News Article

Off-Season Player Wrap: Strong Performance from Vodanovich in Tall Blacks Friendlies

01 Jul
7 mins read

Written By

Kadek Thatcher for Phoenix Media

Players are coming close to the end of the regular season with their off-season teams as some fight to end their seasons on a high and fight their way to cement a spot in finals contention.

See below for how our Phoenix-rostered players are faring locally and internationally.

Tom Vodanovich – Tall Blacks
6PTS, 4REBS, 1AST vs Finland
10PTS, 5REBS, 1STL vs Poland

After signing with the Phoenix last week, Vodanovich is currently in Europe assisting his home nation, New Zealand, in qualifying for the Paris Olympics this month.

The Tall Blacks played two friendlies against Finland and Poland last week. In game one, Finland stole the win with a buzzer-beater three-pointer, and the Tall Blacks lost 70-73. Vodanovich had six points and four rebounds in the heartbreaking loss.

In game two, Poland proved too strong for the NBL-stacked Tall Blacks, going down 59-88. The power forward was strong off the bench, recording 10 points and five rebounds.

The New Zealand team now heads to Greece, where they will take on Croatia and Slovenia this week in a bid to qualify for the Olympics.

Ben Ayre – Wellington Saints (NZNBL)
26PTS, 2REBS, 10ASTS vs Otago Nuggets

The Saints' important 26-point win over the weekend against the Otago Nuggets moved them to the top four on the ladder with two rounds remaining before the finals.

With Izayah Le'afa off doing national duties with the Tall Blacks, Ayre became the most experienced point guard on the side, with. the responsibility falling onto him and he lived up to expectations, claiming a double-double of 26 points and 10 assists.

Owen Foxwell – Eltham Wildcats (NBL1 South)
15PTS, 7REBS, 7ASTS, 1STL vs Sandringham Sabres
19PTS, 4REBS, 4ASTS, 3STLS, 1BLK vs Bendigo Braves

The Wildcats went 2-0 across the weekend, with second-half comebacks assisting in their wins. It was a Foxwell brother showdown on Friday night, as the Wildcats had a 26-19 final-quarter comeback to seal the 90-85 win over Sandringham. The older Foxwell had a solid performance in the five-point win, with 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.

Back on court on Saturday, the Wildcats shot 53-39 in the second half of the game to clinch the 83-80 win over Bendigo. Again, Foxwell followed up his performance with 19 points.

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Angus Glover – Eltham Wildcats (NBL1 South)
18PTS, 6REBS, 3ASTS, 2STLS vs Sandringham Sabres
23PTS, 7REBS, 3ASTS, 1STL vs Bendigo Braves

Alongside Foxwell, Glover also produced a solid weekend in the two wins for the Wildcats. The guard scored 41 points in the two victories, including working hard defensively and collecting 13 rebounds.

Mitch Creek – Atléticos de San German (BSN)
23PTS, 10REBS, 4ASTS, 1STL vs Indios de Mayaguez
36PTS, 3REBS, 1AST, 1STL vs Piratas de Quebradillas

Creek continued his dominance in the season's final two games for San German. In game one, Creek produced a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds in the 84-70 win.

In San German's final game of the season, it went down to the wire. It went into overtime, but sadly, it fell 109-118 in extra time. Creek continued his high scoring with 36 points.

Across the four games Creek played in Puerto Rico, he notched up 112 points.

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Luke Fennell – Centre of Excellence (NBL1 East)
26PTS, 5REBS, 2ASTS, 2STLS vs Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Fennell was named best on court in the Centre of Excellence's close loss to Manly on the weekend. Going down 82-89 on Saturday, the guard recorded 26 points and five rebounds.

Matt Kenyon – North Gold Coast Seahawks (NBL1 North)
16PTS, 9REBS, 4ASTS, 2STLS, 1BLK vs Rockhampton Rockets

Unfortunately, the Seahawks lost by 29 points against Rockhampton on the weekend. Despite the loss, Kenyon continued his form, just shy of another double-double. He recorded 16 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

Seahawks Vs Rockhampton   29062024   Nb L1 M Bq 049

Kody Stattmann – Cairns Marlins (NBL1 North)
33PTS, 7REBS, 6ASTS, 3STLS vs Mackay Meteors

Stattmann continued his high. Scoring numbers in Cairns' two-point win over Mackay in NBL1 North. Recording 33 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, the guard is proving his form to return to an NBL list for the upcoming season.

Luke Rosendale – Ballarat Miners (NBL1 South)
13PTS, 3REBS, 3ASTS vs Melbourne Tigers
10PTS, 2REBS, 1AST vs Frankston Blues

The Miners went 1-1 across the weekend in NBL1 South. They took an 87-81 victory over the Melbourne Tigers but fell to the Frankston Blues 69-94.

Rosendale recorded 23 points across the weekend as he helped his side remain in top-four contention.

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Reuben Te Rangi – Tall Blacks
8PTS, 7REBS, 1STL vs Finland
7PTS, 1REB, 1BLK vs Poland

Te Rangi is captaining the Tall Blacks side in their quest for the Paris Olympics in Europe alongside Tom Vodanovich. Across the two friendlies, Te Rangi scored a total of 15 points.

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Stay tuned via Phoenix socials to keep updated with players' performances during the off-season.

For a list of the latest roster updates, see below.

Under Contract 
Ben Ayre  
Mitch Creek  
Luke Fennell
Owen Foxwell 
Angus Glover
Jordan Hunter 
Matt Kenyon 
Nathan Sobey  
Tom Vodanovich
Derrick Walton Jr

Free Agents 
Gary Browne  
Craig Moller  
Abdel Nader  
Anzac Rissetto  
Luke Rosendale  
Kody Stattmann  
Reuben Te Rangi  
Rhys Vague

Off-Season Moves 
Gorjok Gak (Tasmania)
Austin Rapp (Portland Pilots)
Alan Williams (Sono Skygunners, Korea)

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