After years of continuous hard work, FEU captain Ken Tuffin’s efforts have finally paid off.
On Wednesday, July 29, the Fil-Kiwi forward was added to the New Zealand Tall Blacks national team pool for the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Joining Tuffin in the list is former La Salle Green Archers reinforcement Taane Samuel.
Tall Blacks head coach and FIBA Hall of Famer Pero Cameron raved about the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) and how it has helped their scouting for the national team.
“NBL has been a great opportunity to gauge our depth of talent and to discover new players that we might not have had on our radar previously,” he said in a report on New Zealand Basketball’s website.
“I have especially enjoyed the chance to see a few of the players that have been away in the US at university. I’ve been impressed with their ability, and increased maturity and understanding of the game.
“To see some of those guys after 3 or 4 years of being away has been great and has certainly added to some selection conversations for when we next have the Tall Blacks together,” he continued.
On the same day of his inclusion to the national team pool, Tuffin helped the NZNBL’s Taranaki Mountainairs get a crucial 99-90 win against the Franklin Bulls to clinch a semifinals berth.
After going scoreless in his last eliminations game, coincidentally against Franklin, Tuffin bounced back with 9 points and 2 rebounds on a 3-of-6 clip from three.
Despite being hurt late in the game, Tuffin came through in fine style in the knockout game presented live by Smart Sports.
“It’s playoffs now. It’s win or go home,” he said. “We have to look after our bodies tonight, prepare for tomorrow, watch some scouting videos from the other team and we’ll be okay.” – Rappler.com