Follow FIBA on Facebook
Tall Ferns go for the tried and trusted in final roster
AUCKLAND (FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2017) - New Zealand have opted to put their faith in their usual core as they prepare for their maiden appearance at the FIBA Women's Asia Cup.
Head coach Kennedy Kereama will rely on his experienced Olympian quartet of Jillian Harmon, Micaela Cocks, Natalie Taylor and Toni Farnworth to do the business and help the Tall Ferns post a positive campaign.
|New Zealand roster for FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2017
|Georgia Agnew||Jessica Bygate||Micaela Cocks||Antonia Farnworth|
|Deena Franklin||Jillian Harmon||Rebecca Ott||Chevannah Palvaast|
|Kalani Purcell||Erin Rooney||Josephine Stockhill||Natalie Taylor|
Set to go up against China, Chinese Taipei and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Group A, the players will be eyeing up one of the four spots on offer for next year's FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.
Eight players within this team attended the Olympic Women's Qualifying Tournament (OWQT) in France last year and a ninth, Jess Bygate, played a number of internationals in the lead up to the OQT.
"We are very happy with the shape of the team and believe that this squad will give us our best chance of qualifying for Spain," commented Coach Kereama.
"It is also exciting to add three new caps to the program with Rebecca Ott and Georgia Agnew gaining selection. Those players came into camp and really impressed the coaching staff."
At 22 years-old, Ott was invited to the selection camp on the advice of her Melbourne Boomers coach - and new Tall Ferns Assistant Coach - Guy Molloy. Coach Kereama says Ott was chanced upon, but immediately made an impact.
"Rebecca simply fell on our lap by chance," continued the play-caller.
"But, her selection was far from that as she has really worked hard and will bring yet another very talented and tall guard into our squad."
Coach Kereama will be looking to the veterans to shine in Benglauru
Agnew was a member of the New Zealand team that competed at the FIBA 3x3 World Championships in China last year, but will make her full international debut in the upcoming campaign.
"Georgia will also add some much needed depth to our point guard stocks and was also a stand out amongst our newcomers at camp," said Kereama.
Meanwhile Charlisse Leger-Walker, who spurred headlines after being named in the camp at only 15 years of age, will have to wait for that elusive first cap.
Yet she excelled amongst the more experienced players in camp and that has been acknowledge by the coaching staff as she has been listed as a non-travelling reserve - a fantastic achievement for the Tall Ferns’ protege.
The Tall Ferns will head to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup at the beginning of July and then onto Singapore for more preparation, before they compete in Bengaluru.