Round 4 of the Bartercard NBL threw up a couple of new faces in the quest for the coveted Rookie of the Week Award, Nash Oh and Derone Raukawa.
In the first game of the round Taranaki Mountain Airs guard Nash Oh helped his team to their first W of the season against the Waikato Pistons. Oh first drew attention when he came over from the US to attend the Breakers Academy trials last year. Oh was born in Washington but with a Kiwi mother he has dual citizenship. Replacing the injured Aled Jones point guard Oh played 20 minutes and recorded 7pts (3/5 from the field), 2 rebounds and an assist.
Derone Raukawa enjoyed a very productive outing for the Manawatu Jets against the Nelson Giants. With only 8 fit players Raukawa was accorded plenty of court time (30 mins) by Jets coach Darron Larsen. The diminutive guard responded in style scoring 21 points including 5 from 7 from behind the arc.
In the same game Finn Delaney showed he could assist the Giants as they look to cover for the absent Mika Vukona. Delaney played over half the game scoring 8 points and garnering 3 rebounds.
Izayah Le’afa (Wellington Saints) produced a neat effort in a very untidy performance from the league leaders as they were defeated by the Super City Rangers. Despite picking up a second half facial injury Le’afa stayed on court to contribute 11 points (4/6f rom the field).
Richie Edwards was once again in good form for the Canterbury Rams producing a fine double. His 18pts/8rebs/2 assists performance on Friday night was a major factor in the Rams claiming their first win of the season against the Manawatu Jets. He backed that up with 13 points against the Nelson Giants two days later.
Zac Carter was quiet against Taranaki but gave a bustling performance against the Super City Rangers. The Waikato Pistons swing man helped his team to a comfortable win – 10 points, 6 rebounds and a couple of steals.
Pistons forward Dyson King-Hawea produced a nice cameo performance in the same game, 5pts/2rebs/1 assist/1 block. Tony Tolovae is going about his work in a quiet assured manner for the Otago Nuggets. He played 21 minutes (6pts/4rebs) as the Nuggets recorded an overtime win against the Hawks.
The votes are in!
After three nights deliberating I couldn’t separate the performances of Edwards and Raukawa. It could be argued that Edwards gave the more influential performance considering the Rams got the win but you have to admire the efforts of Raukawa, a rookie straight out of high school basketball. Both players had almost equal game efficiencies. Edwards scored +19 and Raukawa +18.
So there we have it, our first tie for Rookie of the Week.