Young Aussie Boomers fall to NZ Tall Blacks

With the Olympic Games scheduled in the not too distant future, the full preparation period for National teams is now looming large.

In the latest of these games, Australia’s Boomers have been soundly beaten by the NZ Tall Blacks. It was actually a qualifying game for the FIBA Asia Cup of 2021.

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Read about it here…

NZ Stars Turn Missing Finals Pain into Win Over Boomers

Motivated by Brisbane Bullets and New Zealand Breakers players who just missed NBL Finals spots and then by two guards gearing up for the post-season, the Tall Blacks delivered an impressive showing to beat the Australian Boomers 108-98 on Thursday.

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The game was the first match in the qualifying stages for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup and the Tall Blacks made a winning start to Group C competition in an impressive display after the Boomers started on fire hitting the game’s first nine points at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.

New Zealand overcame the slow start to turn on the impressive performance in Pero Cameron’s first game in charge as coach. It was the Tall Blacks’ first win over the Boomers since 2009 breaking a run of nine straight defeats, and doubling as their third ever victory on Australian soil.

It’s a very much a youthful Boomers team that was under the coach of Will Weaver for the first time but they still kept fighting right to the end only to be knocked back by New Zealand.

Less than a week after being part of Brisbane’s massive 36-point win on the same court against the Cairns Taipans that gave the Bullets a finals sniff in the NBL, Reuben Te Rangi made up for a frustrating campaign at club land with a brilliant performance for the Tall Blacks.

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Even though that huge win wasn’t quite enough for a finals spot for the Bullets, Te Rangi put that behind him and delivered 21 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Having been the NBL’s Most Improved Player and Best Sixth Man 12 months ago, it was a 2019/20 campaign to forget for Te Rangi, but he didn’t let that bother him on Thursday night going on to shoot 8/14 from the field and 4/7 from deep in 31 minutes.

Another player who would have been frustrated to not be preparing for an NBL finals campaign right now was Rob Loe. The Breakers finished the season on fire but narrowly missed the post-season.

But Loe finished the season in career-best form and carried that into the Asian Cup qualifier with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for his country including a late dagger three to seal the deal.

Then there was Loe’s Breakers teammate Jordan Ngatai who also shook off the disappointment of missing NBL finals to produce 19 points including three triples.

Shea Ili (21 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Jarrod Kenny (10 points, two assists) are two players with NBL finals to look forward to at Melbourne and Cairns respectively, and both shared the point guard duties impressively for New Zealand.

Dion Prewster was impressive as well with 10 points and four rebounds.

Tall Blacks coach Pero Cameron was proud of the efforts of his team and the way the game was played in his first time officially in charge of New Zealand.

“Firstly there’s nothing like being in the hot seat and having these last three days, and some of the things our players have dealt with have been phenomenal. I just have to congratulate and acknowledge their commitment and support to the Tall Blacks singlet,” Cameron said.

“I’m just so happy to have this job and I think for anyone to coach their own country, it’s an amazing feeling. As far as this game goes, for what it was it was good to see all the players out there just giving their all.

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“I felt the energy levels were high and that type of basketball is entertaining. I don’t mind if it’s not entertaining as long as I win, but I thought both sides went at it hammer and tongs, and my boys played really well.

There were a host of Boomers debutants and Angus Glover (eight points, five rebounds), Sunday Dech (eight points), Sam Froling, Kyle Adnam (12 points) and Dane Pineau (two points) all had their moments in their first appearances in the senior national team.

Illawarra Hawks 283-game veteran Todd Blanchfield top-scored for the Boomers with 17 points and six rebounds with Nathan Sobey adding 13 points, four boards three assists and three steals, Matt Hodgson 11 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Cadee 11 points, eight boards and five assists.

First-time Boomers coach Will Weaver ultimately just felt the Tall Blacks shooting the ball better and Australia missing 13 free-throws were significant factors in the result.

“We shot it decent from three but the free-throw line was probably the space you’d say we would regret some of those opportunities,” Weaver said.

“But that also comes down to some of the fatigue with these guys coming off the season and it was a physical game. It was fast and both teams were running after makes, but 50 per cent from the free-throw line rarely gets it done in a close game.”

But moving forward, Weaver is excited to be blooding so many fresh faces into the Boomers setup.

“We are trying to sew the seeds that will be reaped down the line. This is a four-year cycle that we’re preparing to endeavour to perform well at the end of,” Weaver said.

“A big part in that is investing in the younger players and even though we only had two practices, those guys have gotten a lot better and they will be better still against Hong Kong and along down the line. It just develops the base of talent we have to select from in these situations.”

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Both teams back up to play another game on Sunday with the Tall Blacks away to Tai Wesley and Guam while the Boomers host Hong Kong back at Nissan Arena.

Source: nbl.com.au

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Australia vs New Zealand – Netball – The Classic Contest

The Constellation Cup. Game 2 and Australia make up for the loss in Game 1. With the rivalry between the nations at an all time high (remember the Commonwealth Games?) – this is proving to be an interesting series.

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Here is the report on the game played in Auckland earlier this week…

Diamonds shine bright to level Constellation Cup series

Australia have atoned for their first-up loss to New Zealand in the Constellation Cup with a 48-42 victory in Auckland.

Lisa Alexander’s team lifted for the master coach in her 100th Test, levelling the four match series at 1-1 on Wednesday night.

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Gretel Tippett starred in Australia’s win over New Zealand with 23 points

Gretel Tippett (23/24) was supreme under the ring, ably assisted by captain Caitlin Bassett (17/20) and Tegan Philip (8/9).

But this was a win masterminded by the back.

Goal keeper Courtney Bruce subdued the Maria Folau-led Silver Ferns attack with an intensity that lifted the whole Diamonds side.

She made five intercepts and was called for obstruction just four times in a defensive masterclass.

‘‘She just controlled the circle. She patrolled the circle tonight. It was absolutely fantastic to watch,’’ Alexander said.

Only once in the match did the contest look to be slipping from Australia’s grasp – the third-quarter spell when Folau (31/41) sank six shots without reply to whittle the Diamonds’ lead from 10 to four.

The four-Test series now heads to Sydney and Perth, where wins will allow Australia to retain the trans-Tasman trophy for the seventh-straight time.

‘‘We’ve put ourselves in a great position now for the rest of the series,’’ Alexander said. ‘‘We’ll go home and land and feel like winners.’’

While the Diamonds boasted historical dominance over the Kiwis, New Zealand had won the previous two hitouts – including the World Cup final – by a single goal.

So when Bassett missed her first effort of the night to the delight of the sold-out crowd, the Kiwis were confident.

It was the only time they led all night. Australia shot at 100 per cent for the rest of the quarter and kept up their sharpness.

Together with Jo Weston, Bruce showed superb intensity inside the circle.

Australia’s three-goal quarter-time lead was whittled to one when a contentious stepping call on Tippett went against the goal attack.

But the Diamonds responded, with Bruce leading the way. Her three first-half intercepts each led to Australian goals, helping the visitors to a five-goal lead at the break.

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Maria Folau did her best to spark something for the Silver Ferns

Tippett was rested as one of three half-time changes, allowing Philip to return to international netball for the first time in three years.

Alexander’s switch-ups didn’t slow Australia, who soon boasted a 10-goal lead that should have killed the contest.

Instead, Folau roared the Silver Ferns to life with a superb run.

The veteran attacker had a chance to narrow the lead to three on the eve of the last change, only to miss a long-range effort to end a damaging streak.

Bassett sat out the fourth quarter, with Philip deputising superbly as the Diamonds shut out hopes of a Kiwi comeback.

Source: smh.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.