Posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019
R5 Talking Points – The Full Wrap
Canterbury Rams 69 defeated Nelson Giants 67
Rams - Isaiah Wilkins 18pts, 10rbs & 3blks, Mike Karena 13pts, Emmett Naar 12pts.
Giants - Jordair Jett 18pts, Rhys Vague 17pts.
Stats That Matter - In a tight defensive game, both teams struggled to nail shots - the Ginats shooting at a 37% clip, the Rams at just 36%.
Sal's Pizza MVP - Isaiah Wilkins (Rams) with 18pts, 10rbs, 2ast, 1st, 3blk, 2 treys.
- This game proved to be an arm-wrestle as both teams worked hard to apply the clamps to the other. With defence turned up to 10 it played into the hands of Isaiah Wilkins who relishes a hard-fught game and came to the fore.
- The Giants know how to hang in a game, but they'll no doubt study the last 90-seconds of this one and look for areas of improvement. Canterbury's 6-0 run down the final few plays proved to be the difference in an otherwise tight affair.
- Not much is separating teams at the top end in season 2019. Don't take anything for granted in the Sal's NBL because every game is up for grabs. Best part of all, the closeness of what we've seen so far is making for great television and proving to be a hit with the fans.
Southland Sharks 112 defeated Nelson Giants 102
Sharks - Jarrad Weeks 44pts, 6ast & 9 treys, Alex Pledger 21pts & 12rbs, Tom Vodanovich 18pts.
Giants - Jordair Jett 32pts, Rhys Vague 20pts, Dan Grida 13pts.
Stats That Matter - While the 3-ball dropped at a handy 58% for the winners, it was their foul shooting (25/31 @ 81%) that set them apart. The Giants could only manage 11/21 @ 52% from the charity stripe.
Sal's Pizza MVP - Jarrad Weeks (Sharks) with 44pts, 5rbs, 6ast, 2stl, 9 treys.
- Agent 97 is on fire. His 16pts in the last quarter led the Sharks to victory and helped the dashing PG reach a career-high 44pts. On the back of his MVP performance in Taranaki last round, Weeks is quickly becoming a genuine contender for the TAB MVP for season 2019. His change of pace, ability to nail the long ball and his incredible hops are delivering endless highlights every time he steps out.
- Like the previous night, the Giants did a lot right and they maintained the fight right until the very end, however the fact is they only led this game for 15 seconds after dropping the first basket of the night. From that point on it was all the Sharks, the home team at one stage leading by 19pts.
- As impressive as the win was, the Sharks had to immediately recover and jump a flight bound for Tasmania where they'll play against the Huskies in Launceston. Last week the Sharks couldn't back it up on a double and lost the second game (vs Jets) - can they reverse that this time around and come out of R5 with two wins?
Manawatu Jets 104 lost to Wellington Saints 106
Jets - Daishon Knight 34pts, Kuran Iverson 31pts, 11rbs & 6stl, Wally Ellenson 27pts, 8rbs.
Saints - Reuben Te Rangi 26pts & 7 treys, Shea Ili 21pts.
Stats That Matter - The big difference in this game was long-range shooting, The Saints landed 18/35 triples at 51% compared with the Jets at 8/25 at 32%.
Sal's Pizza MVP - Kuran Iverson (Jets) 31pts, 11rbs, 4ast, 6stl, 1 trey
- The unbeaten Saints survive another close call. Good teams know how to win, especially when the going gets tough. After a come-from-behind win in Tasmania, the Saints managed to hold off the Jets in a thriller. The Saints are now 6-0 to start the season.
- After toppling the Sharks last round, the Jets threw everything at the Saints and came up just short of doing the unthinkable. With their three-headed monster (Ellenson, Knight, Iverson) the Jets have sent a warning to the rest of the league that they won't be pushovers in any game this season.
- Kuran Iverson had a blinder and was especially good with an impressive six steals. If Iverson, Ellenson and Knight are all big users of the ball and if they can co-exist who knows what the Jets are capable of from here.
Hawke's Bay Hawks 119 defeated Taranaki Mountainairs 82
Hawks - Brandon Bowman 22pts @ 69% in 23min, Dion Prewster 20pts @63% in 21min
Airs - Alonzo Burton 18pts, Derone Raukawa 14pts
Stats That Matter - In what was a miserable night for the Airs, a very poor 12/27 at 44% from the foul line won't have gone unnoticed by the coaching staff.
Sal's Pizza MVP - Brandon Bowman (Hawks) 22pts @ 69% in 23min, 8rbs, 1ast, 2stl, 1blk, 3 treys
- At full strength the Hawks look very good. Brandon Bowman immediately went to work and did his thing, Daniel Kickert will be better for the run after a lengthy spell out injured and Dion Prewster reminded everyone just what he's capable of. Keep a close eye on the Hawks if they can stay fit and healthy.
- Where to now for the Airs? After the departure of Gomis and Foster, others had to step up in this game and unfortunately the Hawks gave them nothing. It will be interesting to see how this unit settles over the coming weeks.
- The highlight reel was spinning wildly in this game. Not only to the Hawks finally have all their pieces together, but they look and exciting bunch with a thirst for giving the fans more than a few highlights. The Hawks are fun to watch.
Supercity Rangers 100 defeated Taranaki Mountainairs 91
Rangers - Tim Quarterman 38pts, Venky Jois 25pts & 15rbs.
Mountainairs - Chris Early 25pts, Derone Raukawa 24pts & 8ast.
Stats That Matter - the Rangers dominated inside, dropping 50pts inside the paint compared with Taranaki's 32pts.
Sal's Pizza MVP - Tim Quarterman (Rangers) 38pts, 7rbs, 8ast, 2stl, 1blk, 2 treys.
- A 36-19 last quarter by the Airs flattered the final margin. The Rangers led by as much as 28pts in this game and always looked in control. Not a great weekend for the Airs, they return home with two losses and a lot to work on.
- Tim Quarterman is in great form right now. After going for 40pts last week, the versatile guard dumped 38pts on the Airs before being ejected late in the contest.
- Between them, Quarterman and Jois took 41 of their team's 66 field goal attempts and stepped up for 22 of the team's 32 free throws. In both cases the two players are effectively responsible for two out of every three shots the Rangers took in this game.
Southern Huskies 97 lost to Southland Sharks 104
Huskies - Tre Nichols 25pts & 7ast, Jalen Billups 21pts, MArcel Jones 20pts & 13rbs.
Sharks - Alex Pledger 22pts & 9rbs, Hyrum Harris 22pts, Jarrad Weeks 21pts & 10rbs.
Stats That Matter - The Sharks delivered a whopping 62pts in the paint, well up on the Huskies with 36pts. It was a telling difference between the two team, especially late in the game as Alex Pledger started to get on top.
Sal's Pizza MVP - Jarrad Weeks (Sharks) 21pts, 10rbs, 5ast, 1 trey.
- The Huskies won three quarters yet again faltered down the stretch when the Sharks finished with a rampaging 35-14 last term. That makes it two weeks in a row where the Huskies have fallen late in games.
- While it wasn't a great night for the Sharks from deep (4/20 treys), they did capitalise from the charity stripe where they went 22/29 compared with the Huskies at 9/14.
- Hyrum Harris continues to play great cameos for the Sharks. With Weeks and Pledger doing their thing, Harris added a very handy 22pts in this one and no doubt snuck under the Huskies' radar.