A New Zealand Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy has trimmed his extended squad of 24 players to the playing 12 for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Bengaluru, India (24-29 September).
Just five players remain from the Tall Ferns team that finished sixth at the 2017 edition of the Asia Cup, also held in Bangalore.
Returning to India are the experienced quintet of Micaela Cocks, Kalani Purcell, Toni Farnworth, Chevannah Paalvast and Natalie Taylor.
All five were also members of the team that won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Also returning from the Comm Games team is the youngest member of the team Charlisse-Leger-Walker, a Year 13 student at St Peter’s School in Cambridge.
Two of the team made their senior international debuts earlier this year. Ella Fotu and Amy West played their first game’s for the Tall Ferns on the tour of Japan and Taiwan in July.
Ashleigh Karaitiana makes a welcome return to the international arena. The Waikato native played impressively at the 2018 William Jones Cup leading all scorers after averaging 22 points per game.
Since then Karaitiana has had a period away from the game to start a family but will don the black singlet again in India.
Molloy is delighted with depth and potential of his squad.
“The past 18 months, during and since the 2018 Commonwealth Games, have been really exciting in the sense that we have been able to expose a large number of players to international basketball.
“It’s an exciting time as we look forward to the Asia Cup and then the Olympic Qualifiers,” Molloy added.
The squad will gather in Melbourne for a training camp that precedes the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. New Zealand open their Asia Cup campaign with a game against China, ranked number 7 on the FIBA world rankings list, on 24 September. Drawn in Group B the Tall Ferns will also play Australia (#3 in the world) and the Philippines (#47) in group play. New Zealand hold a world ranking of 47th.
FIBA Asia Cup information including draw: http://www.fiba.basketball/womensasiacup/2019
TALL FERNS TEAM
- Stella Beck (Melbourne Boomers)
- Tessa Boagni (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
- Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire)
- Penina Davidson (Melbourne Boomers/Harbour Breeze)
- Toni Farnworth (Melbourne Boomers)
- Ella Fotu (Harbour Breeze)
- Ashleigh Karaitiana (Southern District Spartans, Australia)
- Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards/St Peter’s School, Cambridge)
- Chevannah Paalvast (Sunshine Coast Rip, Australia)
- Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers/Auckland Dream)
- Natalie Taylor (Auckland Dream/Southern District Spartans, Australia)
- Amy West (McAlpines M10 Mega North Canterbury Spirit / St Mary’s College, USA)
- Head Coach – Guy Molloy
- Assistant Coach – Aik Ho
- Assistant Coach – Jody Cameron
Melbourne, Thursday 19 September – Saturday 21 September
Asia Cup Game Schedule:
- Tuesday 24 September 5:45pm Tall Ferns vs China (00:15am Wednesday NZT)
- Wednesday 25 September 1:15pm Tall Ferns vs Australia (19:45 NZT)
- Thursday 26 September 1:15pm Tall Ferns vs Philippines (19:45 NZT)
- Friday 27 September: Quarter Finals
- Saturday 28 September Semi Finals
- Sunday 29 September Finals