Mila Reuelu-Buchanan is allowing herself to trust her gut more this ANZ Premiership season.  

The Robinhood Stars midcourter has entered the campaign off the back of the Silver Ferns’ quad series in England, where she made her international debut against South Africa. 

Reuelu-Buchanan’s selection was reward for a breakout 2021 season in the Stars’ purple dress and she’s gained a lot of confidence from the opportunity.  

“I was always playing with that wonder of where I sat in the Silver Ferns environment, so to get that recognition and chosen for the quad series has given me that massive push to go further and back myself.” Reuelu-Buchanan said. 

“I’ve been playing for a while now and it’s important that I’m a leader and I step up as well and I want to bring freedom to play fearlessly and let the ball go every game. I’d often be hesitant to give passes because I’d worry about making a mistake, but now my mindset has changed and it’s about seeing it and giving it and trusting the process.” 

That confidence has oozed out on court for Reuelu-Buchanan so far this season. Despite disruption to the competition schedule due to Covid-19, which saw her go four weeks without a game - Reuelu-Buchanan produced an MVP performance as the Stars tamed the Trident Homes Tactix 63-51 in Christchurch.  

“It’s nice to get recognition, but it’s about consistency now. It’s awesome that I had a good game, but I’ve got to bring that every game, so at the same time I wouldn’t have had that game without the support of my team. I felt like us working as a unit helped me play freely and pick up ball and reflected the training we’ve been putting in.” Reuelu-Buchanan explained.  

After having four matches postponed, the win over the Tactix was just the Stars’ third appearance of the season.  

The Stars put in a lot of work behind the scenes in preparation for their return to court, and with all squad members available, Reuelu-Buchanan says it was valuable to bring everyone on at some point in the match and to string together a solid performance.  

“I think we did a really good job as a unit defensively at picking ball up and applying pressure. That’s something we’ve been working on, especially with our zone that we set up. On attack it’s about treasuring the ball, working it to circle edge and implementing a lot of hits and splits because we knew the Tactix would come out and grind up on defence, our plan was to work closely as a unit.” Reuelu-Buchanan said. 

Reuelu-Buchanan and Silver Ferns captain Gina Crampton have been dynamic in the Stars midcourt this season, with their on-court chemistry at an all-time high as they’ve orchestrated the attack together.  

Last year was Crampton’s first campaign with the Stars and Reuelu-Buchanan says their partnership has come a long way and is still growing which is awesome.  

“I think the biggest thing that helps is our relationship off the court. We’ve got a strong friendship and a tight knit team which creates trust out on the court. I’m lucky I can play alongside Gina and Maia who are key Silver Fern players and it’s about seeing what I can bring within that combination and the versatility within myself, playing at wing attack too.” 

Wednesday night will see the Stars finally play their first home game at Bruce Pulman Arena in front of the Stars whanau, when they meet the Tactix for a third time this season. 

While Reuelu-Buchanan’s pumped to play at home, she’s more excited for those loyal supporters who have had to wait so long to see the team in the flesh.  

“They are the rock of our team and have been there since day one and it’s awesome to be able to put on a performance for them. Obviously representing South Auckland and playing in our stadium is special and we know the supporters will bring the chants and noise on Wednesday and we’re looking forward to playing the Tactix for a third time.” 

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