All the NBL teams that missed out on the 2014 play-offs will be reflecting on a season of missed opportunities. For three of the teams the post-season review will be containing a host of ‘if only’ statements. Continue reading
For the second time this season Rangitoto College recorded a win against local rivals Westlake Boys, edging home 73-69. The game was played in an excellent atmosphere, both sets of supporters providing vociferous backing for their respective teams. Continue reading
The Tall Blacks obviously face a dilemma caused by the well-documented misbehavior of the Southland Sharks trio Reuben Te Rangi, Leon Henry and Shea Ili.
It will be difficult, probably impossible for the NZ management team to select any of these players given that the sentencing resulting from their recent court case will not be handed down until August 1st.
By then the Tall Blacks preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Spain will be well underway. Three home internationals will have been completed against South Korea and the team will have departed on the overseas section of their pre World Cup build up.
Te Rangi and Henry were due to contest the back up three spot behind Tom Abercrombie at the upcoming Tall Blacks trials. That opportunity will now surely be given to other players.
One who may benefit is Duane Bailey, the James Blond Super City Rangers forward has had an outstanding NBL season. He is the leading Kiwi in the NBL rebounding stat category, pulling down 9.5 rebounds per game. In addition he is the second highest Kiwi point’s scorer, averaging 20 points per game. Only Corey Webster has scored more points amongst NZ born players in the NBL. His free throw shooting (56%) is a concern but his three-point percentage (41%) is up there with the best in the NBL.
At 199cm the 22 year old is probably undersized to play the forward spot at international level and possibly even in the Australian NBL. The three spot is perhaps his better position long term, is Bailey about to profit from the misconduct of the Sharks duo?
Last week former SKY CITY Breakers forward Dillon Boucher racked up his 350th appearance in the New Zealand National Basketball League, helping the James Blond Super City Rangers defeat the Paul Henare coached Southland Sharks 97-94. Add the 325 games Boucher played in the Australian NBL and that’s a record number of games played across both Leagues by a Kiwi.
This week Boucher and the Rangers visited the Nelson Giants who boast three current or former Breakers in their line up – Mika Vukona, Josh Bloxham and Phill Jones. The Giants won 97-89, Jones contributing 12 points and in so doing moved to second on the NBL all time scoring list having amassed 6,674 points. Vukona (18pts/13 rebounds) and Bloxham (16pts) were also prominent.
Duane Bailey, who is having a terrific season for the Rangers scored 32 points in a losing cause, the small forward doing his best to attract the attention of the Breakers and Tall Blacks selectors.
Corey Webster continues his good scoring form; he is the Bartercard NBL’s leading three-point shooter this season, connecting with 43.5 % of his attempts. He connected with a further 5 from 8 triples on his way to 27 points as the Wellington Saints squeezed past the Waikato Pistons 85-83 last Friday. Casey Frank had a poor shooting night for the Pistons only connecting with 2 from 9 scoring attempts but demonstrated his all round ability contributing 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
Frank was more efficient a couple of days later scoring 11 points but the Pistons lost their second game in 48 hours, going down 85-74 in Palmerston North against the Manawatu Jets. Breakers development player Alonzo Burton had his best game of the season for the Jets dropping 21 points including 4 from 5 threes.
The Tab Baldwin coached Hawke’s Bay Hawks have secured the regular season title. Captain Jarrod Kenny has had a very consistent season and on Sunday led an under strength Hawks to a comfortable 81-64 victory over the Taranaki Mountain Airs. Kenny scored 13 points and added 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
The NBL Final Four weekend will be held in Wellington on July 4th and 5th; the games hopefully screened live on Sky TV. In addition to the Hawks, Wellington Saints, Southland Sharks and Nelson Giants make up the four semi-finalists. With Breakers representation on all four teams it should be worth watching for Breakers fans.
A couple of contenders for Rookie of the Week squared off in the opening game of round one of the Bartercard NBL on Wednesday. If it was boxing the contest wouldn’t have taken place, the diminutive Derek Albertsen giving away to many kilos and centimetres to the towering Tohi Smith-Milner. Continue reading