Over the weekend the Auckland Dream officially began their Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) season at the WBC Opening Tournament, which was held at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga. The Dream roster was bolstered with the inclusion of Commonwealth Games bronze medal winning Tall Fern co- captain Natalie Taylor and her sister Charmian Mellars, who is a former Tall Fern herself. Both play for the South West Metro Pirates in the Queensland Basketball League but decided to take leave from club duties and suit up for the Dream. With both sisters traveling across the ditch, the weekend was also a family reunion as sister Hailey Moala and cousin Idaho Purcell are also part of the Dream roster.
The Dream used the weekend to also give back to the Tauranga community during the tournament by visiting and inspiring local Tauranga schools. Dream players, coaches and management staff visited Tauranga Intermediate and Mt Manganui College to talk about basketball pathways for females and provide some inspiration to the youth. It was a successful weekend both on and off the court as the Dream also headlined the TVNZ sports coverage on Saturday 5th May with a story about Dream/ NZ U17 age group star Sharne Pupuke – Robati and the Auckland Dream campaign.
On the court the Dream came away with a 2 wins and 1 loss record with sees them tied with the Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats and Power Chill Waikato Country Cannons on the WBC Tier 1 standings. A great start to the season as the Dream winning against the Harbour Breeze and Otago Goldrush. Their only loss came against the Waikato Wizards who were led by young Tall Fern star, Charlisse Leger-Walker.
The Dream now focuses their attention to the WBC Home and Away Series which commences on Saturday 19th May against the Power Chill Waikato Country Cannons at 7:30pm.
Congratulations to the Auckland Dream squad, coaches and management staff for a successful start to the season!
WBC Opening Tournament Results:
Game 1 – Win
Auckland Dream 88 – C Mellars 26, N Taylor 18, S Theyers 10, S Povey 9
Harbour Breeze 69 – T Reed 19, T Dalton 15, K Tini 13, J Kailahi-Fulu 7
Game 2 – Loss
Waikato Wizards 67 – C Leger-Walker 23, E Bradley 19, A Hirawani 15, K Ballantyne 8
Auckland Dream 56 – C Mellars 16, N Taylor 16, S Pupuke-Robati 10
Game 3 – Win
Auckland Dream 74 – N Taylor 28, S Pupuke-Robati 14, S Povey 8, J Nicholson 7,
Otago Goldrush 62 – N Visger 16, D Goularte 15, A Ruske 11, N Ruske 8
Links to Auckland Dream Coverage over the WBC Opening Tournament:
Tauranga Intermediate Visit –
Sharne Pupuke Robati & Auckland Dream Coverage –