2021 NBL Champions: Wellington Saints
The Wellington Saints added title number 12 to their illustrious trophy cabinet this evening after hanging tough in a nail-biter and pipping the Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks 77-75 in the 2021 Sal’s NBL grand final.
All those in attendance at a packed out Te Rauparaha Arena were on the edge of their seats as the final few moments took place.
Only four points separated the League’s top-two seeds as the clocked entered the last minute and when Rhys Vague converted underneath it meant the game was going to come down to a stop or make.
The Hawks ended up getting the stop they needed thanks to great read by Devondrick Walker, but with less than a handful of seconds remaining the forward was in a hurry to drop what would have been a game-winning or game-tying basket.
Unfortunately, neither the Hawks or the crowd were treated to a clutch shot and it was the League’s most consistent team from this season who walked away with the spoils.
10 teams contested the 2021 (regular season standings): Wellington Saints, Hawke’s Bay Hawks, Southland Sharks, Auckland Huskies, Canterbury Rams, Otago Nuggets, Nelson Giants, Franklin Bulls, Manawatu Jets & Taranaki Mountainairs.
Wellington Saints (77) defeated Hawke’s Bay Hawks (75) (Referees: Melony O’Connor, Marty Davison & Matt Bathurst)
Season Award Winners:
- Regular Season Winners: Wellington Saints (16-2)
- Stuff Most Valuable Player: Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints)
- Grand Final MVP: Kerwin Roach Jr (Wellington Saints)
- Most Improved Player: Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets)
- Youth Player of the Year: Zach Riley (Auckland Huskies)
- Defensive Player of the Year: Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints)
- Most Outstanding Guard (Keith Carr Trophy): Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints)
- Most Outstanding NZ Guard (John Macdonald Trophy): Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints)
- Most Outstanding Forward (Commissioners Cup): Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets)
- Most Outstanding NZ Forward/Centre (Stan Hill Trophy): Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets)
- Scoring Champion (Alan Bland Memorial Trophy): Hunter Hale (Nelson Giants)
- Rebounding Champion (Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy): Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets)
- Assist Champion (Dave Taylor Trophy): Courtney Belger (Southland Sharks)
- Coach of the Year: Zico Coronel (Wellington Saints)
- Referee of the Year: Melony O’Connor
- Team GM of the Year: Jordan Mills (Wellington Saints)
- Club of the Year: Otago Nuggets
- Best Game Presentation: Southland Sharks
- Best Fan Engagement: Manawatu Jets
- Best Social Media: Canterbury Rams
- Dion Prewster (Wellington Saints)
- Hunter Hale (Nelson Giants)
- Dom Kelman-Poto (Southland Sharks)
- Taane Samuel (Wellington Saints)
- Sam Timmins (Otago Nuggets)