From the Vault: NBL Classic Matches | #12

Looking for some basketball to watch?

With the Sal’s NBL Men’s and Women’s competitions, along with Women’s D-League, currently looking at Modified Competitions for 2020,  we’ve gone through the archives to bring you some classic NBL games from yesteryear to watch!

If you have any games you’d like to see, or have access to recorded games you can share, please let us know by contacting us here.


NBL Classic Match #12: 2016 NBL Grand Final | Super City Rangers vs. Wellington Saints 

Featuring the crème de la crème of New Zealand Basketball, the 2016 NBL Grand Final was shaping up as a classic before anyone had even taken the court. The Rangers roster was packed with talent – Mika Vukona, Lindsay Tait, Reuben Te Rangi and Corey Webster to name just a few. The Saints were also strong on paper. Led by Kevin Braswell in his rookie season as coach, the Saints side featured Shea Ili, Dion Prewster, Leon Henry, Tai Wesley and current Denver Nugget star, Torrey Craig. For the first time in the competition's history, Invercargill hosted the Final Four weekend – ensuring neutral territory for the decider.

Led by 26 points from Leon Henry, the Saints would go on to claim their ninth NBL Championship, equaling Auckland’s longstanding record.

The Rangers were dealt a hammer blow prior to tip-off with star import Eric Devendorf ruled out with an injury he picked up in the teams semi-final victory the day prior. The Saints capitalised, completely dominating the first quarter and finding themselves up 18-2 before the Rangers responded. Wellington shot at 76 percent from the field in the first quarter the Rangers struggled at just 30 percent.

Slowly but surely, the Rangers were able to find a way back in the second quarter. They came out on top 29-23 and went into the break only 8 points behind. The Saints would regain the ascendancy in the third, winning the quarter 22-19. With Mika Vukona and Terrence Roberts both fouling out in the fourth, a comeback was well and truly off the cards for the Rangers. The Saints held steady, winning the game 94-82.

Super City Rangers 82

Finals MVP:
Tai Wesley

7 teams contested the 2016 season (final standings): Wellington Saints, Supercity Rangers, Canterbury Rams, Southland Sharks, Nelson Giants, Taranaki Mountainairs and Hawke’s Bay Hawks.

All-Star Five:

  • G: McKenzie Moore (Canterbury Rams)
  • G: Raymond Cowels (Nelson Giants)
  • F: Torrey Craig (Wellington Saints)
  • F: Marcel Jones (Canterbury Rams)
  • C: Alex Pledger (Southland Sharks)





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