The Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks were too hot to handle for the EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls with the latter going down 110-73 at the Franklin Pool and Leisure Centre this evening.

Despite it not being the most efficient night from the likes of Hyrum Harris and Devondrick Walker, skipper Ethan Rusbatch was able to get going and torched the hosts most frequently from three-point land.

Things were ugly from the tip for the Bulls as they found themselves down 15 zip less than four minutes into the game. Derone Raukawa had it going in the first with 10 points and led his team to a 33-10 advantage at quarter time.

The fans were rightfully worried after what they saw in the opening passages, but their tension was somewhat relieved with a strong offensive display out of the break.

Three triples to go along with some great shot selection inside the arc saw them outscore the Hawks 25-21 before the interval, only they were going to need to keep that up while keeping the visitors’ output down if they hoped to salvage the result.

Their quest for glory was effectively over at the end of the third as Rusbatch cooked up four triples to go along with deuces from Rhys Vague, Jonathan Janssen and the team’s latest addition, Jordan Hunt.


Franklin Bulls 73 lost to Hawke’s Bay Hawks 110 - BOXSCORE

Bulls: Denhym Brooke 17pts & 8rbs, Jett Thompson 12pts, Joseph Nunag 9pts & 7rbs.

Hawks: Ethan Rusbatch 27pts & 7rbs, Jonathan Janssen 18pts & 8rbs, Jordan Hunt 15pts & 6rbs.


Game Highlights 

  1. When Ethan Rusbatch has the radar going from deep, you can’t stop the guy – you can only wish to contain him! The sharpshooter sprayed home a season-high eight three-pointers at an equally impressive 61% clip.
  2. Things were always going to be tough for the Bulls following the departure of import Josh Selby, but to make matters worse in their first outing without him they were also without Zane Waterman. The home side struggled to get offensive flowing without a prominent playmaker or shot creator.
  3. Jordan Hunt may have had a quiet debut for his new team, but you’d be a fool to think there isn’t more to come from last year’s Sal’s NBL Showdown grand-final MVP. His time in the ANBL with the Cairns Taipans would’ve done him a world of good for his basketball nous, so keep an eye out for the youngster in the coming weeks.


Stuff MVP Votes

Ethan Rusbatch (Hawks-10), Devondrick Walker (Hawks-6), Jonathan Janssen (Hawks-6), Denhym Brooke (Bulls-6), Jett Thompson (Bulls-2).


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