The curtain has come down on Kiwi involvement in the current Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season.
The Melbourne Boomers, with their quartet of Sky Sport Tall Ferns, Toni Farnworth, Stella Beck, Kalani Purcell and Penina Davidson, have bowed out at the semi-final stage this week.
Melbourne finished the season in third spot on the WNBL ladder with a 15-6 record, the same as Canberra Capitals who they met in the best-of three semi-final series.
Canberra defended home court advantage to win the opening tie 84-70 before Melbourne replied with an 88-76 win in the Victorian capital.
The decider was played in Canberra with the Capitals prevailing 77-64. All four Kiwis contributed for the Boomers led by Purcell’s 2 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Davidson chipped in with 7 points, Farnworth scored 6 points and Beck 2 – the four combing for 7 from 9 (77%) from the field.
Beck’s involvement was limited to just four minutes in game three after being carried from the court with an ankle injury in the second quarter.
Canberra will meet Southside Flyers in the WNBL Grand Final Series.
Townsville Fire didn’t have the season they hoped for. The three-time champions finished a disappointing eighth on the WNBL ladder.
Fire captain, and Tall Ferns stalwart, Micaela Cocks was named the Coaches Award Winner and Players Player winner at the Fire’s Awards night earlier this month.
Elsewhere Jillian Harmon and Mary Goulding are performing well in Europe.
Goulding, who debuted for the Tall Ferns last year at the William Jones Cup, is putting up some fine numbers for IK Eos despite her team languishing in ninth spot on the Swedish League ladder with a 3-13 record.
The Cantabrian is averaging 15.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.
Jillian Harmon is playing for Serie A leaders Famila Schio in Italy. Schio, the reigning champions, currently have a 17-2 record with Harmon leading the rebounding count averaging 6.5 boards per game. In addition the power forward has scored 10.7 points per outing.
A number of current or former Tall Ferns will be playing in the upcoming Sal’s National Basketball League beginning in April. We will have news on team rosters nearer the beginning of the season follow the NZNBL.basketball website and @NZNBL social media channels for that info.
There will also be a number of New Zealand players plying their trade in the various State Leagues in Australia. We will be keeping an eye on their fortunes as well during the coming months.
The pinnacle event for the Tall Ferns in 2020 is the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in November. The schedule for
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