Basketball: Kiwis on the Road Apr 18

By Mike Lacey

Duane Bailey of the Breakers holds back Anthony Petrie of Adelaide. Photo / Getty Images
Duane Bailey of the Breakers holds back Anthony Petrie of Adelaide. Photo / Getty Images

The major news involving Kiwi international players overseas this week is that Duane Bailey is about to depart London bound for Invercargill and Tall Ferns star Micaela Cocks has re-signed for Townsville Fire for a further two seasons.

]Bailey came close to a triple double for Plymouth Raiders against Glasgow Rocks on Wednesday but it was virtually his last offering in the British Basketball League season.

At the beginning of the week the Raiders shared eighth spot with Leeds Force and had to match the Force record in the final two games of the regular season to make the play-offs. Leeds had the far easier schedule playing the two bottom placed teams, Manchester and Surrey.

However Plymouth were defeated 87-77 on the road at Glasgow Rocks on Wednesday where Bailey had an impressive stat line of 12pts, 10rebs, 7assists, 2 blocks and a steal.

The loss opened the door for Leeds who duly won their final two games and condemned Plymouth to ninth spot despite the Raiders winning their last game, 84-76, at home to Sheffield on Sunday (Bailey, 8 points and 5 rebounds).

Bailey has confirmed that he expects to be back in time to play for Southland Sharks in the New Zealand NBL this week. The Sharks have a tough three games in five days road trip beginning with a visit to Nelson on Thursday. It may be more realistic for Bailey to target the game in Taranaki on Friday. Southland round out the tri-trip against the Saints in Wellington next Monday.

Plymouth finished with a 13-20 record, one win and one place outside the play-off picture.

In other news from Europe Zaragoza was only 6 points behind visitors Gran Canaria at three-quarter time on Sunday but could make little headway in reducing the lead eventually falling 96-87. Isaac Fotu had an efficient shooting night on his way to 14 points and 4 rebounds. The former Rangitoto College standout converted both of his free throws as well as 6 from 9 field goals.

Zaragoza remain 15th on the Liga Endesa table with a 9-19 record but must beat bottom placed Gipuzkoa in San Sebastian next week to avoid becoming embroiled in the relegation battle.

Tom Abercrombie's club Pinar Karsiyaka had a comfortable 82-60 win against Torku Konyaspor in Turkish League action on Saturday. Abercrombie had 11 points, 2 rebounds a pair of steals and an assist as Karsiyaka consolidate sixth place in the TBL with a 15-11 record. Four rounds remain in the regular season.

Limburg United had a bye in the Belgium League this week giving Rob Loe and his team a weekend off.

Australia - Women

In a week when the Tall Ferns 23 player training squad was named it was also announced that Micaela Cocks has signed on for a further two years with Townsville Fire.

The WNBL Grand Final MVP has enjoyed tremendous success at Townsville, the Fire not missing the play-offs in her five years with the club. Cocks has made 129 appearances for the defending champions and is looking forward to further triumphs with the Queensland club.

"I have really enjoyed contributing to the success of the Fire over the past five years and I could think of nothing better than winning a third championship for Townsville and all of our wonderful fans," Cocks said.

"Townsville is my home away from home now and I'm looking forward to the season ahead. It should be another great year."

Before that Cocks has the Tall Ferns Olympic Qualifying Tournament to look forward to.

On the court a number of the Tall Ferns training squad were in action at the weekend.

In Western Australia it wasn't a weekend to remember for the two Tall Ferns playing in the State League.

The Perth Redbacks (3-2) suffered a second successive loss going down 76-68 to Stirling Senators. Lisa Wallbutton finished with a massive 15 rebounds to go with 9 points and a brace of assists. Other than free throws (5 out of 8) it wasn't the best of shooting nights for the former Harbour forward connecting with just 2 from 13 attempts from the field.

Toni Edmondson also had a shooting night to forget managing a paltry 3 from 15 attempts. The swingman finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists as Perry Lakes (4-1) lost its first game of the season going down in a tight one, 68-67 to Joondalup Wolves.

In Melbourne Tall Ferns Head coach Kennedy Kereama's Sunbury Jets embarrassed two opponents in Big V League Division one action.

The Jets accounted for Weribee Devils 108-45 on Saturday and Craigieburn Eagles 95-40 on Sunday.

The victories were achieved without much contribution from Jess Bygate who is still nursing an injury.

Europe - Women

Neither Jillian Harmon or Erin Rooney were in action for their respective clubs at the weekend.

Harmon's Le Murra Lucca await the outcome of the Torino versus Napoli three game series ahead of their Italian League quarter-final tie on April 21.

Rooney's club Calais had a bye in the French League although it is unclear when the guard will return to action having not played since mid February due to injury.

- NZ Herald

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