R7 Talking Points – What We Know So Far

Southland Sharks 105 lost to Hawke's Bay Hawks 119

Sharks -  Alex Pledger 24pts, Todd Blanchfield 23pts, Jarrad Weeks 19pts.

Hawks - Kickert 32pts, Singler 24pts, Prewster 22pts, Kenny 13pts & 9ast.

Stats That Matter - it's becoming a broken record, but 17 triples at 51% is always going to position you well for a win.

Sal's Pizza MVP - Daniel Kickert (Hawks) with 32pts @ 73%, 7rbs, 2ast, 1st, 1blk, 5 treys.

TAB MVP Votes - Daniel Kickert (Hawks) 10, Dion Prewster (Hawks) 6, Todd Blanchfield (Sharks) 6, EJ Singler (Hawks) 4, Jarrod Kenny (Hawks) 2, Alex Pledger (Sharks) 1, Jarrad Weeks (Sharks) 1.
Talking Points
1. If you sleep on the arc against the Hawks they will punish you - relentlessly. Yet again the hot shooting Hawks blasted an opposition off the court with some mesmerising long-range shooting. All up they drained 17 triples at 51%. Every player wearing a Hawks singlet can shoot - you've all been warned .... again!
2. The Sharks will be ok. Despite a run of three losses, last year's champs will get it all together soon. Coming off the Tassie trip the Sharks were literally beaten-up by both the Rams and Saints, before coming up against the soaring Hawks. The signs during a frantic first half in this game were good for the Sharks, they just lost their way for a bit in the third and that's all the opportunity the Hawks need to bury teams. Stick tight Sharks fans, some wins are on the way.
3. Daniel Kickert makes playing basketball look so effortless. Yet again the stud import did his thing, amassing what seemed like a very easy 32pts at 73%. Kickert's ability to always get good looks and take a balanced shot is an art form and a lot of fun to watch.

Canterbury Rams 110 defeated Manawatu Jets 69

Rams - Janssen 17pts, Gliddon 16pts, Naar 14pts.

Jets - Samuels 21pts, Knight 14pts, Iverson 13pts.

Stats That Matter - the Rams shot at 52%, all 12 players hit the floor and 11 scored. Impressive to say the least.

TAB MVP Votes - Cam Gliddon (Rams) 10, Taane Samuels (Jets) 6, Jonathan Janssen (Rams) 6, Emmett Naar (Rams) 6, Kuran Iverson (Jets) 1, Daishon Knight (Jets) 1.

Talking Points

  1. The Rams will be very hard to keep out of the Final 4. With six wins from eight games and in good form, the Rams have a run of four games coming up that all look very winnable - Jets (1) and Huskies (3). Have you purchased your Final 4 tickets yet?
  2. Cam Gliddon reminded everyone just how classy he is at both ends of the floor with an opening quarter to remember. Glider's leadership also came to the fore early in this one as he continually made sure his team were making the most of every opportunity. It was an MVP performance.
  3. The Jets went back two steps tonight. After beating the Sharks and running the Saints to within 2pts, the Jets have lost to the Hawks by 27pts and the Rams by 41pts. They now face a tough test against the Huskies and at 1-7 their chances of making the top four are as good as done.

Supercity Rangers 107 lost to Hawke's Bay Hawks 117

Rangers - Quarterman 48pts & 11rbs, Jois 20pts, Egwu 19pts.

Hawks - Rusbatch 35pts, Bowman 29pts, Singler 24pts.

Stats That Matter - another 14 triples for the Hawks as they continued their love of long-range shots, but more impressively was a 25-assist haul.

TAB MVP Votes - Ethan Rusbatch (Hawks) 10, Tim Quarterman (Rangers) 8, Brandon Bowman (Hawks) 6, EJ Singler (Hawks) 4, Venky Jois (Rangers) 2.

Talking Points 

  1. Daniel Kickert only played just over 10-minutes in this game, which either means his troublesome back injury flared up again or the Hawks coaching staff 'managed' their star player on the back-end of a double-header that included traveling from Invercargill to Auckland. Let's hope it's the latter.
  2. When Ethan Rusbatch is in form he is incredibly hard to stop. After a couple of quieter games, the hot-handed Rusbatch returned to MVP form in this game, dropping seven triples on his way to 35pts. He has arguably become the hardest player to stop (at long range) once he gets his eye in.
  3. Tim Quarterman continues to carry the Rangers and no doubt will have a few outsiders looking at him for future contracts. Not only did the former Portland Trailblazer drop 48pts on the Hawks, he also dished out seven assists. He's a star attraction and has now gone for 33pts or better in four of his last five games. 


Wellington Saints 111 def Nelson Giants 100

Saints - Ili 26pts, Ngatai 16pts, Dech 15pts, Henry 14pts.

Giants - Grida 23pts, Perrott-Hunt 18pts, Jett 17pts.

Stats That Matter - one of the key differences in this contest were the points scored off turnovers, the Saints taking 20pts, the Giants with 10pts.

TAB MVP Votes - Shea Ili (Saints) 10, Dan Grida (Giants) 7, Jordan Ngatai (Saints) 6, Nick Kay (Saints) 3, Leon Henry (Saints) 2, Kruz Perrott-Hunt (Giants) 1, Jordair Jett (Giants) 1.

Talking Points

  1. The final score flattered the Giants, they were down by as much as 22pts. Once again the Saints showed enormous depth, enjoying 38pts off the bench and five players scoring 13pts or more.
  2. Dan Grida's 23pt haul was his best of the season. The attacking guard is starting to find his feet and needs a big second half of the season if the Giants are any chance of sneaking into the top four.
  3. At 9-0 the Saints are headed back to the Final 4. If you're a Saints fan, start booking your tickets to Christchurch. Most coaches around the NBL believe nine wins will get you to Horncastle Arena on July 20/21, so based on that the Saints will be there.

Taranaki Mountainairs 96 defeated Nelson Giants 92

Airs - Raukawa 20pts, Early 18pts, Shaw 15pts, Burton 9pts & 7stls.

Giants - Jett 17pts & 9ast, Grida 16pts, Harrison 16pts, Vague 15pts.

Stats That Matter - The Giants had 11 turnovers, only two more than the Airs, however the visitors were punished by the home team with 25pts coming from those turnovers.

TAB MVP Votes - Derone Raukawa (Airs) 10, Jordair Jett (Giants) 7, Chris Early (Airs) 7, Rhys Vague (Giants) 2, Xavier Shaw (Airs) 2, Tyrell Harrison (Giants) 2.

Talking Points

  1. An upset that has severely hurt Nelson's hopes of making the Final 4. The Tassie curse has struck again, the Giants returned from the Apple Isle and dropped two games in R7. Any chance of getting to Horncastle Arena will probably require six wins from their last eight games. That will be hard.
  2. The Airs sent two imports home and have since won two of their next three games. Who's complaining?
  3. Derone Raukawa starred in this contest, but another lower-leg injury appears to be on the cards for the talented young point-guard. Raukawa is one player the improving Airs can ill-afford to lose. 

Southern Huskies 89 def Manawatu Jets 84

Huskies - Billups 31pts & 11rbs, Nichols 17pts, Jones 15pts & 17rbs.

Jets - Knight 24pts, Samuels 16pts, Ellenson 15pts & 10rbs, Iverson 11pts & 12rbs.

Stats That Matter - the Huskies shot at 44% compared to the Jets at 34%, the difference being helped by the Huskies managing to drop 50pts inside the paint compared with the Jets' 28pts.

TAB MVP Votes - Jalen Billups (Huskies) 10, Daishon Knight (Jets) 7, Marcel Jones (Huskies) 4, Taane Samuels (Jets) 4, Tre Nichols (Jets) 2, Jordan Vandenberg (Huskies) 2, Jackson Stubbins (Jets) 1.

Talking Points
1. Jalen Billups delivered in a big, big way! The Huskies are about to hit the road for games against the Airs and Rangers with their premier forward in great form. Both NZ teams may struggle to contain the Billups Beast.
2. Taane Samuels is on the up. If the talented big man can hold his place in the starting line-up for the Jets chances are he will continue to rack up impressive numbers. His ability to spread the floor is a plus as well, coupled with his impressive long-range shooting.
3. This was a must-win game for the Huskies and with it they keep their finals hopes alive. Once they get past the Airs and Rangers next week, the Huskies then have a run of three successive games against the Rams. It won't be long before we know if the Huskies are genuine contenders or just pretenders.

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