Tall Ferns 3×3 team named for World Cup

Basketball New Zealand has named the team for the FIBA 3×3 Women’s World Cup, tipping off in Amsterdam on 18 June.

The roster features the same players that won gold at the 3×3 Asia Cup in 2018: Kalani Purcell, Antonia Farnworth (née Edmondson), Micaela Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast.

This comes after Cocks, Purcell, Paalvast and Penina Davidson qualified by winning bronze at the qualifying tournament  in May. On this occasion Farnworth replaces Davidson, a decision that Head Coach Anthony Corban says was the toughest to make.

“We have the luxury of some depth and the World Cup Qualifier in Puerto Rico showed that with Penina stepping in. New Zealand women have game. We can compete on the international stage and have a proven record of defying rankings. Now comes the big stage of a World Cup,” says Corban.

With New Zealand being ranked 20th out of 20 teams, defying rankings will be a must. The Kiwis have been drawn in what FIBA has called the ‘Pool of Death’. Pool D consists of reigning champions Italy, 2017 world champions Russia, 2016 silver medallists Ukraine and Indonesia. Coach Corban agrees the standard is very high in the pool and the Kiwis will need to be ready for the speed, intensity and the 3×3 acumen that comes from countries with well-funded programmes with experienced 3×3 players.

“We need to be accurate with everything we do. It is a massive challenge, but we believe we are good enough to upset the form guide,” says Corban.

It could be argued that the women’s 3×3 team is New Zealand basketball’s best chance of an Olympic medal, if only given the time and preparation required. This tournament will be an early test to that as the team starts as the 20th ranked team in the tournament of 20 and takes on the reigning champs in the pool round.

They arrive in Amsterdam with only four days to prepare. That said, the New Zealand U18 women’s team faced a similar scenario – without funding they had minimal time to prepare, were ranked 10th and still stunned the 3×3 world when they came away with a silver medal at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup. With what the 3×3 Tall Ferns have achieved in the past, anything is possible.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been on tour with these players before and I know we are good enough to take to a World Cup. That’s how coachable these girls are, they are not only amazing players, but amazing people too,” says Corban.

• Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire)
• Antonia Farnworth (nee Edmondson) (Ringwood Hawks)
• Chevannah Paalvast (Sunshine Coast Rip)
• Kalani Purcell (Auckland Dream / Melbourne Boomers)
• Head Coach: Anthony Corban
• Physio: Ariane Carroll

Dates | Event
June 13 | Travel day
June 14-18 | Preparation Camp
June 19, 7.55pm NZT | New Zealand vs Indonesia
June 19, 9.45pm NZT | New Zealand vs Italy
June 21, 7.55pm NZT | New Zealand vs Ukraine
June 21, 10.55pm NZT | New Zealand vs Russia
June 24–26 | Travel days

For more information visit the tournament website here: http://www.fiba.basketball/3x3U18WC/2019