The EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls have delivered a memorable 100-99 win over the Property Brokers Manawatu Jets in a thrilling and frenetic opening-round game of the 2021 #SalsNBL season.
Landing blow for blow across all four quarters, the 'Stockyard' was rocking as the likes of Josh Selby, Dane Brooks and Joseph Nunag entertained, while newly added American Zane Waterman was a walking highlight reel.
And the Jets did their bit as well, especially Jayden Bezzant, Daishon Knight and DeAndre Daniels. This was a contest that could have gone either way.
As it was, there were 17 lead changes and no less than 12 times the scores were level.
The Jets enjoyed a massive 60 points in the paint, while defensively they were constantly called upon to thwart the barrage of threes (12/41) coming from the Bulls.
The quarter-by-quarter margins best sum up this enthralling clash - 23/23, 53/50, 74/79, 100/99.
The Jets skipped to a seven-point lead during the third term, but as was the pattern for both teams across the night, extending past that lead was impossible. That margin proved to be the biggest of the night.
Josh Selby was unstoppable for the Bulls and was awarded the Player of the Game, while his 'brother' Daishon Knight overcame a slow first half (2-points) to drop 13-points in the third period, before going on to finish with 23.
The closing stages were exhilarating as the both teams traded baskets. In the end, the Jets ran the final play for Knight, who couldn't convert from just beyond the foul-line.
As the final buzzer sounded the crowd erupted, celebrating a memorable win for the Bulls that will always be remembered as their 'first ever' on their home deck.
Franklin Bulls (100) defeated Manawatu Jets (99) - BOXSCORE
Bulls: Josh Selby (27pts, 8rbs, 8ast, 4stl), Zane Waterman (25pts, 14rbs, 3 treys), Joseph Nunag (20pts, 4 treys), Dane Brooks (10pts).
Jets: Jayden Bezzant (29pts, 7rbs), Daishon Knight (23pts), Shane Temara (18pts, 14rbs), DeAndre Daniels (15pts, 15rbs, 4blks).
1. This game had highlight after highlight, and it came at a frenetic pace. Both teams deserved a win, but it was the Bulls celebrating a memorable first ever home win in the Sal's NBL.
2. Josh Selby and Zane Waterman are the real deal. The Bulls still have Matt Freeman and Isaac Davidson to add, making this a team to watch. And boy are they fun!
3. Despite the two losses in Round 1, don't step off the Jets, they have plenty of stars of their own. The loss of Ashton McQueen hurt tonight, but this is a team that will score big and take plenty of scalps this season. Daishon Knight and Jayden Bezzant are a match made in heaven and they showed tonight that they are going to cause a mountain of headaches.
Stuff MVP Votes
Josh Selby (Bulls - 10)
Jayden Bezzant (Jets - 8)
Zane Waterman (Bulls - 6)
Daishon Knight (Jets - 3)
Joseph Nunag (Bulls - 3)
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