Franklin v Canterbury: Bulls Hold Off Rams for Home Win

The Franklin Bulls, fresh off a break-through finals appearance last season, knocked over the defending Sal’s NBL champion Canterbury Rams 93-83 on Sunday in Pukekohe.

It backs up their opening round win on the road in Nelson as they welcomed back long-serving player Isaac Davidson and returning import Jamal Brantley.

The two sides found it hard to find their range offensively in the first quarter but managed to trade baskets in a low-scoring game.

The Rams despite being without starters Max Darling (injury) and Lachlan Olbrich (personal), were able to take control in the second quarter on the back of guard Taylor Britt (24 points, 3 rebounds), before the Bulls got their act together in the final minutes of the first half.

It was all go for the home side when the teams returned from the sheds in the second spell, as the Bulls opened up a 16-point lead by late in the third quarter.

Import guard Luther Muhammad led all scorers with 31 while he added five rebounds and seven assists in another quality outing.

Centre Sam Timmins was a stand-out for the home side as well as he scored 23 points and pulled down 11 boards and blocked four shots while towering above an undersized Rams unit. 

The win lifts the Bulls into a four-way share atop the Sal’s NBL standings as one of three teams that are 2-0.

The Bulls host the Manawatū Jets in Pukekohe next Sunday while the Rams face the Auckland Tuatara next Saturday night in Christchurch in a replay of last season’s decider.

Result: Bulls (93) defeated Rams (83)

Leading Players

Bulls: Luther Muhammad (31 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast), Sam Timmins (23 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast), 4 blk, Isaac Davidson (14 pts, 3 reb)

Rams: Taylor Britt (24 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast), James Walker Jr (20 pts, 3 reb), Kaia Isaac (19 pts, 6 reb)

MVP Votes:

Luther Muhammad (Bulls) - 10 votes

Sam Timmins (Bulls) - 7 votes

Taylor Britt (Rams) - 7 votes

MJ Walker Jr. (Rams) - 3 votes

Isaac Davidson (Bulls) - 2 votes

Kaia Isaac (Rams) - 1 vote

In the earlier Sky Broadband Rapid League game:

The Rams enjoyed their first win of the Rapid League season with a convincing 46-35 victory on the road to improve to 1-1 on the season.

It was all the visitors throughout as they were able to find their range from deep – hitting five of eight to keep the scoreboard moving in their favour.

Corban Mason led the Rams with 10 points while Tamatoa Isaac and bench player Mana Martin both had nine points.

Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape kept the Bulls in it with 16 first half points, before finishing with 20.

Result: Bulls 35 lost to Rams 46

Leading Players

Bulls: Dru-Leo Leusoge-Api 20 pts, 2 stl, Liam Davis 9 pts, 7 reb, Payton Hughes, 4 pts, 3 reb

Rams: Corban Mason 10 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, Tamatoa Isaac 9 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, Mana Martin 9 pts, 2 rebs

MVP Votes:

Corban Mason (Rams) - 10 votes

Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape (Bulls) - 8 votes

Tama Isaac (Rams) - 6 votes

Liam Davis (Bulls) - 4 votes

Mana Martin (Rams) - 2 votes


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