Eventfinda Stadium the Home Of U23 and D-League Basketball – Day One Recap

Day one of the U23 Nationals | D-League for 2022 is complete and we’ve been treated to high quality basketball from teams around Aotearoa. Some fantastic talent is on display and we’re leading into an exciting day two.


Women’s D-League

Written by Mike Lacey


On the first day of the 2022 Women’s D League, at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland, all 12 teams played twice. Competing in four Pools, the winners of each earned direct entry into the quarter-finals.

The four unbeaten teams are Otago Gold Rush, Harbour Breeze, Etco Auckland Dream Black and


Pool A

Rotorua Lady Geysers defeated Manawatu in the opening game of the tournament – Cassidy Lacey-Rameka with 29 points for the Geysers.

The defending champions then fell to a polished Otago Gold Rush performance going down 78-46.

Earlier Gold Rush had recorded a 67-55 come from behind victory to inflict a second defeat on Manawatu.


Pool B 

The matchup between old rivals Canterbury and Harbour Breeze decided top spot in Pool B. In a contest in which both teams enjoyed periods of dominance it was the Breeze that eventually prevailed 73-66.

Earlier both Harbour Breeze and Canterbury had inflicted defeats on Etco Auckland Dream Blue.


Pool C

In arguably the game of the day Etco Auckland Dream Black defeated Waikato Wizards 71-69 in overtime. Former Tall Fern Alyssa Hirawani posted 26 points for the Wizards while Riana Rangi-Brown scored 20 for the Dream.

Both the Dream and the Wizards eased to comfortable victories over SealesWinslow Taranaki Thunder.


Pool D

The clash between the two most geographically opposite teams saw Southland Storm rumble past Northland Phoenix 84-58 with Allyah Leusogie-Ape posting 25 points for Northland. Maddie Tinnock led a balanced Storm effort with 14.

The Storm marked their D League debut with two wins on the opening day, 88-64 the scoreline against Tauranga City Coasters.

Coasters, the 2021 champions, earned second spot with a narrow 79-71 win against the Phoenix.


Draw for Preliminary Quarter-finals

Rotorua Lady Geysers v Etco Auckland Dream Blue.

Manawatu v Canterbury

Northland Phoenix v Waikato Wizards

Taranaki Thunder v Tauranga City Coasters


Men’s U23 Nationals

The Men’s U23 Nationals continued where it left off last year, with explosive action and mindblowing highlights.

Some notable results saw Northland setting themselves up for a battle for the top of Pool A after beating Waikato 95-72 and scoring 30 points on Waitakere West. Porirua also dominated in their pool games, leaving the first seed up to their match on Thursday at 12:30pm. Francis Mulvihill lead the scoring in both games for Porirua, scoring 21 against Waitakere West and 19 against Waikato to average 20 points per game so far.

Pool B had Hawke’s Bay slide past Otago in a nailbiter 73-71. Tommy Fergusson stepped up to the plate and delivered 26 points, bettering from his 9 points against Franklin earlier in the day. Hawke’s Bay won against Franklin by 20 points and moved themselves to top of the table. Manawatū posted a nice score, but couldn’t get around Otago’s team scoring abilities, losing 69-72. Manawatū will need to beat Hawke’s Bay in their game on Thursday to have a hope at progressing through to the Quarter-Finals.

There’s a dominant trio in Pool C, Auckland, Harbour and Canterbury were producing close games all day.  Harbour beat Auckland by 9 points, while Auckland scraped past by a single point to beat Canterbury 84-83. Zach Mckenzie was on fire, scoring 29 points in the first match for Auckland, but it wouldn’t be enough to get the win. Harbour and Canterbury would both comfortably beat Tauranga in the second round to give themselves more height on the standings. Canterbury and Auckland sit at three points each and will need to both win tomorrow to give them the best chance at progressing through to the next stage.

Pool D is interesting, as Round 1 saw Kāpiti beat Counties-Manukau 81-88 in their first game of the tournament, even though Adrian Toia from Counties-Manukau game top-scored with 41 points. Joshua Tutagalevao clocked 25 points and helped push Kāpiti to a win. Southland lost to Taranaki 82-109 as six players from Taranaki scored over ten points. Southland rebounded and proved too much for Kāpiti in the second round, winning 88-66. Tom Cowie from Southland finished the day with 24.5 points per game and topping the statistics in points. Ben Carlile-Smith and Caleb Smiler both scored 25 and 24 points respectively and helped Taranaki to their second win of the day, beating Counties-Manukau 73-115. Kāpiti and Southland both need wins to progress as they sit on three points each in 2nd and 3rd on the ladder.

The draw crams together on Thursday, with Preliminary Quarter-Finals for the Women’s D-League before proper Quarter-Finals in the afternoon, while the Men’s U23 Nationals competition sees a continuation of pool play before heading into an afternoon of Quarter-Finals. See the broadcast schedule below to work out what times games will be streamed from Friday. The games will be shown on https://nz.basketball/tv

You can see all the results on Gameday or by downloading the Gameday App on the App Store or Google Play and searching for “BBNZ Tournaments”

Make sure you’re following Basketball New Zealand on Facebook and Instagram for photos, updates and videos!

Check out BBNZ TV to watch select games on Day 3 and Day 4.