New Zealand advance to QFs

April 10, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

New Zealand has advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2018 Commonwealth Games after topping Pool B in Cairns.

Having been seeded fifth for the tournament, the Tall Ferns, admirably led by three-time JCU Townsville Fire championship winner Micaela Cocks, finished unbeaten through the preliminary rounds to set up a cut-throat encounter with Mozambique tonight.

In the tournament opener, Cocks top-scored for the Tall Ferns against Malaysia with 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist did likewise against India in the final preliminary game as she posted 21 points, six rebounds and two assists.

New Zealand are favourites to sweep past Mozambique in tonight’s quarter-final in Townsville before advancing to a final four showdown with Australia on the Gold Coast.

“We are getting better in some areas, we are still working on our press and the movement that we need in our defence, but it’s just good to get that win – we are into the quarter-finals,” Cocks said.

“It is important for us to keep getting better every game.”

In France, Fire captain Suzy Batkovic has maintained the rage for Montpellier with another barnstorming performance.

Needing to defeat Lyon to move into play-off contention, Batkovic posted 20 points and nine rebounds as BLMA defeated Lyon 81-78.

Since arriving in France, Batkovic leads the league in scoring with 18.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Meanwhile, Darcee Garbin has continued her hot form for Rockingham in the Western Australian state league.

Making a cameo ahead of the QBL season for her junior club, Garbin chalked up a game-high 22 points and six rebounds in just 27 minutes to lead Rockingham to an 86-61 victory over Perry Lakes.

The dual championship winner sits sixth on the league’s scoring list with an average of 21.5 points per game.