Hoops Capital off-season wrap (April 15)

April 15, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

As the NBL starts its free agency period, which will be closely followed by the tip-off by the WNBL, Hoops Capital’s top stars continue to shine in their respective competitions around the world.

Starting with the Flames and Cayla George continues to produce big numbers for the Cathay Life Tigers in Taiwan.

During a trio of wins against Taipower (84-73), Chunghua (95-58) and Taiyuan (78-76), the Australian Opal totalled 55 points, 37 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and one steal – to consolidate the Tigers’ second spot on the ladder.


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To Europe and Lauren Nicholson’s Spar Girona lost an epic battle to Barcelona 72-70, despite the Sutherland junior tallying 19 points and two dimes.

Their next Liga Femenina de Baloncesto fixture is against Spar Gran Canaria on April 20.


The final two overseas Flames are Didi Richards (who just tipped off WNBA pre-season training with the Washington Mystics) and Guy Molloy, whose Southland Sharks lost 107-80 to Hawkes Bay in their third New Zealand NBL fixture of the season.

To NBL1 and the North competition tipped off over the weekend, seeing Lara McSpaddena and Abi Curtin hit the hardwood for the first time.

McSpadden’s Rockhampton Cyclones downed Townsville 98-73, with the Flame adding 16 points, eight boards, three steals and two dimes.

While Curtin’s Darwin Salties crushed Cairns 105-68, thanks to 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block from the Sydney development player.

Next round, Rockhampton plays Brisbane, while Darwin hosts Logan.

Moving to NBL1 East and the Norths Bears, coached by Renae Garlepp and featuring Caitlyn Martin and Carla Pitman, outlasted Hills 72-48 in their home opener.

Martin recorded 13 points, five boards, four assists and one steal in the win, with Pitman contributing five points, four rebounds, four dimes and four steals.

The Bears travel to Albury-Wodonga in round three to face Lauren Jackson’s Bandits.

A team that took on those Bandits in round two was Vanessa Panousis’ Sutherland Sharks, who lost 103-55, despite 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal by the Flame.

The Sharks take on the Mustangs in round three.

Finally, in the NBL1 South competition, Ahlise Hurt’s Ringwood Hawks chalked up wins against Casey (80-76), Knox (72-67) and Melbourne (92-85) in round two.

Across the trio of wins, Hurst tallied 59 points, 13 dimes, 12 boards, nine steals and one block.

Ringwood plays Ballarat and Hobart this weekend.


That Knox game pitted Hurst against Paige Bradley and former Flame, Kiera Rowe.

Across that loss, and their 93-75 win against Melbourne, Bradley had 14 points, seven boards, three assists and one steal.

The Raiders take on Dandenong in round three.

The final Flame to hit the hardwood this week was Shaneice Swain, whose Geelong United lost to both Bendigo (107-88) and Keilor (97-80).

Swain totalled 33 points, 16 rebounds, seven dimes and seven steals across the two defeats.

United will look to bounce back against Frankston.

Shifting to the Kings and big man Jordi Hunter has been dominating for Rigas Zellis in the Latvian-Estonian Basketball League.

In the opening round of the quarter-finals against Valmiera Glass, Rigas won game one of the series 87-65 before dropping the second 96-95.

Across the two fixtures, Hunter added 49 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Game three of the series is on April 15.


Staying in Europe and Denzel Valentine helped Olympia Milano down Treviso 91-89 in their Lega Basket Serie A fixture.

Their next game in Italy comes against Scafati on April 22.


To Puerto Rico and Jonah Boldan’s Capitanes de Arecibo recorded wins against Osos de Manati (105-88) and San German (97-76), with the Kings big man tallying 21 points, 17 boards and 10 dimes across the pair of victories.

They next face Mets de Guaynabo on April 17.

Closer to home and in the NBL1 competition, four Kings hit the hardwood across the weekend.

In Darwin, Koaut Noi made his Salties debut alongside Makuach Maluach, during the side’s 90-77 loss to Cairns.

In the defeat, Noi produced 35 points, eight boards, three dimes, three steals and one block, while Maluach added three points, five rebounds, one dime and two steals.

The Salties next host Logan on Saturday.

That round two clash will pit that Kings duo against teammate Shaun Bruce, who put up 12 points, 12 dimes and 10 rebounds in the Thunder’s big 112-65 triumph over North Gold Coast.

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The other King in action over the weekend in NBL was young gun Klairus Amir.

His Sharks lost 107-73 to Albury-Wodonga despite 11 points, eight boards and one dime from Amir.

Sutherland next host Maitland on Saturday in a replay of the 2023 NBL1 grand final.

Finally, in New Zealand, Sam Timmins continued to excel for the Franklin Bulls.

In Saturday’s 101-83 win against Manawatu, Timmins had 17 points, seven boards, three blocks, one assist and one steal.

The 3-0 Bulls host Otago in round four.

Stay up to date with all the harbour city club’s off-season news here.