Breeze and Men's U23 teams named plus Rob Loe heroics
The Women’s D League, featuring the Harbour Breeze, and the Men’s U23 National Championship commence on Wednesday August 17.
The Breeze will face Canterbury and Auckland Dream Blue in Pool play on the opening day while the U23 Men have been drawn in Pool C alongside Auckland, Canterbury and Tauranga.
Both competitions are taking place at Eventfinda Stadium (August 17-20).
The selected players are:
Azure Anderson, Mackenzie Chatfield, Rosie Dil, Bailey Flavell, Rebecca Moors, Yume Negishi, Amy Pateman, Izzy Pugh, Nicole Scales, Qaizden Stephano, Vitolia Tuilave, Hannah Wentworth
Harbour U23 Men
Mandela Beledrokadroka, Jayden Boucher, Dallas Clayton, Reuben Fitzgerald, Finn James, Liam Judd, Josh Kooiman, Tyler Martin, Jacob Tawhiao, Jett Thompson, Joe Wuthrich, Zack Te Puni
The Sal’s NBL Play-offs concluded at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday night where the Auckland Tuatara were defeated 81-73 by the Otago Nuggets in front of a sold out crowd.
Rob Loe, named the Most Outstanding New Zealand Forward in the NBL, produced a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds in the Grand Final.
Whilst Rob had to settle for a runners-up medal he was involved in a remarkable sequence of play in the semi-final overtime victory against regular season champions Taranaki Airs.
The final seconds of the game will no doubt go down in the annals of Tuatara and NBL history. Trailing 91-86 with 9 seconds remaining It was at that point that Rob took over, going on a personal 5-0 run.
He made a layup with 6 seconds to play and then grabbed a steal from the resulting inbounds play.
Possessing the where withal to take a one bounce dribble to get outside the three-point arc he made a turnaround triple – tying the game with 3 seconds remaining.
The Tuatara went on to win the game 107-104 after the extra period – the Tall Blacks centre finishing with a remarkable 29 points, 18 rebounds and 5 steals.
Reuben Fitzgerald, Tom Beattie, Charlie Dalton and Chris McIntosh were the other Harbour players receiving runners-up medals.
The Northern Kāhu are back in action this week. They travel to Wellington on Thursday to take on the Tokomanawa Queens before completing their regular season programme with a home game against Mainland Pouakai.
That game will be at Eventfinda Stadium on Sunday August 21 with the tip-off at 5pm.
The American college season doesn’t commence for another couple of months although pre-season training is underway for most players.
Tane Murray and Zach Riley are fortunate that their universities are currently on overseas tours. Zach and the Fordham University Rams are in the Bahamas while Tane and the Virginia University Cavaliers are in Italy.