Round 5 Rapid Wrap

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Mike Lacey takes you through everything you need to know with the Round 5 Rapid Wrap

Round 5 of the Sky Broadband Rapid League, the busiest round of the season, saw eight games played with the Auckland Tuatara, Franklin Bulls, Tauranga Whai, Taranaki Airs and Canterbury Rams each having two outings. Of those five teams only the Rams and the Airs were able to notch victories in both games.

Auckland Tuatara 38 Franklin Bulls 39 (Overtime)

A last second three from Isaac Davidson, in overtime, settled a thrilling 09 derby with the Franklin Bulls beating the Auckland Tuatara 39-38 at Eventfinda Stadium on Wednesday night.

After the scores were locked at 36-all in regulation a driving lay-up from Reuben Fitzgerald looked to have secured the victory for the Tuatara only for Davidson, the games leading scorer with 13 points, to settle the contest from beyond the arc much to the delight of the travelling Bulls followers.

Earlier Dru Leusogi-Ape scored 7 first quarter points as the Bulls forged a 14-9 lead before six second quarter points from Chris McIntosh helped the Tuatara even the scores at 19 points apiece at the interval.

The former Mt Albert Grammar trio of Harri Coker-Grey (8 points for the Bulls) and the Leger brothers Josh (8 points) and Will (3 points and 3 blocks), for the Tuatara, left their fingerprints all over the third period – Bulls ahead 28-27.

A couple of threes from HC-G gave the Bulls a 34-31 lead before scores from Tukaha Cooper and McIntosh pulled the hosts two points clear inside the final minute.

Leusogi-Ape (12 points) conjured up a tying score with four seconds to play in normal time – a precursor to a piece of magic from Davidson in overtime.

Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 28 BBQs Direct Canterbury Rams 31

On the back of 13 points from Kaia Isaac – all scored in the second half - the Canterbury Rams edged the Otago Nuggets 31-28 at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin in the first of two contests on Anzac Day.

Jonty Bond scored the first five points of the game helping the Rams forge a 12-3 lead in the opening period.

In complete contrast to the first quarter the Nuggets, pumping the ball inside to the likes of Robbie Coman (6 points) and Benji Freeman, dominated the second frame (15-3) to lead 18-15 at half-time.

Taki Fahrenson tied proceedings early in the third before Josh Aitcheson (9 points) and Isaac dominated the scoring – the Nuggets ahead 24-22 at the three-quarter mark.

Defences dominated the closing stages but it was Isaac that proved to be the game-breaker scoring all nine of the Rams points in the fourth. A brace of threes from the combo guard followed by an And-1 play with 2.7seconds remaining secured the win for the visitors.

Mills Albert Wellington Saints 29 Napier RSA Hawks 37

In the second Anzac Day fixture the Hawks won a high paced encounter against the Wellington Saints 37-29 in the capital. Tommy Fergusson was outstanding as the Hawks logged a fourth win on the trot, the bouncy forward adding 7 rebounds to 16 points (4/7 FG, 8/12FT).

Fergusson scored 6 points in the opening four minutes to give the Hawks a double digit lead before a Tyson Thata buzzer beater pulled Saints to within seven at quarter time (12-5).

Thata (13 points) continued to log points on the resumption – his seven points and a Kazlo Evans Jr triple pulling the Saints to within four points (18-14) at half-time.

Six third quarter points from Josh Tutagalevao (12 points) pulled the Saints to within two before a banked three from Kara completed the action in the period.

Patience in the paint brought it’s rewards for Fergusson and with Kobe Kara (11 points) also in fine form the Hawks lead stretched out to a game high 13 points and victory assured.

Tauranga Whai 20 Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 37

The Taranaki Airs completed the double over the Whai with a comprehensive 37-20 victory in Tauranga on Friday night. 

Carlin Davison made his Rapid League debut and created an immediate impression scoring an effortless 11 of the Airs first 15 points as they forged a significant lead. 

Included in his array of scores was probably the play of the season in Rapid League ’24. 

After lobbing the ball onto the backboard the spring healed wing grabbed his own rebound before completing a two-handed dunk! 

Zavier Adam’s turn-around fade away jumper for three was also a highlight as the visitors forged a 22-9 half-time lead. 

The Whai responded through Jett Thompson (8 points) and Te Tuhi Lewis (10 points) although triples from Tobias Cameron (7 points) and Jakob Carr (7 points and 6 rebounds) propelled the Airs to a 32-17 three-quarter time lead.

From there it was just a matter of how many the Airs would win by.

Property Brokers Manawatu Jets 16 Auckland Tuatara 47

The Manawatu Jets suffered a heavy home defeat going down 47-16 to the Auckland Tuatara in Palmerston North on Saturday afternoon.

Threes from Tukaha Cooper (8 points) and Will Leger propelled the Tuatara to a 12-6 first quarter lead.

The Tuatara boasted a starting five with a collective 30 years NBL playing experience and that was evidenced in the second quarter – all five got on the scoresheet in a dominant spell that saw the visitors motor to a 26-7 half-time lead.

Lachie Crate (6 points), the Rapid League’s leading scorer, increased his season’s tally but the Tuatara progressed serenely to post their highest score of the season with Jackson Kiss and Josh Leger scoring 11 points and 10 respectively.

Meanwhile the winless Jets will look to break their duck when they host the Saints on Sunday.

Southland Sharks 40 BBQs Direct Rams 52

Becoming the first team to score fifty points in Rapid League action the Canterbury Rams defeated the Southland Sharks 52-40 in Invercargill on Saturday night.

Mana Martin led the way for the Rams with 15 points while Kaia Isaac with 14 points and Aidan Tonge with 8 points and 7 rebounds were hugely influential. For the Sharks the scoring bite was provided by Connor Coll and Quake Webster with 15 points and 14 points respectively.

Coll scored 7 points for the Sharks in the opening quarter and Webster scored the same number in the second. However a put back two from Corban Mason (6 points and 8 rebounds) on the half-time buzzer kept the Rams ahead at 27-26.

Isaac bossed the third, the Rams point guard controlling the tempo and dominating the scoring with eight in the stanza to lead the visitors to a 39-33 advantage ahead of the final period.

Coll scored the first points of the fourth quarter but Martin took the game away from the hosts as he dropped consecutive side-line threes enabling the Rams to win their fourth game in five outings.

Franklin Bulls 32 Tauranga Whai 27

Four former Bulls featured for the Tauranga Whai and it was one of the quartet that played the winning hand - Denhym Brooke scoring four points in the last 25 seconds to clinch a 32-27 victory at Pukekohe on Sunday afternoon.

Jayden Boucher’s five points in the fourth opened up a 27-23 Whai lead only for Harri Coker-Grey and Dru Leusogi-Ape (9 points) to level proceedings with 70 seconds to play.

Boucher (10 points) reinstated a one-point lead before Brooke secured a third win of the campaign for the visitors.

Earlier the scores had been locked at 10-10 before Jett Thompson (6 points and 5 assists) and  Zion Anderson (10 points) featured strongly in a 10-0 Whai run in the lead up to half-time.

Liam Davis (6 points) and Leusogi-Ape led the Bulls revival – they closed to 22-19 at the three-quarter mark before the Bulls ‘old boys’ got the better in the fourth. 

NBS Nelson Giants 39 Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 42

The Giants unbeaten start to the season came to an end at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson on Sunday evening as they went down 42-39 to the Taranaki Airs.

Carlin Davison paced the Airs with 12 points and 6 rebounds while Nico Hill made his fourth double figure score of the season posting 10 points. There were also 10-point outings for the Giants guard duo of Hayden Jones and Tom Ingham.

Davison was out the gate quickly making 7 points as the Airs established early control and with Hill riding tandem the visitors were 24-17 ahead at the interval.

Three-point plays from Ingham and James Matthews helped the Giants to move within four points at three-quarter-time (30-26).

Sam Dempster levelled the tie with a little over two minutes remaining only for Flynn Cameron (8 points) and Davison to wrestle back the initiative and see the Airs home for a second road win of the round.

Rapid MVP Rankings

Top 10 MVP vote gatherers after Round 5:

40 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

31 Ben Hall (Sharks)

30 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

30 Reuben Fitzgerald (Tuatara)

30 Nico Hill (Airs)

29 Lachie Crate (Jets)

28 Josh Leger (Tuatara)

28 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

27 Kazlo Evans Jr (Saints)

27 Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

Rapid Success

New Zealand U17 Men’s National Team head coach, Leyton Haddleton has named his squad of 12 for the upcoming FIBA U17 World Cup in Turkey.

Eleven of the twelve athletes named are playing in the Sal’s NBL and Rapid League.

The roster is headlined by the promising trio of Oscar Goodman, Hayden Jones and Lachie Crate who are amongst the 11 players returning from the FIBA U16 Asian Championship squad that finished second overall in Qatar last year.

Goodman returns after being named MVP of last year’s U16 Asian Champs; the 6’7” forward averaging 14ppg and a team-leading 8.3rpg.

Jones, who averaged 12.2ppg, 6.3rpg and a team-leading 4.3 assists per game, is back after suiting up for the Tall Blacks against Hong Kong at the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February.

Crate, who led New Zealand in scoring (15.2ppg) and steals (2 per game) at the Asian Champs, is another welcome return to a talented young squad. He leads the Rapid League scoring this season.

The sole new addition to the team is Jackson Kiss the 6’7” athlete out of Auckland Grammar School and the Auckland Tuatara who will make his national team debut in Turkey.

NZ U17 Men’s National Team – FIBA U17 World Cup 2024

Jackson Ball - Hawke’s Bay Hawks / Basketball Hawkes Bay / Napier Boys High School

Ihaka Cate - Canterbury Rams / Canterbury Basketball Association / Christ’s College

Lachlan Crate - Manawatu Jets / Basketball Manawatu / Fielding High School

Gus Dallow - Auckland Tuatara / Harbour Basketball Association / St Peter’s College

Oscar Goodman - Basketball Taranaki / NBA Global Academy

Hayden Jones - Nelson Giants / Nelson Basketball Association / Waimea College

Jackson Kiss - Auckland Tuatara / Basketball Auckland / Auckland Grammar School

Mana Martin - Canterbury Rams / Canterbury Basketball Association / St Thomas of Canterbury College

James Matthews - Nelson Giants / Nelson Basketball Association / Nelson College

Troy Plumtree - Wellington Saints / Wellington Basketball Association / Wellington College

Jameer Reed - Auckland Tuatara / Harbour Basketball Association / Rosmini College

Hunter Te Ratana - Auckland Tuatara / Waitakere West Auckland Basketball / St Kentigern College

Rapid Express

Tommy Fergusson topped the single game scoring in Round 5, the Hawks forward scoring 16 points against the Wellington Saints.

Not only were the Canterbury Rams the first team to score 50 points in a single game with the 52-40 win against the Sharks but it was also the second highest aggregate score of the competition. Unfortunately for the Sharks they have been on the receiving end on both occasions having lost to the Saints 47-46 earlier in the month.

Rapid Fire

Manawatu teenage guard Lachie Crate remains the leading overall points scorer this season with 64 points, four points ahead of Hawks forward Tommy Fergusson.

Top 10 scorers:

64 Lachie Crate (Jets)

60 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

56 Nico Hill (Airs)

55 Connor Coll (Sharks)

54 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

54 Josh Leger (Tuatara)

51 Ben Hall (Sharks)

51 Tyson Thata (Saints)

51 Dru Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

48 Josh Tutagalevao (Saints)

Sky Broadband Rapid League Standings after Round 5

5-1 Nelson Giants

5-3 Auckland Tuatara

4-1 Hawkes Bay Hawks

4-2 Canterbury Rams, Taranaki Airs

3-3 Wellington Saints, Tauranga Whai

2-3 Otago Nuggets

2-4 Franklin Bulls

2-5 Southland Sharks

0-7 Manawatu Jets



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