The Canterbury Rams didn't skip a beat during a crushing 116-65 win over a disappointing and short-handed seven-man Supercity Rangers outfit that arrived in Christchurch without all three imports - Venky Jois, Tim Quarterman and Nnanna Egwu.
A 31-8 first quarter backed by a 33- 16 second period put the game to bed early, the Rangers no match for the Rams in a completely one-sided contest.
The Rams enjoyed getting big minutes into their full roster with 11 of the 12 home team players on court for at least 13 minutes.
Tony Tolovae was the only starter to surpass 21 minutes with the likes of Mike Karena (13min), Emmett Naar (18min) and Cam Gliddon (20min) enjoying watching their teammates grab increased opportunities.
Isaiah Wilkins (shoulder) also took the opportunity to continue his rehabilitation and watch-on.
Coach Jeff Green was another to miss the game, the Rangers leader not in town for the game.
With every stat going the way of the Rams, the biggest included a massive 38 assists, a 68-37 rebound count and a 53% shooting clip compared to the Rangers on 32%.
The late Sunday afternoon game topped off a stressful 24 hours for the Rangers. On Saturday afternoon it was reported that Jois, Egwu and Quarterman would all miss the game as they prepared to head home early in the new week. That report was then updated to say Quarterman would play after confirmation he would fly into Christchurch on Sunday morning, which was again altered after the star guard failed to catch the flight.
Canterbury Rams 116 defeated Supercity Rangers 65
Rams - Jonathan Janssen 18pts & 10rbs, Emmett Naar 14pts & 10ast, Mike Karena 14pts, Tony Tolovae 14pts.
Rangers - Lesae Coe 20pts, Jaylen Gerrand 17pts.
Stats That Matter - 38 assists to the Rams, say no more!
TAB MVP Votes - Jonathan Janssen (Rams) 9, Emmett Naar (Rams) 6, Mike Karena (Rams) 5, Lesae Coe (Rangers) 5, Jaylen Gerrand (Rangers) 4, Tony Tolovae (Rams) 1.
(photo credit: Photosport NZ)