July 27, 2017

Tall Ferns' World Cup hopes dashed

The Tall Ferns' fervently-anticipated trip to the 2018 FIBA World Cup came to a crashing halt tonight as they lost 64-49 to Korea in the FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinals.

The game started well for New Zealand. They began with confidence instead of their habitual slow start and Korea was shooting very badly. Three minutes into the second quarter, the Kiwis were ahead 20-11.

Then it all turned around. Korea got hot and New Zealand went dead cold. Korea went on a 23-0 run. and the half ended with New Zealand down 20-34.

The Tall Ferns played catch-up all through the second half, but didn't quite make it. They got within four points once in the third quarter and within two once in the fourth quarter. Then Korea scored a 9-0 run that effectively ended the game with three minutes left on the clock.

Jillian again played almost the entire game (39 minutes) and led her team with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

At the end of the Group Phase, European sports journalist Jeff Taylor picked Jillian as one of the top five players so far with this accolade:

The consistent Harmon does it all for the Tall Ferns
There are leaders, and there are "put the team on your back" leaders. The 30-year-old Harmon has been the latter for the Tall Ferns. One of the three players on the Kiwis' roster that played for the country at the 2008 Olympics, Harmon averaged 37mpg in wins over the D.P.R. of Korea and Chinese Taipei, victories that have given the New Zealanders a chance to reach the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. Averaging 19ppg and 14rpg in those two victories, Harmon also led the team with a gritty defensive effort.


The Tall Ferns will now play for places 5-8 at the Asia Cup beginning with a match against the DPR of Korea on Thursday evening at 10:30pm Pacific Time.

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