Rookie of the Week for Round 8

Alex Talma earned a creditable draw in his wrestling contest with Brian Conklin last Thursday night during the Pistons v Sharks encounter.

Both players ended up on the floor in mid court as their bodies got tangled up well away from the ball. Referee Dallas Pickering declared the contest a draw, calling a foul on each player as coaches Henare and Cameron in their respective corners called for a review of the result. A moral victory for the rookie over the import was how I scored it!

Meanwhile back to the basketball………Talma didn’t put up big numbers but he did fill virtually every stat column – 3pts/5rebs/1assist/1block/1to

Having lost to the Sharks 82-66 the Pistons needed to bounce back against the Giants on Sunday – Dyson King-Hawea provided them with early impetus scoring 6 first quarter points. The small forward finished with 8pts/5rebs/2steals/1 block. The Pistons, the only team to win at home in the round, prevailed 88-69.

In the other Sunday fixture the James Blond Super City Rangers made it three wins on the bounce with a 106-81 demolition of the Canterbury Rams in Christchurch. Tohi Smith-Milner managed to foul out in 10 minutes during the win against the Saints two days earlier but against the Rams he enjoyed a more productive outing. Almost perfect from the field (7 from 8 shooting) he scored 14 points added 4 rebounds and 2 blocks for good measure.

Richie Edwards tried hard for the Rams in a losing cause but needed 21 shots to accumulate 20 points.

Despite already earning a Tall Blacks singlet Jordan Ngatai still rates as a rookie. The Saints forward, back from BYU Hawaii, only played a handful of games in 2012 – OK, one hand and three fingers when counting but anything under 10 games I’m giving rookie status to – I’m writing the article so I’ll make the rules!

Meanwhile back to the on court stuff…….. Ngatai shot 3 from 5 triples on his way to 12 points as the Saints bounced back from their loss to the Rangers, winning 89-73 in chilly Dunedin.

Finn Delaney was busy for the Giants helping Phill Jones celebrate his record breaking 362nd NBL appearance last Friday against the Manawatu Jets. Delaney scored 15 points including an almost perfect 9 from 10 from the charity stripe. The Giants won 91-82.

Not an easy choice but Rookie of the week goes to Tohi Smith-Milner.

It’s no coincidence that his arrival at the Rangers has coincided with their run of good form.

Certificates of merit to Ngatai, Delaney and King-Hawea.

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