://tinyurl.com/32jxx535
Game 1: New Zealand 15, England 14
The 3×3 Tall Ferns have won their first contest in the Commonwealth Games, with a thrilling 15-14 victory over hosts England. Jillian Harmon led the way with 7pts & 4reb, while Kalani Purcell had 5pts and 4reb – including a huge shot from outside the arc to give the Kiwis the late advantage. Ella Fotu had 3pts, all on drives; New Zealand shooting 56% overall and blocking 2 shots. Game stats: https://tinyurl.com/3hafryf2
Game Recaps – 3×3 Tall Blacks
Game 3: New Zealand 21, Trinidad and Tobago 12
The 3×3 Tall Blacks have picked up their first win in the Commonwealth Games, with a dominant 21-12 victory over Trinidad and Tobago to ensure a place in the 3×3 quarter-finals. Tai Wynyard was the stand-out in this one with 8pts & 8reb, while Dom Kelman-Poto played a key role with 6pts and 8reb. Jayden Bezzant had 5 & 5 and Richie Rodger scored 2. The Kiwis shot a much-improved 5-13 from outside the game for the game, led by Wynyard’s 3-3 effort. Game stats: https://tinyurl.com/3cw3p6kj
Game 2: New Zealand 11, Australia 21
The 3×3 Tall Blacks have fallen 11-21 to Australia in their second Commonwealth Games outing. Although the Kiwis shot 64% from inside in this one, they were 0-10 from beyond the arc and were outrebounded 8-14 by the Aussies. Jayden Bezzant again paced the 3×3 Tall Blacks with 4 pts (3 drives) & 3reb, while Dom Kelman-Poto and Tai Wynyard had 3 apiece; Richie Rodger with 1. Game stats: https://tinyurl.com/2p9j48vv
Game 1: New Zealand 10, England 21
The 3×3 Tall Blacks have dropped their first game in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with a 10-21 loss to host nation England. Outside shooting was the difference in this game, with England going 4-8 from outside the arc while the Kiwis were 0-6. Jayden Bezzant led the 3×3 Tall Blacks with 4 pts (all on drives) & 3reb, while Tai Wynyard and Dom Kelman-Poto had 3pts each; New Zealand shooting 75% from the field overall. Game Stats: https://tinyurl.com/ytf5nzc5