Hoops Capital off-season wrap (April 8)

April 8, 2024 | Sydney Flames news

The basketball off-season is officially in full swing now, with the domestic NBL1 seasons tipping off to join the likes of the other international competitions our Hoops Capital athletes are currently plying their trades in.

Flames trio of Renae Garleep (coach), Caitlyn Martin and Carla Pitman helped reigning champions Norths edge Bankstown 83-70 in the opening round of the 2024 NBL1 East competition.

In the victory, Martin had 19 points, six boards, three steals and two boards, while Pitman added 13 points, six rebounds, three dimes and two steals.

The trio’s Bears host Hills in round two on Saturday.


At Sutherland, in her return fixture, Vanessa Panousis went off for the Sharks – to the tune of 29 points (including five triples), five assists, four rebounds and three steals – as the team defeated Penrith 94-70.

The Sharks will look to make it two wins on the trot when they travel to Albury to face Lauren Jackson’s Albury on Saturday.

To Victoria and Shaneice Swain balled out during her first appearance for Geelong.

The Los Angeles Sparks draft pick put up 26 points, 10 boards, four assists and one steal during the Supercats’ 95-85 loss to Ballarat.

Geelong host Bendigo next round.


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The Knox Raiders, featuring Paige Bradley and former Flame Kiera Rowe, won both of their opening-round fixtures.

They first defeated Sandringham Bradley starred with 14 points, eight assists and four boards as Knox won 80-75.

The Raiders backed that up by overcoming Kilsyth 86-81, with Rowe and Bradley adding 14 and 11 respectively.

Mirroring that double triumph was Ahlise Hurst’s Ringwood, who defeated Kilsyth 83-55 and Nunawading 90-55.

Across those two wins, Hurst totalled 35 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Ringwood takes on Casey and Melbourne in round two.

In Spain, seven points, three rebounds and two blocks by Lauren Nicholson steered Spar Girona to a comprehensive 90-57 triumph against Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre PDM.

Nicholson’s outfit will take on Barcelona on April 14.

In Taiwan, Cayla George and her Cathay Life Tigers had another busy weekend, with three fixtures.

In the first, the Tigers edged Taipower 73-62 thanks to 17 points, 17 rebounds and four assists from George.

Then 13 points, 12 boards, two dimes and one steal by George pushed the Tigers to a 73-53 win against Chunghua.

The Australian Opal wrapped up the weekend with an 86-57 triumph over Taiyuan, tallying 11 points, four rebounds, three dimes and three blocks.

Finally, in New Zealand, Guy Molloy’s Southland Sharks lost both the weekend’s games to Manawatu (83-70) and Hawkes Bay (107-80).

They next host Wellington on April 15.


To the Kings’ contingent and young gun Klairus Amir made his Sutherland debut in NBL1 East on Saturday night.

During his Sharks’ 87-73 victory, King #245 tallied 15 points (on 6-8 shooting), three triples and one rebound.

In round two, Sutherland travels to Albury-Wodonga.

Across to New Zealand and Sam Timmins powered his Franklin Bulls to their second consecutive win to open the season.

In the 93-83 victory, Timmins had 23 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and one steal.

The Bulls next take on the Jets on April 14.

In Italy, Denzel Valentine made his Olimpia Milano debut on Sunday, in his side’s 91-86 Lega Basket Serie A victory over Trento.

Milano’s next game is a EuroLeague showdown with Maccabi Tel Aviv on April 12.

Finally, in Peurto Rico, Jonah Bolden made his Capitanes de Arecibo debut over the weekend – helping his team down Piratas de Quebradillas 87-84.

In the tight win, in which David Stockon hit the game-winning triple, Bolden collected 11 points, four rebounds and one assist.

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

– Cover photo: Ian Knight