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BASKETBALL: NBL Wrap - First loss for Giants

Wickliffe Otago Nuggets 102 ASB Bank Nelson Giants 93
The ASB Bank Nelson Giants suffered their first defeat of the 2000 NBL, going down to the Wickliffe Otago Nuggets on Saturday night.

It was a huge effort by the Nuggets, who got home on the back of great shooting stats from the field.

In comparison the Giants can blame their loss on uncharacteristically poor shooting from the field. The Giants out-rebounded the Nuggets 45 to 34 and grabbed 17 offensive boards to the Nuggets 5.

Thus the Giants had enough possession to win the game and put up more shots than the Nuggets, but their conversion rate of 37% was significantly less than the Nuggets 53%.

The game resulted in some mixed emotions for the Dahlberg household with Robert Dahlberg on the Nuggets team and father, Bill, coaching the Giants.

While Bill would have been pleased with his son's 18 point haul, he would have been annoyed he chose this game to put in an outstanding performance.

Outstanding stats
Robert Dahlberg (Nuggets) scored 18 points.
Lynwood Wade (Nuggets) scored 26 points.
Tony Rampton (Giants) grabbed 15 rebounds in addition to 5 steals.
Phill Jones (Giants) scored 26 points.

Warriors Run Rings Around Saturn Saints
Stiles and Hooker Waikato Warriors 96 Saturn Saints 88
The Stiles and Hooker Waikato Warriors began their game against the Saturn Saints with a big bang. Their renowned running game was in full flight and by the end of the first quarter the Warriors had run out to a 33-16 lead.

From then on the Saints were left playing catch-up. However they couldn't make an impression on the deficit until the final quarter and by that stage the clock had become the Saints greatest enemy and the game was lost.

Both teams have experienced problems with rebounding this season and it was the Warriors who got the better of this aspect of the game 43 to 28. Clifton Bush has been added to the Warriors for the specific purpose of working on the boards and performed his task well although his shooting percentages were poor.

The Saints committed twice as many fouls as the Warriors and almost twice as many turnovers. With the aforementioned stats against the Saints it is easy to see why they were also on the wrong side of the scoreline.

Outstanding stats
Daryl Johnson and Tony Brown (Warriors) both scored 28 points.
Adrian Boyd (Warriors) made 7 steals.
Terrence Lewis (Saints) scored 31 points.

Jets Strike Turbulence
Rebel Sport Auckland 108 - Property Broker Jets 84
The Property Broker Jets chances of making the Burger King Challenge final plummeted with their 24 point loss to Rebel Sport Auckland.

With the first round of Burger King Challenge Series games now complete the Jets are still to register a win. Considering they must now play the Giants in Nelson and Auckland again, their chances of making the 15 July final are now remote.

The Jets should have been able to mount more of a challenge against the Rebels, but many of the Jets players did not front up to play on the night. One who did was Ed Book, whose outstanding 2000 form continued with 35 points.

The Jets were out-rebounded 51 to 30 which contributed significantly to their large losing margin. Matt Barnett grabbed 16 rebounds for the Rebels. This figure was almost twice that of the game's next best rebounder.

Barnett also added 23 points for an outstanding game that got the Rebels back on track after their loss to Nelson in the previous game.

Outstanding stats
Matt Barnett (Rebels) 23 points and 16 rebounds.
Ed Book (Jets) 35 points and 7 rebounds.

Sleep-Walking Saints do enough to Win
Saturn Saints 89 Masonic Hawks 76
The Masonic Hawks could not take advantage of a jaded Saturn Saints team going down by 13 in Hastings on Sunday. The Saints drove from Hamilton to Hastings after their Saturday night match against the Warriors.

In retrospect an early morning rise and journey to Hastings may have been wiser given that the Saints did not make it to their destination until 4:00am.

Despite their tiredness the Saints managed to put together a better team effort than in the majority of their games this season to date. Six Saints players made it to double-figures with players such as Troy McLean benefiting from extended court time.

As predicted this greater bench depth was too much for the Hawks to handle. Only three Hawks made it to double figures, including Chris Pollard. Pollard is returning to fitness after missing games through injury and the Hawks will be pleased that their most experienced Kiwi player is back contributing.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the game was Hawk Chris Webber's triple-double of sorts. Webber scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds but had the unflattering statistic of turning over the ball 11 times.

Outstanding stats
Troy Coleman (Hawks) 29 points.
Chris Webber (Hawks) 20 points and 13 rebounds but 11 turnovers.
Troy McLean (Saints) 14 points.

Overtime Kings
Poenamo North Harbour Kings 103 Rebel Sport Auckland 99 (OT)
The Poenamo North Harbour Kings and Rebel Sport Auckland can be called the overtime kings after another one of their head to head clashes went into extra time. Last year the Rebels came out on top after the extra period but this year the tables were turned, with the Kings ultimately victorious.

The Kings are benefiting from the extensive training captain Brendon Cathie-Pongia has put in since the end of last season in a bid to make the Olympic Tall Black team.

He has missed out on the first Tall Black squad of the year, but the Kings are reaping the rewards. Brendon scored 22 points while the two players who did make the Tall Black team, Riley and Penney, also had strong games with 19 and 16 points respectively.

With imports Wilson and Perry dominating the boards, the Kings managed to edge out their next door neighbours.

For Auckland their second loss in three games has left them looking a bit vulnerable. Especially as they must take on Waikato this Thursday without Pero Cameron and Paul Henare who are in Sydney with the Tall Blacks.

Outstanding stats
Brendon Cathie-Pongia (Kings) 22 points.
Purnell Perry (Kings) 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Robert Wilson (Kings) 12 rebounds.
Bryan Christiansen (Rebels) 28 points.

Giants Bounce Back
ASB Bank Nelson Giants 108 WestpacTrust Canterbury Rams 77
The ASB Bank Nelson Giants bounced back from their shock loss to the Nuggets with a comfortable win over the WestpacTrust Canterbury Rams in Christchurch.

Import Malcolm Leak returned to the court for the Rams after injury and had an excellent game with 28 points and 13 rebounds. However he lacked support from his team mates who were kept in check by the much more experienced Giants. The Giants forced the young Rams into errors with the Rams racking up 25 turnovers compared to the Giants 14.

Having dropped the game against the Nuggets the Nelson Tall Blacks were desperate to ensure the same did not occur against the Rams, in their final outing before the Slam Down Under tournament in Sydney. That tournament means the Nelson Tall Blacks will miss the game against the Kings, hence a win will be difficult to pick up.

Outstanding stats
Malcolm Leak (Rams) 28 points and 13 rebounds.
James Hamilton (Giants) 34 points and 16 rebounds.
Judd Flavell (Giants) 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.

TAB
Odds this week are offered on a treble (Saints/Jets, Nuggets/Rams, Giants/Kings), winning team and margin (Giants/Kings, Warriors/Rebels and Saints/Jets games) and a head to head is also offered on the Warriors/Rebels game with the Warriors favoured at $1.70, while the Rebels are at $2.00.

FOR STATS AND OTHER NBL INFORMATION LOOK UP THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE: nzoom.com/onesport/basketball

NZBL wish to acknowledge the support of TVNZ, Burger King, Air NZ & Spalding

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