Tall Ferns gearing up for crucial stage in Olympic qualifying goal

Hoping for a first Olympic qualification since 2008, the Tall Ferns are gearing up for this week's vital clash against the Philippines in Auckland.

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The Kiwi women's side face the Philippines later this week. Source: 1 NEWS

Playing on home soil for the first time in four years, the Tall Ferns are targeting a top two finish in their four-way pre-Olympic qualifying group, also containing China and South Korea.

Thursday night's clash is all the more special for shooting guard Matangiroa Flavell, who last year gave up the game and her basketball scholarship in the USA.

"There was so much more I wanted to do," she says.

"I hadn't achieved what I wanted to achieve yet, which was Tall Ferns. And so I thought I still want to chase it.

"It's been crazy but [I'm] very fortunate to have this opportunity."