R4 – Game Previews, Team Selections And Coach Quotes

Five important games coming up in Round 4 of the Sal's NBL and a hint of some surprises might be on the cards as teams work hard to find form and, in some cases, stay fit and healthy. The biggest talking points this week include;

# Sharks star Mitch McCarron has returned to Melbourne for surgery and will miss the rest of the season - further details HERE.

# Marcel Jones has been cleared to play and will be in action for the Southern Huskies against the Wellington Saints.

# The Canterbury Rams and Hawke's Bay Hawks clash in a crunch game in the NBL's Thursday Night Lights showdown - further details HERE.

# Viewer and crowd numbers are on the rise in the Sal's NBL - further details HERE





Broadcast - Live on SKY and Prime TV from 7:30pm


Game Preview
A quick turnaround for both teams, especially the Hawks after their trip to Taranaki on Sunday. The visitors have started well with a 3-1 record and currently sit second on the ladder, while the Rams are 2-2 with wins against the Rangers and Airs, but losses to the Sharks and Saints. This is a big test for both teams, especially the Rams after an inconsistent performance in front of a big crowd last round. Cam Gladden and Emmett Naar will be keen to step it up here and lead from the front for the Rams, their importance to the team cannot be understated. For the Hawks, Angus Brandt slides into the starting unit and no doubt will give the Rams a few headaches. A successful partnership with EJ Singler and Ethan Rusbatch will go a long way to giving the Hawks every chance here. As far as match-ups go, look for Naar and Jarrod Kenny to push each other, while Isaiah Wilkins will probably get Singler in a fantastic showdown.



Starting 5
4. Emmett Naar (guard)
3. Cam Gliddon (guard)
1. Luke Aston (guard)
17. Isaiah Wilkins (forward)
44. Mike Karena (forward)

5. Taylor Britt (guard)
10. Sam Smith (guard)
30. Toby Gillooly (guard)
9. Jonathan Janssen (forward)
45. Brent Fisher (forward)
24. Alex Talma (forward)
25. Tony Tolovae (guard)

Coach: Mick Downer
Assistant: Terry Brunel
Assistant: Piet Van Hasselt
Manager: Raewyn Britt
Physio: Lidia Belles

From The Coach – Mick Downer
After a spirited fightback in the second half against the Saints we take some momentum in against the Hawks. Our learnings from last game is that we are a better team when we play on the front foot and aggressively at both ends. We will aim to do this against a very talented Hawks side led by veteran guard Jarrod Kenny, local player Ethan Rusbatch and a trio of imports who are all very good players. The crowd will be blessed with seeing significant talent for both teams, be it in the paint, guard play or on the wings. There are a lot similarities between both rosters.



Starting 5
6. Jarrod Kenny (guard)
13. Dion Prewster (guard)
12. Ethan Rusbatch (guard)
25. EJ Singler (forward)
8. Angus Brandt (forward)

3. Nick Fee (guard)
5. Everard Bartlett (guard)
21. Shaquille Thomas (forward)
7. Darryl Jones (forward)
27. Jamal Mikaio (forward)

Coach: Zico Coronel
Assistant: Morgan Maskell
Assistant: Rob Hartley
Manager: Jordan Wise
Physio: Kerry Raynor

From The Coach – Zico Coronel
This week’s game at our home away from home - thanks to Ethan Rusbatch being from Christchurch - represents another opportunity for us to grow as individuals and as a team. The scouting of teams was evident in Round 3 and now the challenge is for teams to be adaptable and to have counter tactics. The Rams are organised, big, and deep and present us with a great learning opportunity and challenge.




Broadcast: Live from 6:48pm on SKY pop-up 2,, TribeSports App, (Australia only)


Game Preview
Is the pressure greater here on the winless Airs or on a Sharks outfit who were humbled last week in Wellington? The 2018 champs will have picked their R3 loss apart and no doubt taken away plenty of lessons, so expect a fierce bounce-back performance here. The Airs continue to be inconsistent within games, but when they fire it is a good brand of basketball that comes with it. Kevin Foster sent a warning to all comers last week with a huge 37-point haul, so the Sharks will be mindful of that, which hopefully for the home team Derone Raukawa returns fighting fit after being a late scratching last Sunday. Losing Mitch McCarron is a huge blow for the Sharks, so others will need to step up and fill the breach. All things being equal the Sharks should prove too strong, but it’s a big weekend for them with two games on the road and they will know only too well that both the Airs and Jets will view them as a big scalp.



Starting 5
14. Alonzo Burton (guard)
7. Houston O’Riley (guard)
3. Daniel Gomis (centre)
21. Chris Early (forward)
1. Kevin Foster (forward)

5. Xavier Shaw (forward)
8. Derone Raukawa (guard)
22. Aaron Bailey-Nowell (forward)
26. Morgan Trott (forward)
20. Thane O’Leary (forward)
6. Latrell Teka-Wall (guard)
2. Oscar Robertson (guard)

Coach: David Bublitz
Assistant: Andrew Green
Manager: Bevan Seddon

From The Coach – David Bublitz
An improved level of effort by the whole team lead to improvements at both ends of the court in the game against the Hawks. We must now look to continue this trend as it is evident that the standard of play across the whole league has gone up a gear this year and that a 40min effort is required to get wins this season. This week we get Derone back from an ankle injury, to add his knowledge and experience is vital as we look to challenge the reigning champions, the Sharks.



Starting 5
35. Alex Pledger (centre)
97. Jarrad Weeks (guard)
24 . Todd Blanchfield (guard)
22. Hyrum Harris (guard/forward)
15. Tom Vodanovich (forward)

11. Dom Kelman-Poto (forward)
14. Tai Wynyard (centre)
25. Andrew Wheeler (guard)
45. Tinashe Matambanadzo (guard)

Coach: Judd Flavell
Assistant: Tyson Huia
Manager: Troy Paulin

From The Coach – Judd Flavell
Taranaki is always a dangerous proposition at home. We’ve lost up there in my time with the Sharks so we won’t be underestimating them. Their results have been close and they showed last week the fight in their club. It’s going to be another tough battle. We had a good look at the video after the Saints game and “video don’t lie,” as they say. It’s still early in the season and we are going to make some errors, but I think a lot of us looked at the film and said we just made it too easy for them, so everyone has got to step up a lot. Individually, we have all got to do a much better job of holding our ground and keeping them in front of us.



Live Stats:  Follow the live stats during the game HERE.


Game Preview
A fourth straight home game for the Giants and an opportunity to improve to a 3-1 record with the travel-weary Rangers paying them a visit. One of the biggest tests this season for NZ teams will be how they come off the travel to Tasmania, and the Rangers are first-up at trying to achieve a win after a long few days on the road. While it wasn’t a complete performance last week, the Giants are starting to look like a cohesive unit with a real thirst for winning. At time against the Jets the home team looked a little rattled, but they fought back strongly and found a way to get over the line with a vocal home crowd willing them on. Rhys Vague is in fantastic form right now, and the punch Ali Granger added of the bench last week was great to see. The Rangers will need a lot to go right for them here. Expect Dan Grida to go to Tim Quarterman, while Venky Jois may be tested by the athletic Tyrell Harrison. The Giants will start favourites at home.



Starting 5
2. Jordair Jett (guard)
11. Daniel Grida (guard)
24. Tyrell Harrison (centre)
25. Rhys Vague (forward)
10. Samuel Dempster (forward)

6. Ali Granger (guard)
7. Riley Bensemann (guard)
9. Tom Ingham (guard)
43. Nic Trathen (forward)
26. Bronson Beri (forward)
42. Tysxun Aiolupotea (guard)
55. Kruz Perrott-Hunt (guard)

Coach: Mike Fitchett
Assistant: Phil Jones
Manager: Andrew Stevens
Physio: Ashlee Lusty

From The Coach – Mike Fitchett
Another great opportunity to play in front of our home fans. We are looking to keep improving and developing this week and hopefully can come away with another home victory.



Starting 5
1. Tim Quarterman (guard)
4. Daniel Green (guard)
5. Randall Bishop (guard)
55. Venky Jois (forward)
32. Nnanna Egwu (forward)

9. Lesae Coe (guard)
20. Scott Telfer (forward)
2. Hyrum Hippolite (guard)

Coach: Jeff Green
Assistant: Anthony Keung
Manager: Auatua Aratangi

From The Coach – Jeff Green
Nelson is one of the top teams in the league, very difficult to play at home and this year won’t be any easier, they have always been able to come back from a deficit and being on their home court it’s always an advantage. The crowd are so good in Nelson and going there as an opposing team it will be another challenge for us. Right now we are struggling, however if we can get some things together as a team and shoot the ball right on the night we will in for a chance. If not it will be a long, long night in cold, cold Nelson.



Broadcast: Live from 6:48pm (8:48pm NZ Time) on, TribeSports App, (Australia only)


Game Preview
The Huskies stepped out at home for the first time last week and claimed a win against the Rangers – now they have the unbeaten Saints coming to pay them a visit. Sitting at 4-0 and boasting wins against the Sharks and Rams last round, the impressive Saints will be tough to stop. However, week by week, the Huskies are starting to settle and are expected to welcome Marcel Jones to the team for this huge clash. The two teams met in R2 and on that night the Saints walked away with a 27pt win, holding the Huskies to a lowly 60pts in the process. With Nick Kay and Rob Loe starting to form a formidable front court, the visitors will be hard to stop, especially if the likes of Sunday Dech and Leon Henry keep delivering a big punch off the pine. This game is a real test for the Huskies, they have now settled in and now they get a crack at the benchmark team again. Expect a big crowd and entertaining game. The lockdown defence of the Saints, including their full-court pressure will be on display and whether or not the Huskies can work through it will go a long way to determining their chances at grabbing an upset win.



Starting 5
3. Tre Nichols (guard)
6. Mason Bragg (guard)
9. Craig Moller (forward)
22. Jalen Billups (forward)
14. Jordan Vandenburg (centre)

62. Marcel Jones (forward)
8. Bryan Michaels (guard)
21. BJ Radcliffe (forward)
12. Tiri Masunda (guard)
24. Brad Simpson (forward)
23. Lochlan Cummings (guard)

Coach: Anthony Stewart
Assistant: Corey Davie
Assistant: Dwain Davie
Assistant: Brett Smith

From The Coach – Anthony Stewart
We welcome the Wellington Saints this weekend with an opportunity for the Tasmanian community to see the best basketball in over two decades. With a wealth of talent including Nick Kay, Rob Loe, Reuben Te Rangi , Shea Ili all looking to play for their respected countries in the upcoming World Cup. 



Starting 5
55. Shea Ili (guard)
11. Jordan Ngatai (guard/forward)
7. Reuben Te Rangi (forward)
2. Nick Kay (forward)
14. Rob Loe (centre)

15. Leon Henry (forward)
3. Sunday Dech (guard)
13. Anzac Rissetto (centre)
9. Theo Johnson (forward)

Coach: Paul Henare
Assistant: Kenny McFadden
Manager: Phil Hartley

From The Coach – Paul Henare
We're all very excited to be part of NBL history by playing the Huskies in Australia. We understand there will be a really vocal crowd awaiting us which adds some extra spice to the game. Although we had a good result last time we played the Huskies we are well aware of the talent they have and how dangerous they are. We are expecting a tough battle, something I know our guys will be up for.



Broadcast: Live from 2:48pm on SKY pop-up 5,, TribeSports App, (Australia only)


Game Preview
The Jets are still searching for their first win and they will be hoping, similar to last season, they can spring a major upset and toast victory over the Sharks. For the visitors this is game two of a road trip that should yield two wins, but as we have already seen this season nothing comes easy in the Sal’s NBL. The home team were strengthened with the arrival of prolific scorer Daishon Knight last week and though the talented court leader couldn't land a blow in a loss to the Giants, everyone knows he will be better for the run and will come out firing now that he has spent some time with his team. It’s been well documented that the Sharks received a wake-up call last week against the Saints, so they won’t be taking things lightly here. Jarrad Weeks will get the job on Knight in a quality battle, Taane Samuel will have his hands full with Southland’s tall timber, while Kuren Iverson will need to deliver defensively on Todd Blanchfield.  



Starting 5
10. Jackson Stubbins (guard)
40. Daishon Knight (guard)
3. Wally Ellenson (guard/forward)
31. Kuran Iverson (forward)
50. Shane Temara (forward/centre)

5. Taane Samuel (forward)
15. Troy Temara (forward/centre)
8. Phil Borota (guard)
7. Tia Temata-Frost (forward)
4. Haize Walker (guard)
12. Rangimarie Mita (guard)
11. Jake McKinlay (guard/forward)

Coach: Tim McTamney
Assistant: Terry Tanoa
Assistant: Josh Reeves
Manager: Jason Pearn

From The Coach – Tim McTamney
Coming off a promising yet disappointing result against the Nelson Giants, our group of young men have taken time to assess areas that they can make the most improvement, both as individuals and as a group. We understand our potential but also know that our potential has yet to be realised...what better way to test our progress than against the defending NBL Champions. I am sure that the memory of last year’s loss to us will still be floating around in their heads, I don't anticipate they will be taking any chances nor taking us lightly. We want to see the Sharks at their best in order to measure just how far we have come in the last week. A full week of practice with Daishon in the mix should make us a more cohesive group on Sunday.



Starting 5
35. Alex Pledger (centre)
97. Jarrad Weeks (guard)
24 . Todd Blanchfield (guard)
22. Hyrum Harris (guard/forward)
15. Tom Vodanovich (forward)

11. Dom Kelman-Poto (forward)
14. Tai Wynyard (centre)
25. Andrew Wheeler (guard)
45. Tinashe Matambanadzo (guard)

Coach: Judd Flavell
Assistant: Tyson Huia
Manager: Troy Paulin

From The Coach – Judd Flavell
It’s a tough road weekend and it’s always good to spend time together as a team but we have two really tough challenges in front of us. Manawatu has shown that they are growing as a unit on the floor and with Daishon Knight back with a game under his belt they certainly provide some challenges for us defensively. It's still early days but we are coming together and I’m really liking what I’m seeing this week. Obviously losing Mitch (McCarron) is disappointing, but we have seen what Hyrum (Harris) and Dom (Kelman-Poto) bring so we’ve got some good depth and we’ll need every bit of it this week.



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