NZNBL 2014 Round 3: Saints, Giants see double while Payne nabs triple double

Round 3 of the NZNBL kicked off on Thursday 17 April and concluded on Monday 21 April thanks to the lengthy Easter break!

Wellington Saints 94-76 Southland Sharks

A below-par start to the defending champs Southland Sharks season continued on Thursday night when they dropped yet another game to the stacked Wellington Saints.

It was a tough task for the Sharks to contain the hot hand of Corey Webster (31 points) who exploded with 20 first half points to give the hosts firm control of the encounter. With a 21 point half time lead, Southland couldn’t do anything to rally back finding themselves 16 down at best for most of the second half.

Another poor shooting night from the visitors was fitting for the Saints, providing the competition with an early statement that they will be hanging around at the business end of the season, claiming their opening four games.

Lindsay Tait was once again influential with 19 points, five rebounds and eight assists, while for the Sharks it was the same names trying to step up; Kevin Braswell (16 points, four assists) and Reuben Te Rangi (15 points, five rebounds).

Taranaki Mountainairs 76-92 Nelson Giants

A solid road victory by the Giants has seen them hold off Taranaki off the back of Josh Pace’s big game.

With 21 points, six rebounds and three assists on 10-14FG shooting, Pace led the way in the four quarter effort, failing to go down in any period. Jamal Boykins (20 points, 9 rebounds) and Mika Vukona (14 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) were the backbone that was key to their victory.

Taranaki’s imports were called upon again, with Suleiman Braimoh (21 points, 15 rebounds) and Adrian Oliver (27 points) combined for 48 of the teams 76 points, something that will need to be addressed throughout the week.

Hawke’s Bay Hawks 99-81 Super City Rangers

The Hawks have easily accounted for the Super City Rangers on Friday night as they notched up their third straight win in a positive start to the season.

Dustin Scott dominated once again with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, while teammates Everard Bartlett (24 points) and Kareem Johnson (16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) helped extend their early lead.

Duane Bailey and Eric Devendorf were the only shining lights for the visitors as Bailey exploded for 34 points and 11 rebounds, while Devendorf chipped in with 27 points of his own.

Manawatu Jets 81-96 Southland Sharks

Southland quickly moved on from their disappointing start to the round with a win over the strong Manawatu Jets.

Kevin Braswell was electric, providing a little bit of everything on the offensive end with a season high 39 points. Reuben Te Rangi (24 points, 5 rebounds) continues his solid start to the season with another 20+ point outing.

For the home side, Paul Jones struggled from the field (4-17FG), but was able to register a double double (11 points, 11 rebounds), while Alonzo Burton recorded a team high 16 points.

Credit: Photo Credit: Monica Toretto - Southland Sharks photographer

Canterbury Rams 64-82 Otago Nuggets

In what was an overall disappointing evening for the Rams, they continue to drop each game to kick off the NZ NBL season. Otago on the other hand, have linked up their third straight win with the victory in Canterbury.

While the game looked great for a quarter, the fast paced action quickly came to a halt, with the Rams only managing six second quarter points to trail by 15 at the half. It didn’t improve much from there on in, as four Nuggets players ended in double figures.

Sam King led the way off the bench with 22 points and five rebounds, while big games from Troy Payne (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Mark Dickel (11 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) provided the spark the Nuggets needed.

The home side stayed in the game early thanks to Ritchie Edwards (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Matt Rogers (15 points, 10 rebounds), however were shut out quite easily.

Super City Rangers 79-91 Nelson Giants

A successful weekend for the Nelson Giants continued with their second victory of the Easter period. Josh Pace once again continues to love the surroundings of the NZ NBL with a 14 point, 14 rebound and six assist outing. Scorers Brook Ruscoe dropped 24 points while Jamal Boykin scored 21.

With a dominant performance across the first three quarters, the Giants were able to ease off throughout the last to enable some of their younger guys to get a run.

For the home side Darryl Corletto finished with a team high 17 points, while Duane Bailey (16 points, 12 rebounds) capped another night off with a double double.

Hawke’s Bay Hawks 81-72 Manawatu Jets

The Hawks showed their class to continue their solid run of form with a come from behind victory over the Jets.

Dustin Scott (19 points, 16 rebounds) was the dominant big man in the contest despite having to battle through foul trouble, while Kareem Johnson (12 points, 14 rebounds) chimed in with his own double double.

For the Jets, Matt Te Huna led the team with 16 points, Paul Jones (14 points, 8 rebounds), Brandon Jenkins (7 points, 7 assists) and Jeremiah Trueman (9 points, 12 rebounds) all were gallant in defeat.

Wellington Saints 77-76 Otago Nuggets

A Troy Pane triple double was not enough to see the Otago Nuggets over the line against a very determined Saints outfit.

Becoming only the fourth player in NZ NBL history to capture the feat, Payne finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists (and 5 steals!) and was the vocal point in the Nuggets near comeback victory, falling one point shy when once down eight with ten minutes remaining.

Corey Webster continues to lead the Saints in scoring with 25 points while Lindsay Tait chipped in with 21 points and seven assists. Their major downfall was allowing the Nuggets to grab offensive rebounds (16 in total) and giving them second and third opportunities to score.

For the visitors, Warren Carter was also brilliant with 20 points of his own to go along with nine rebounds and five steals.

For more information about the NZ NBL, head to their website here.