Friends turn to foe in NBL1 Grand Final series

There will be strong New Zealand representation in the Australian NBL1 North Grand Final series that features the Logan Thunder and Southern District Spartans.

The Spartans have three New Zealand internationals on their roster, and all played a significant part in the 87-69 come from behind semi-final win against the Mackay Meteorettes.

Nat Taylor scored 12 points (4/8 3PG), Ash Karaitiana added 10 points while Kalani Purcell produced a typically energetic display reeling in a team high 10 rebounds and 4 steals to go along with two scores.

The Spartans trailed 40-39 at half-time, but a dominant third spell, in which they outscored Mackay 23-11, set up the victory and a meeting with Logan Thunder.

Chev Paalvast and Ashley Taia, both named to the Tall Ferns extended squad ahead of the Asia Cup, were in good form as the Thunder defeated Townville Flames 68-55.

Taia played her part with a handy 11 points while Paalvast’s impressive 19 points display came on the West Aucklander’s birthday.

The Thunder opened proceedings with a 19-3 burst and always looked the likely winners thereafter.

The defeat brought the curtain down on the Flames season and that of Micaela Cocks. The Tall Ferns stalwart finished the season in typically resilient fashion scoring a team-high 19 points in the loss.

The Spartans and Thunder will face off in a best-of-three play-off series over three consecutive days starting this Friday. All of the games are being screened live and will be free to watch via