Sky Sport Tall Ferns Squad Named for FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021
Sky Sport Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy has named a squad of 14 ahead of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup to be held from 27 September to 3 October. The competition has been moved from India and will now be played at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.
It’s a welcome return to competition for the Tall Ferns who, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, last played a game in November 2019. Head Coach Guy Molloy can’t wait to get back to competing on the international stage.
“The last 18 months has been tough. We’re desperate to get back on the floor and represent New Zealand, and this is an awesome opportunity to do just that. It won’t be easy, we’re missing some experienced players and we won’t have a pre-tournament camp due to the trans-Tasman bubble being shut, but when we step onto the hardwood in late September with the black jersey on and the fern on our chests, we’ll be ready.
“I’m really happy with the squad we have. A real mix of youth, experience, size, speed, and skill. It’s an exciting time for the Tall Ferns,” says Molloy.
The Sky Sports Tall Ferns FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Squad
- Brooke Blair – Brisbane Capitals
- Tessa Boagni – Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
- Micaela Cocks – Townsville Heat/ Platinum Homes Harbour Breeze
- Penina Davidson – Melbourne Boomers/Nunawading Spectres
- Mary Goulding – Bendigo Spirit/East Perth Eagles
- Lauryn Hippolite – Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
- Ash Karaitiana – Melbourne Boomers/Southern District Spartans
- Ash Kelman-Poto – Platinum Homes Harbour Breeze
- Charlisse Leger-Walker – Washington State University/Waikato Wizards
- Krystal Leger-Walker – Washington State University/Waikato Wizards
- Chevannah Paalvast – Bendigo Spirit/Logan Thunder
- Kalani Purcell – Sydney Uni Flames/Southern District Spartans
- Zoe Richards – Otago Gold Rush/Rockingham Flames
- Ash Taia – Canberra Capitals/Logan Thunder
* The squad will be reduced to 12 before the team travels to Jordan.
Not included in the squad is Tall Fern centurion Toni Farnworth, who recently announced her retirement from basketball, or long time Tall Fern Stella Beck who is recovering from an ankle injury suffered in training. Ella Fotu made herself unavailable for selection due to clashes with her work commitments.
The Tall Ferns know who’ll they play at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021, with the schedule announced by FIBA. They’ll face Japan, Korea, and India within Group A. Molloy says the draw is as exciting as it is challenging.
“There’s no easy draw in a tournament like this. Japan are five time defending champions and were silver medallists at the recent Olympic Games, so that will be a fantastic test for us as a team. Korea are ranked 19th in the world and we have some recent history with them having played them in Auckland in 2019, it’ll be good to see them again.”
The Tall Ferns need to finish in the top three in their group to have a chance to make it to the semi-final. Ranked 36th in the world, they are 34 places above group rivals India (70th), and behind Korea (19th) and Japan (8th).