A couple of contenders for last week’s Rookie of the Week squared off in the opening game of round 11 of the 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.
Both players are playing quality minutes for their respective teams and enjoying extended court time. Point guard Albertsen ran the Taranaki Mountain Airs offence for the majority of the game contributing 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists a steal and equally importantly only committing one turnover.
Tohi Smith-Milner playing the four spot for the James Blond Super City Rangers and was equally effective. Running the floor, throwing down dunks, blocking shots, exciting the home crowd, the teenager producing a stats line of 27 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.
The Rangers won the fight 97-88 but the two rookies shared the rounds fairly evenly in an intriguing contest.
Wollongong Hawks head coach Gordie McLeod was in the crowd and couldn’t help but have been impressed by the effort and form of the Rangers heavy weight and the Taranaki fly weight.