The absence of their captain Aaron Bailey-Knowles due to a one game suspension created a bigger workload for the young MountainAirs with Brad Anderson taking on captain duties.
Even though Braimoh Suleiman couldn’t train all week he did his job exceedingly well pulling in an impressive total of 15 rebounds and scoring 21 points. Not to be outdone Adrian Oliver had a strong game scoring 27 points with 7 from 11 frees and 2 very impressive steals reflected in the Airs’ 5 fast break points stats.
With the quarter time score 14 – 20 and then the half time score 30 – 38 the MountainAirs were very much in the game.
Kaye McKee had a super game with 12 points, drawing 5 fouls and 3 rebounds. The ball would just not sink for Brad Anderson as he missed two 3 pointers and netted 2 out of 10 field goals scoring 6 points.
Both Good Home Taranaki MountainAirs’ coach Daryn Shaw and Fico Finance Nelson Giants’ coach Liam Flynn had words with the referees with teams sent to the bench as a scoreboard dispute was settled.
Giants Jamal Boykin and Josh Pace dominated their team’s scoring with 20 points with 9 rebounds and 21 points with 6 rebounds respectively with Mika Vukona adding a further 14 points with 9 rebounds.
In the 3rd quarter the MountainAirs found their rhythm surging ahead with 10 unanswered points. The crowd at the TSB Stadium went crazy sensing a comeback from the home team. Unfortunately it was short lived as the Nelson Giants fought back ending the quarter 69 – 56.