A win still evades the Augusta Taranaki MountainAirs as they went down heavily to the Canterbury Rams in New Plymouth last night 106 – 68.
Coach Daryn Shaw said it is a constant struggle to keep the team motivated.
“We just had no energy tonight. We were just flat. We found it hard to get into a rhythm. We just couldn’t combat their size and their zones.”
The highlight of the game was an outstanding performance by Xavier Shaw with the game high of 18 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and three turnovers.
“It felt good. I just tried to bring some energy off the bench. I tried to lift the intensity on the court. It was good that my shots were able to fall and it got my confidence up which was good.
“Stats wise it was probably my best game yet. I just go out there and play as hard as I can. That is all I can do.”
Quintin Bailey also made the most of his 13 minutes of game time adding six points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover.
Chris Hagan and Aaron Bailey-Nowell were tightly marked and effectively shut down. Dyson King- Hawea struggled for consistency only managing to add four to the score.
By the end of the first quarter the Rams were ahead 28 – 12 and just kept powering away ending the second quarter 52 – 32.
The third quarter finished 83 – 47 with the game finishing 106 – 68.
The Rams’ Mickell Gladness was a 6’ 11” menace as he broke the NBL record for blocks in a game swatting away eight shots. He towered over the MountainAir players pulling in 13 rebounds, adding 1 assist, two turnovers and a steal along with 10 points to the scoreboard.
Six out of the 10 Rams’ players struck double digitals as they added points to be scoreboard compared to only three of the Airs. Jermaine Taylor 26, Tony Tolovae 21, Richie Edwards and Ethan Rusbatch 15 and Mickell Gladness and Jeremy Kench 10.
Both teams put up similar amounts of shots with the Rams shooting percentage considerably more accurate with 43 from 82 field goals, 35 from 59 two points and 8 from 23 three points.
The Airs play Wellington Saints on Sunday afternoon in New Plymouth at 2pm if the weather allows the roads to be opened for the Saints to travel.
Augusta Taranaki MountainAirs : 68 – Xavier Shaw : 18, Aaron Bailey-Nowell : 12, Chris Hagan : 12,
Canterbury Rams : 106 – Jermaine Taylor : 26, Tony Tolovae : 21, Ethan Rusbatch : 15, Richie Edwards : 15