Tall Ferns turn to Fire stars

Micaela NZ Squad Variation

New Zealand’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s FIBA World Cup will rest with three JCU Townsville Fire championship heroes.

Rachael Sporn Medallist Micaela Cocks headlines a strong 12-player Tall Ferns squad that includes WNBL championship-winning teammates Jillian Harmon and Chevannah Paalvast.

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With the top-four from next month’s Asia Cup advancing to the World Cup, the Tall Ferns are hopeful of qualifying in India.

“We are very happy with the shape of the team and believe that this squad will give us our best chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Spain,” New Zealand coach Kennedy Kereama said.

“During our selection camp the players were put to the test, and were placed under great physical and mental duress, as they would be at the Asian Cup. There is a very experienced core group of international basketball players in this squad and I believe they will lead the way.”

The 2017 Asia Cup will be staged in Bangalore from July 23 to 29.

For the first time Australia and New Zealand will compete at the tournament alongside six Asian teams.

New Zealand has been drawn in Pool A alongside China, Chinese Taipei and the DPR of Korea.

The top-four teams from the tournament will qualify for the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup.

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