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Tall Ferns versus India

09 Mar 06 06:08
NZ Tall Fern Leanne Walker. 

NZ Tall Fern Leanne Walker.

New Zealand’s female Basketball squad, the Tall Ferns, will line-up in Auckland against India, in their last hit out before the Games in Melbourne. 

India will play three tests against their hosts, who have recently returned from an intensive training camp in Cuba.

Tall Ferns guard, Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe, says although India are not expected to be a strong challenge, playing them will be very useful.

“We will be facing all sorts of teams at the Games so it will be beneficial,” she said.

The New Zealand men’s team, known as the Tall Blacks, also confront India in a warm-up encounter.
Australian coach, Brian Goorjian, has labelled the Tall Blacks “foreign legionnaires” in reference to Basketball New Zealand drafting in two naturalised Americans to their 12-man roster.

There is no restriction on naturalised players competing at the Games.

New Zealand has been boosted by the return of veteran coach Tab Baldwin and Captain Pero Cameron.

At the recent announcement of the New Zealand team line-up, Cameron described his excitement at the prospect of competing in his first Commonwealth Games.

“It is going to be important that we get going quickly because this is a pretty new team," he said. "I think I am looking forward to it, I know I am looking forward to playing in front of my family, I haven't been able to do that for a while.

“We play England in our group and they will be strong, I think, and Nigeria will be interesting. They have qualified for the world championships as well.”

The Commonwealth Games Basketball competition takes place 16-24 March at regional venues throughout Victoria and at the Multi Purpose Venue (MPV) in Melbourne.

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