R9 Talking Points – What We Know So Far

Southern Huskies 70 lost to Canterbury Rams 81

Huskies - Jalen Billups 17pts & 13rb, Marcel Jones 15pts, Tre Nichols 13pts.

Rams - Isaiah Wilkins 18pst & 10rbs, Cam Gliddon 18pts, Emmett Naah 16pts, 9rbs & 6ast.

Stats That Matter - the Rams defence was at its best yet again and consistently put the Huskies under pressure when shooting, leaving the home team with a lowly 34.9% shooting clip. 

TAB MVP Votes - Emmett Naar (Rams) 10, Cameron Gliddon (Rams) 8, Isaiah Wilkins (Rams) 5, Jalen Billups (Huskies) 4, Jordan Vandenberg (Huskies) 2, Tre Nichols (Huskies) 1.

Talking Points

  1. Yet again the Rams proved that quality defence wins games. The Huskies just had no room to breathe in this contest, they always looked under pressure and were continually put out of their offensive structures. While the Hawks and and Saints have offensive potency, its the Rams who have gone in a different direction and so far it is working wonders for them.
  2. The Huskies have started a 4-game stretch that you would think will ultimately decide their Final 4 chances in their inaugural season. After this game they sit at 0-1. Their next three games are against the Rams, Rams and Sharks. The season is on the line for the Huskies right now. How will they will respond?
  3. Isaiah Wilkins is such a cool player. Easy to watch him do his thing, he is just head down and bum up with a relentless work ethic to do his absolute best for his teammates. At both ends of the floor he is a respected workhorse. You can tell he is a no-fuss athlete and let's his game to do the talking for him. He could well turn out to be the most unassuming and underrated import of the season. He is all class.


Wellington Saints 83 defeated Taranaki Mountainairs 74

Saints - Shea Ili 19pts & 7ast, Jordan Ngatai 15pts, Nick Kay 11pts & 13rbs.

Airs - Dane Brooks 23pts @ 90%, Xavier Shaw 13pts.

Stats That Matter - for the second game in a row the Saints failed from range, a worrying sign. A return of 5/27 at 18% was way below their best.

TAB MVP Votes - Dane Brooks (Airs) 9, Shea Ili (Saints) 9, Xavier Shaw (Airs) 5, Nick Kay (Saints) 3, Tom Abercrombie (Saints) 2, Rob Loe (Saints) 1, Jordan Ngatai (Saints) 1.

Talking Points

  1. The Saints got the job done, but it was far from pretty. On the back of a below par shooting night in Nelson the previous week, the Saints again struggled to find the bottom of the net. However, as good teams do, and the Saints a re a very good team, they found a way to win on an off night.
  2. The Airs simply know no other way than to have a red-hot crack. No Raukawa or Burton - no worries. After pushing the Hawks for half a game last week, this time they pushed the unbeaten Saints all the way. It may not be a winning season for the Airs, but they lost zero respect in this game.
  3. Dane Brooks had a night to remember. It's not often a player in the league, any player, can hit 23pts @ 90% against the star-studded Saints. Mark down this performance and savour it - a high quality night out for the athletic guard.


Nelson Giants 102 def Supercity Rangers 81

Giants - Rhys Vague 26pts & 11rbs,  Jordair Jett 20pts, 5rbs, 5ast, Tyrell Harrison 15pts & 7rbs.

Rangers - Tim Quarterman 39pst, 5rbs, 5ast, 5stl, Nnanna Egwu 19pts & 10 rbs.

Stats That Matter - the Rangers lost the rebounds (34-55), but it was their 3pt shooting woes that again let them down. The rangers went at 17% (5-28) from range compared with the Giants at 38% (12-38).

TAB MVP Votes - Rhys Vague (Giants) 9, Tim Quarterman (Rangers) 8, Jordair Jett (Giants) 7, Nnanna Egwu (Rangers) 3, Tyrell Harrison (Giants) 3.

Talking Points

  1. The Giants put together a full 40-minute performance tonight, something they arguably haven't done all season. The last seven weeks they lost their edge during the middle periods, but not today. From the outset they played with assertiveness and never took a backward step. This was a good sign for them, but almost certainly come too late for a playoff run.
  2. Tim Quarterman has put together one of the best statistical seasons ever seen in the Sal's NBL and it could possibly all count for nothing. Basketball is certainly one of the few team sports where one player can carry a team over the line, but as we've seen all season, it takes more than one player in this league. 
  3. Both benches made statements tonight and for different reasons. The hosts pine provided nearly a third of their scoring, while the Ranger's subs only managed eight points from 18 shots. It's no secret that smaller clubs don't run any longer than four men deep, but this sort of output from fresh legs is abysmal. 


Manawatu Jets 92 def Taranaki Airs 75

Jet - Wally Ellenson 22pts & 5rbs,  Kuran Iverson 20pts, 14ast, 5 ast, Daishon Knight 19pts, 6rbs, 5ast.

Airs - Dane Brooks 13pts & 8rbs, Derone Raukawa 12pts, Chris Early 9pts, 5rbs, 4ast.

Stats That Matter - it was all about shooting in this one. The Airs took 14 more shots than the Jets, but the Jets shot at a 50% clip and the Airs went for 38%. Game over.

TAB MVP Votes - Wally Ellenson (Jets) 10, Dane Brooks (Airs) 6, Taane Samuels (Jets) 5, Derone Raukawa (Airs) 4, Kuran Iverson (Jets) 4, Haize Walker (Jets) 1.

Talking Points

  1. Thirty-three percent from beyond the arc isn't something Head Coach Tim McTamney will be happy with when he reads the stats sheet, but the same can't be said about their percentages from inside. The home team converted at close to 70% on shots near the rim and made the Airs pay for weak defence in the paint.
  2. The Jets "Big 3" were again dominant, but in an efficient way. Each of the Americans shot close, at and above 50% from the field and contributed across the table. They're a very fun trio to watch when in sync and tonight they were on song.
  3. Taranaki is a talented team without a leader. It's been evident in patches that the Airs have what it takes to run with the big boys, but their inability to do so for the full 40 or put in consistent performances is what has lead to their poor 2-10 record. The losses of Daniel Gomis and Kevin Foster took a toll and they're paying for it at the back end of the season.


Southland Sharks 115 def Supercity Rangers 83

Sharks - Todd Blanchfield 27pts & 9rbs,  Jarred Weeks 24pts & 3ast, Dominique Kelman-Poto 20 pts, 14rbs, 2ast.

Rangers - Tim Quarterman 32pts, 7rbs, 4ast, 6stl, Lesae Coe 15pts, Nnanna Egwu 8pts, 8rbs. 

TAB MVP Votes - Todd Blanchfield (Sharks) 10, Jarrad Weeks (Sharks) 6, Tim Quarterman (Rangers) 6, Hyrum Harris (Sharks) 3, Dom Kelman-Poto (Sharks) 3, Lesae Coe (Rangers) 2.

Talking Points

  1. The Sharks took care of business at home, but they dominated every facet of the game. Blanchfield and Weeks looked liked their old selves, scoring at will and causing havoc on the defensive end. These two will need to continue to be at their best if the Southerners are any chance at defending their title.
  2. What a showing from sixth man, Kelman-Poto! The big man was the perfect glue guy for the Sharks, lending a hand in whatever area his team needed and doing so sublimely. The Sharks have a strong starting-five, but a championship team runs deeper than those who are on the court for the tip-off.
  3. It was another tough day at the office for the Rangers, who've shown for the second straight night how influential the loss of your skipper (Venky Jois) can be. They're well and truly out of the Final Four race, but they can still play dictator for the last few rounds. Although, there is a huge difference between "can" and "will".



Southern Huskies 66 lost to Canterbury Rams 68

Huskies - Tre Nichols 22pts, Marcel Jones 20pts, Craig Moller 10pts & 16rbs.

Rams - Mike Karena 17pts, Cam Gliddon 12pts.

Stats That Matter - literally nothing separated the two teams. In such a close contest perhaps the Huskies' additional 3 turnovers which led to an additional 3 turnover points for the Rams may have been the difference in the end.

TAB MVP Votes - Mike Karena (Rams) 9, Marcel Jones (Huskies) 7, Tre Nichols (Huskies) 7, Isaiah Wilkins (Rams) 3, Craig Moller (Huskies) 2, Cam Gliddon (Rams) 2.

Talking Points

  1. Yet again the grinding defence of the Canterbury Rams led to a tough night at the office for the Huskies, who to their credit were equally as hard at the defensive end and it nearly led to a much-needed win. While it didn't make for a great spectacle, whit it did do is provide a dramatic finish.
  2. The Rams continue to prove you don't need a standout star to be a genuine contender. The team ethos at the Rams is exceptional and coach Mick Downer must take credit for the culture he has already built. No player matters more than any other, everyone has a job to do and success will only come if each man accomplishes their given task. It's a lot of fun to watch and no doubt rewarding to be a part of if you're a Rams fan.
  3. The Huskies are on the edge and now need to head to NZ next week and find a way to beat both the Rams and the Sharks in order to stay in the Final 4 mix. Two losses at home to the suffocating Rams now puts them on the back foot.


Hawkes Bay Hawks 106 defeated Manawatu Jets 79

Hawks - Ethan Rusbatch 29pts, Brandon Bowman 25pts, EJ Singler 23pts.

Jets - Daishon Knight 21pts, Wally Ellenson 17pts.

Stats That Matter - once again the Hawks went to their running game to break the contest open, and with it came 25 assists, a far superior return compared with 10 from the Jets.

TAB MVP Votes - Brandon Bowman (Hawks) 10, Daishon Knight (Jets) 7, Ethan Rusbatch (Hawks) 6, EJ Singler (Hawks) 5, Kuran Iverson (Jets) 1, Wally Ellenson (Jets) 1.

Talking Points

  1. No disrespect to the Saints (who are a little down at the offensive end right now) or the Rams (who are far more built around defence), but the Hawks are so much fun to watch when they pile on the points. Dunks and treys, that's the way the Hawks going about their business and the fans absolutely love it.
  2. Always tough backing it up the following day in the Sal's NBL, especially with travel involved, but yet again the Jets showed (in the first half) that they can go with the best. Let's not forget the Jets ran the Saints to within 2pts, the Huskies to 1pt, the Rams to 5pts and also defeated the Sharks. Just goes to show you how tough this competition really is.
  3. Rusbatch, Bowman, Singler - Wow! When these three get a sniff of points, look out. They run, they pass and boy do they jump! Let's not forget that Daniel Kickert still has to return yet.

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