The Property Brokers Manawatu Jets have fought hard for a 90-87 win over the Taylor Hawke's Bay Hawks on Tuesday evening in Palmerston North.
The Jets looked to have shaken off the 31-point loss to the Airs in Round 9, as they showed more composure and were locked in from tip-off. They jumped out to a 22-20 lead after the first quarter on the back of solid contributions from imports Rob Crawford and Zane Najdawi.
Hawke's Bay opened the second quarter on an 18-4 run, getting to the rim and moving the ball crisply. The Jets would answer back with a 15-4 run powered by Shane Temara's 17 points off the bench on 3-of-6 shooting from three. He's proven to be somewhat of a flamethrower off the bench for Manawatu this season and when he's on, the Jets are normally in a good spot on the scoreboard.
The Hawks took a 46-43 lead into the half after Derone Raukawa's last second bank shot, but he did appear to tweak his hip on the play and would not start the second half. Raukawa would come off the bench half way through the third but it was evident that it was effecting him.
Basketball is a game of runs and we certainly got the full experience in this one. The Jets began the third on an 11-0 run with three 3-pointers, and would then extend the run to 24-4 with three minutes left to play in the quarter.
With captain Ethan Rusbatch and Hyrum Harris on Tall Blacks duty, the last thing the Hawks needed was injuries and they got exactly that tonight. After Raukawa injured his hip late in the second quarter, Jack Exeter clashed with Jets guard Pafe Momoisea and immediately clutched his shoulder in pain. Exeter, like his teammate Raukawa, would return to the contest.
Just as it looked the Hawks might be done, they responded with an 11-2 run to finish the third and would trail by just six heading into the fourth. It was quite the response from an undermanned team that had just taken an uppercut in the form monster Jets' run to start the quarter.
The Hawks kept it going in the fourth with an 8-1 run over the first three minutes. Injuries would again bite the Hawks, as import Tajuan Agee went down with a knee issue and would have to leave the game. Agee re-entered the game a few minutes later and didn't look 100% initially but his knee appeared to free up with more reps up and down the court.
Undermanned and on one day's rest, this was always going to be a tough task for the Hawks and it ultimately became too difficult once hit with injuries in-game. The Jets would knuckle down and hold on for a big home victory in front of a vocal crowd in Palmerston North.
The Jets not only needed to respond after last week's road loss, but they needed to capitialise on the understrength Hawks and they did just that with a solid all-around performance. They pick up their fifth win on the season and again remind everyone that their intentions for the Top-6 are legitimate.
SCORE: Jets 90, Hawks 87
Jets: Crawford 25 PTS | Temara 20 PTS | Najdawi 14 PTS, 14 REB | Bohannon 11 PTS, 15 REB, 5 AST, 6 BLK
Hawks: Bailey 20 PTS | Hunt 17 PTS, 7 REB, 3 STL, 3 BLK | Agee 14 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Rob Crawford (Jets) - 10 votes
Zane Najdawi (Jets) - 7 votes
Shane Temara (Jets) - 5 votes
Jordan Hunt (Hawks) - 4 votes
Quintin Bailey (Hawks) - 2 votes
Tajuan Agee (Hawks) - 2 votes
Jets – July 7 @ Franklin Bulls
Hawks – July 11 vs. Otago Nuggets
Round 10 Sal's NBL Schedule