R4 Talking Points – What We Know So Far

R4 started with an epic dose of Thursday Night Lights when the Rams and Hawks clashed and on Friday night the Sharks headed to Taranaki. All up we have five games on the Sal's NBL menu. Here's what we know so far.


Canterbury Rams 89 def Hawke's Bay Hawks 81

Rams - Karena 23pts, Gliddon 19pts, Tolovae 16pts

Hawks - Brandt 23pts & 17rbs, Rusbatch 22pts, Singler 15pts

Stats That Matter - the Hawks coughed up 21 turnovers for the game, which resulted in the Rams scoring 21pts from those blemishes. All 21 came from the starting unit as well. 

Sal's Pizza MVP - Mike Karena (Rams) with 23pts @ 64%, 3rbs, 1ast, 1stl.

Talking Points

  1. The Rams got back to their running game and it made for an entertaining game. Tony Tolovae moving into the starting line-up was a masterstroke by the Rams coaching staff, the energetic guard dropping 16pts, 5rbs, 3ast, 1stl and 1blk in a menacing performance.
  2. Angus Brandt came and delivered for the Hawks with his two-game stint delivering 41pts and 29rbs in total, however he departs NZ shores with the Hawks going 1-1 while he was here. The big question now is whether or not a rehabilitating Daniel Kickert will be ready to return next round?
  3. Thursday Night Lights is gathering momentum in the Sal's NBL with a packed Cowles Stadium the latest venue to deliver an exciting atmosphere (1,511 in attendance). Beamed around the nation live on SKY and Prime TV, New Zealand's basketball fans are starting to take ownership of Thursday nights.


Taranaki Mountainairs 91 lost to  Southland Sharks 108

Airs - Chris Early 29pts, 10rbs & 9 treys, Alonzo Burton 21pts, Kevin Foster 19pts.

Sharks - Jarrad Weeks 33pts & 7 treys, Todd Blanchfield 25pts & 5 treys, Jeremy Kendle 15pts, Alex Pledger 11pts, 7rbs & 4blks.

Stats That Matter - This game became a 3pt shoot-out with a collective 72 shots from deep, the Sharks hitting 16.37 and the Airs going for 16/35.

Sal's Pizza MVP - Jarrad Weeks (Sharks) with 33pts, 1rb, 6ast, 3stl, 7 treys.

Talking Points

  1. Jarrad Weeks is a star! Showcasing his extreme athleticism, Weeks did it all in this game - inside, outside, fast, slow, offensively and defensively, along with a thumping dunk prior to half-time. The Sharks guard is in red-hot form and was standout MVP in this contest.
  2. Sharks coach Judd Flavell would walk away happy with the win after a couple of curve-balls came his way in the lead-up to the game. Firstly he had Mitch McCarron head home with an injury and replacement Jeremy Kendle literally straight off a plane and into the action, while Dom Kelman-Poto (who scored 27pts last week) was left behind in the team hotel after coming down with a sudden illness.
  3. The Airs currently show a 0-4 record, but tonight was arguably their best game of the season with Chris Early (9 triples) and Alonzo Burton both finding some form. You get the feeling a win isn't too far away for Taranaki. They hit the road next week with games against the Hawks and Rangers.


Nelson Giants 95 def Supercity Rangers 77

Giants - Rhys Vague 19pts, 8rbs, 4 treys, Dan Grida 13pts, Tyrell Harrison 12pts & 9rbs.

Rangers - Tim Quarterman 40pts & 9rbs, Venky Jois 15pts & 12rbs.

Stats That Matter - the Rangers can't land the long ball right now and it is proving costly. The Giants went 13/29 at 44% from deep compared with the Rangers going 4/26 at 15%

Sal's Pizza MVP - Tim Quarterman (Rangers) with 40pts, 9rbs, 2ast, 3stl, 1blk, 3 treys

Talking Points

  1. Other than a poor first quarter (13-27) the Rangers did a remarkable job considering the tiresome day they had endured. The game started 45min later than expected due to delayed flights that had the majority of the Rangers team sitting around airports or on planes for 12 hours before they arrived for the game.
  2. Tim Quarterman delivered in a major way for the visitors in what was a very even performance over all four quarters. Though his long shots weren't dropping, Quarterman continually found a way to the hoop and often beat two or three players to get there.
  3. Rhys Vague is so important for the Giants. With a 3-1 record at home, the Giants finally hit the round from next round and their gun power forward will be the man they look to for more wins. Vague's inside-outside game is amongst the very best right across the league.


Southern Huskies 86 lost to Wellington Saints 91

Huskies - Marcel Jones 28pts, 9rbs & 4 treys, Craig Moller 15pts & 15rbs, Jalen Billups 21pts.

Saints - Shea Ili 25pts & 10ast, Nick Kay 19pts & 14rbs, Reuben Te Rangi 16pts.

Stats That Matter - the visiting Saints got the line 36 times for 27 makes, an advantage that counted with the Huskies going 13/19 down the other end. It was another aggressive display by the Saints, their attack on the rim continues to be a real advantage.

Sal's Pizza MVP - She Ili (Saints) with 25pts, 3rbs, 10ast, 2stl, 1 trey.

Talking Points

  1. The Huskies delivered a sublime performance, but will want to quick forget the last 2-minutes of the game where 4 turnovers and 2 missed free throws hurt them. It led to an 8-0 run by the Saints and a 5pt win.
  2. Marcel Jones is no stranger to the league and despite hardly knowing the first names of his teammates he stepped on court and delivered straight away, dropping 8pts in the opening qtr on his way to 28pts for the game. He'll only get better as he settles in.
  3. Shea Ili is a master. The unbeaten Saints looked rattled at times in this game and trailed by as much as 17pt, but the team's court general came to the fore time and time again in another fantastic performance.


Manawatu Jets 104 def Southland Sharks 100

Jets - Wally Ellenson 33pts, Daishon Knight 29pts, Kuran Iverson 13pts, 10rbs & 8ast.

Sharks - Jeremy Kendle 21pts, Dom Kelman-Poto 19pts, Hyrum Harris 17pts, Todd Blanchfield 16pts & 16rbs.

Stats That Matter - the Sharks put away an impressive 32 second-chance points, but it was a 19pt haul off fast breaks by the Jets that not too many people would have seen coming.

Sal's Pizza MVP - Daishon Knight (Jets) with 29pts, 3rbs, 4ast, 2stl, 3 treys.

Talking Points

  1. The Jets have done it again! Another upset win over the Sharks and what a win it was. Wally Ellenson delivered a number of highlight dunks, while Daishon Knight looked more settled after spending a full week with his teammates. Despite some nervous patches down the stretch, the Jets came up big at the defensive end to get the job done. 
  2. The Sharks looked a bit banged up right now and must regroup ahead of a horror double in R5 that will see them host the Giants on Friday night before a gruelling trip to Launceston to play the Huskies last Sunday afternoon. Alex Pledger missed this game after copping a poke in the eye against the Airs - hopefully The Chief is back in action next week.
  3. Though this was Manawatu's opening win after three straight losses, the Jets do have some serious firepower and this win over the Sharks will send a clear warning to all others to take make sure they take the Jets seriously.

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