Night 3 Game Previews

Will we see Mika Vukona in action tonight when the Mike Pero Nelson Giants take on the Fluid Recruitment Otago Nuggets? We think so!

Night 3 will place the Giants (0-1) against the Nuggets (1-0) first up at 5:30pm, which will be followed by the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams (1-0) locking horns with the EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls (0-1).

Proudly presented by SkyCity, tickets are available at the door for  $5 (children U12), $10 (students) and $20 (adults) - and you get to watch both games!

You can also buy tickets online - click HERE.


When: 5:30pm / Thursday June 25
Broadcast: Live on Sky Sport 3 / Sky Sport Now
Tickets: Available from $5 (children) & $20 (adults) for two games - click HERE.

Giants Starters: Tysxun Aiolupotea, Tom Ingham, Josh Bloxham, Nic Trathen, Mika Vukona.

Nuggets Starters: Jarrod Kenny, Josh Aitcheson, Jordan Ngatai, Kane Keil, Jordan Hunt.

Preview: Expect another high-octane game when the Nuggets and Giants square up. The Airs proved on night 2 that winning back-to-backs can be done, so the Nuggets will come in with a bit of confidence after a historic win last night - it was Otago's first NBL win in 2,188 days! Lots of good match-ups on the menu here, especially across a number of younger players. Tysxun Aiolupotea is already turning some heads for the Giants, while Jordan Hunt is a big man to watch closely for the Nuggets. The return of Mika Vukona will of course be a focus tonight, as it should be, and every player (on both teams) will walk a foot taller with the great man on court. Look for Nic Trathen and Tom Ingham to keep building on their impressive opening performances, while Josh Bloxham will feel a little more comfortable after blowing out the cobwebs. For the Nuggets, the first-up performances of Jarrod Kenny and Jordan Ngatai emphasised why they were rated so highly in the draft - both delivered on cue in a thrilling game against the Jets.

Talking Point: How good is it to have Mika Vukona putting his hand up to be a part of the Sal's NBL Showdown. After two weeks in quarantine, Vukona is expected to suit-up and go tonight, which no doubt will lift all of his teammates. The talking point tonight will be the return of Mika Vukona, as it should be.

Giants Weapon: Despite missing Vukona, Karena and Brooks on opening night, the Giants held their own and will be better for the run. A few players took their opportunity, with Nic Trathen (25pts) and Tom Ingham (23pts) right amongst it. Look for both these local Nelson lads to build off an impressive opening game. 

Nuggets Weapon: Where do we start? What a fun game the Nuggets put on last night! Young (mostly) and energetic, the Nuggets very much enjoyed a victory the team and region had been waiting so long for. When the game was there to be won - enter Jordan Ngatai and Jarrod Kenny. The experienced duo got the job done and will again be the key cornerstones for the Nuggets in this one against the Giants.

Giants Leaders: Nic Trathen (25pts per game), Theo Johnson (7rbs per game), Tom Ingham / Theo Johnson (3ast per game)

Nuggets Leaders: Jarrod Kenny (28pts per game), Jordan Ngatai (10rbs per game), Jarrod Kenny (6ast per game)


When: 7:30pm / Thursday June 25
Broadcast: Live on Sky Sport 3 / Sky Sport Now / delayed on Prime TV at 9:30pm
Tickets: Available from $5 (children) & $20 (adults) for two games - click HERE.

Bulls Starters: Jackson Stubbins, Everard Bartlett, Dom Kelman-Poto, Isaac Davidson, Sam Timmins.

Rams Starters: Taylor Britt, Sam Smith, Toby Gillooly, Alex Talma, Tom Webley.

Preview: Well, the Bulls have finally got their first game out of the way (a loss to the Airs) and will be feeling so much better for the run, and teh release of nervous energy! Now they face the Rams, who looked incredibly sharp on opening night and delivered the goods with a big victory over the Huskies. The Rams starting unit looked in sync, and their second-unit didn't let up either when they stepped on the floor, they all look hungry and excited for the opportunity. There is a bit to like about young Tom Webley so keep an eye on him, while Toby Gillooly grabbed his opportunity with a big game first-up. Taylor Britt is the key to this team, he really is the glue-guy and showed his growing leadership on Tuesday. The Bulls will be better off for last night's run and you can expect to see them settle early here and dig in. Isaac Davidson looks like a versatile star (and can shoot), while Everard Bartlett showed veteran leadership that the Bulls will need over the next six weeks. Look for Sam Timmins to be more assertive here and really step it up. We should get a fast and athletic game, and hopefully a close finish.

Talking Point: Have the nerves now settled for the Bulls? It had been a big six-month build-up for the Franklin team and they now have their feet under them, the first game is out the way and they can start to relax. Some good signs for them, so that first win won't be too far away. 

Bulls Weapon: Isaac Davidson - wow! What a show he put on last night. Davidson has great handles, spreads the floor so well, and can shoot the lights out. Do not sleep on this young talent, he could be one of the most impressive young stars of the competition.

Rams Weapon: Speaking of young stars, how good was it to see Toby Gillooly grab this opportunity and run with it on Tuesday night. Gillooly looks to be relishing his chance to perform and will grow as player enormously as the next six weeks unfolds. Another Rams star on the rise.

Bulls Leaders: Isaac Davidson (27pts per game), Isaac Davidson (8rbs per game), Everard Bartlett (5ast per game)

Rams Leaders: Toby Gillooly (25pts per game), Taylor Britt (8rbs per game), Sam Smith (4ast per game)



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