Nuggets stay golden after first encounter with Jets


The Otago Nuggets have got their season off to the right start with a 104-100 win over the Manawatu Jets on day two of the Sal's NBL Showdown at The Trusts Arena in Auckland.

After being overlooked in the draft by numerous teams, Jarrod Kenny stamped his mark on the competition by notching 28 points and six assists in his debut for the southerners. 

Three first-quarter triples from Tall Black Tom Vodanovich pushed the Jets out to 16-4 lead after six minutes of play, but the Nuggets worked their way back with touches from Kenny, Jordan Ngatai and Kane Keil. 

A Ngatai jumper tied the game up at 22 apiece just before the end of the opening spell, and from there the contest was a back and forth affair. 

Whilst Vodanovich was a noticeably influential figure with a double-double (28pts and 14rbs), he was not alone in his efforts as Jayden Bezzant chimed in with 30 points, five boards and five dishes. 

The Jets started the second half with a six-point buffer and pushed it out to 10 within a minute of being back on the court. Needing to get something going, Kenny got the ball rolling with a layup and from there the Nuggets found their stroke and finished the quarter up five. 

Bezzant and Vodanovich continued to score and at stages regained their side the lead. However, the experience of Kenny and Ngatai prevailed in the end, with the latter hitting the dagger three with 15 seconds to go.

Talking Points

  1. Jarrod Kenny fell to the 14th pick in the Sal's NBL Draft for not being an "offensive-minded enough guard". It's fair to say the Tall Black put to bed any further questions about his work done in the opposition's half, as he poured in 28 and set the table for his team with six assists. 
  2. You always know you're going to get 110% from Tom Vodanovich and that showed tonight with his 14 rebounds. What we didn't expect was for the new Jet to hit six triples at a 40% clip. If he can consistently put the ball in the basket from deep with that type of efficiency, the floor will open for his pairs and get them better looks.  
  3. Jayden Bezzant can score and does so in several different ways. The guard went for 30 in his League debut, with 15 coming from beyond the arc and 11 of them at the charity stripe. Should he back this performance up with a strong showing against the Auckland Huskies on Saturday, the Jets may claim they have the scariest starting five in him, Vodanovich, Taane Samuels and Hyrum Harris.

Jets Stats: Tom Vodanovich (28pts & 14rbs), Jayden Bezzant (30pts, 5rbs & 5ast), Taane Samuels (20pts & 4rbs).

Nuggets Stats: Jarrod Kenny (28pts & 6ast), Jordan Ngatai (19pts, 10rbs & 5ast), Jordan Hunt (12pts & 7rbs).

SkyCity MVP Votes: Jarrod Kenny (Nuggets-10), Tom Vodanovich (Jets-7), Jayden Bezzant (Jets-5), Jordan Ngatai (Nuggets-4), Taane Samuel (Jets-2), Jordan Hunt (Nuggets-2).


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