New Plymouth Bears (MountainAirs) celebrate 20 Years with a Win

The MountainAirs did a great job coming away with a hard fought win on a night they celebrated 20 years of Basketball in Taranaki.

To celebrate the milestone the team played in an alternative strip featuring their old name – The Good Home New Plymouth Bears – however that was the only thing ‘old’ about their performance.

From the first whistle Airs’ Jack (young legs) Leasure came out to share the “pleasure” scoring 33 points in a very fast paced game whilst Kenny “showman” Gabriel entertained the crowd and was on fire with 22 points.  He was just as impressive on defensive leaping his way to 12 rebounds.

Brad Anderson and Ethan Rusbatch also had an outstanding game both scoring 16 points.

Whilst on the other ledger the Rangers’ Duane Bailey scored an impressive 23 points, with Houston O’Riley and Carl Buck both scoring 18 points. The first half was full of steals, fast breaks and spectacular baskets from both sides which impressed the crowd.

With seconds remaining until half time Airs’ Ethan Rusbatch launched the ball at the hoop from halfway earning himself a gigantic 3 points and a roar of approval from the crowd.

The Airs were relentless in their defence which was reflected in the score – going into half time 56 – 47.

Airs “Mr Reliable” Link Abrams had a frustrating night with only 8 points and 3 fouls.  Every decision seemed to go against him.  He took his frustration out in defence with 3 blocks, 6 rebounds and 7 turnovers.

Not to be left out of the night’s winning tally Dane Brooks and Aaron Bailey-Nowell both scored 7 points, Andrew Green 3 and Ben Crombie 2.

When the Rangers’ found the opportunity they made very fast breaks to score but spent the entire game playing catch-up.

The final score was 114 – 93 to the MountainAirs

The Good Home New Plymouth Bears (MountainAirs) – Jack Leasure 33, Kenny Gabriel 22, Brad Anderson 16, Ethan Rusbatch 16, Link Abrams 8, Dane Brooks 7, Aaron Bailey-Nowell 7, Andrew Green 3, Ben Crombie 2.

Super City Rangers – Duane Bailey 23, Houston O’Riley 18, Carl Buck 18, Shea Ili 13, Patrich Bolstad 12, Cameron Stuart 5, Kristoph Farensohn 2, Robson Tavita 2,

This article was published on the NZ Hoops website

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