There were three main contenders for Rookie of the Week in Round 11 of the Batercard NBL
Zac Carter scored 15 points (5/8 field goals) as the Advice First Waikato Pistons fell agonisingly short, 83-85 against the Pacific Jewellers Saints on Friday night. Carter continued his recent good run of form with a game high 25 points 48 hours later as the Pistons lost to the Breakers Manawatu Jets.
Richie Edwards sat out the Canterbury Rams loss to the Zerofees Southland Sharks on Friday due to suspension. However he returned on Sunday, scoring 19 points as the Rams won their second overtime game in eight days, beating the OceanGold Otago Nuggets 90-87.
In the same game the third candidate, Micah Lepaio stepped up big time for the Nuggets. Lepaio played 31 minutes, scored a career high 18 points and also added 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
This week’s supporting cast included the consistent Derek Albertsen, 14 points for the Good Home Mountain Airs against the Jets. Inga Solofuti nailed 3 from 6 three’s as he scored 11 points for the Rams against the Sharks and Dyson King-Hawea had a 10pts/4rebs/3 steals outing for the Pistons against the Saints.
One player who has shone regularly in recent times has been Tohi Smith-Milner but the James Blond Super City Rangers forward had a quiet night against the Fico finance Nelson Giants . He was 0 from 5 from the field but did secure 8 rebounds and dish off 5 assists.
Lepaio’s impressive stat line also included 7 from 12 shooting as he registered a highly creditable efficiency level of 21 points for the Nuggets. A performance certainly worthy of Rookie of the Week status.
Don’t be surprised if you see some of the afore mentioned rookies named on Wednesday to attend the Tall Blacks trial early next month.