Heart but No Wins for Fighting Airs

19068447649_d2c86a8067The Airs’ season ends winless but with huge heart.

As the season ends for the Augusta Taranaki MountainAirs the records are mounting even though  win eluded them.

On Sunday night the Airs came out fighting and gave their home crowd an awesome end to the season.  Aaron Fuller played an outstanding game breaking the NBL record scoring 54 points in a game and pulling in 19 rebounds.

“It feels good to take the record but it would have been a lot sweeter to finish the season with a win.  Individually it is kind of good but I would have rather got a win with the team to be honest,” said Fuller.

“Tonight’s game felt pretty good until we made a mistake and didn’t go into overtime.  It would have been better to have a win but I mean we had some injuries.  We just kept fighting and I’m proud of our guys in how we finished the season.  We just didn’t lay down and give up but we kept fighting.”

The Airs challenged the Super City Rangers the entire game with the lead changing 12 times.  The Rangers jumped ahead 14 points with the Airs’ determination pulling them back in to the game.

With import Chris Hagan out with injury Houston O’Riley stepped in to help adding 11 points, five turnovers, one steal and three assists.

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Hawks win battle over the Airs

Photo by Ken Davies
Photo by Ken Davies

The Augusta Taranaki Mountain Airs battled hard against the Hawkes Bay Hawks at the TSB stadium in New Plymouth last night.

Airs Aaron Bailey-Nowell and Brad Anderson both showed great leadership and commitment as each team battled for the lead.

The lead changed 13 times and was tied a further seven in the tightly contested game.  The Hawks came out the victor 118 – 90 in the final minutes of the game.

Captain Aaron Bailey-Nowell said he found the loss frustrating.

“It is the same things that have been haunting us over these 5 loses that we have had.  It’s the execution down the stretch and playing defence.

“I thought Sulieman showed why he’s the all star 5 in the MVP.  He really took over the game but we could have stepped up as a team defensively.  Another one down and we just have to go back to the drawing board.”

“It felt like a really tight game.  I thought it could have got away on us a couple of times.  They pulled out to a double digital lead at one stage.  So showing true fight we know how to fight back but it’s just getting over the hump and getting the win.

“I always try and lead by example and hope that it rubs off on the guys.  It’s a game of 40 minutes.  We showed that we are right there but we can’t get over the hump.”

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Saints rattled by Airs determination

Airs Aaron Fuller
Airs Ashton McQueen watches as team mate Aaron Fuller leaps for the hoop.

The Augusta Taranaki Mountain Airs played a very competitive home game against the Wellington Saints in their opening game of the season.

They matched the Saints play for play during the first two quarters even though three of their players had 2 fouls early in the first quarter at the TSB Stadium in New Plymouth.

Saints Coach Cameron Pero said he thinks the Airs will give a lot of teams trouble this season.

“It’s typical Mountain Airs basketball, I have come here and lost before.  They played good basketball and we are very, very happy to come away with a win.

“We have had a month to prepare knowing we are going to play each other and we are just unsure what each other runs because on game night not everyone ran their stuff.

“It’s the second year for Streaky (Coach Shaw) and he has come on leaps and bounds.  I don’t think he is a new coach any more but has a few games under his belt and it definitely showed tonight.

“I didn’t think we hit our straps.  I think we were good in some respects but poor in others.  We need to address some obvious issues.

“On saying that, I still commend our guys for coming out of here with a tough win. It was tough, really tough and we were able to just keep ahead of them.”

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Mountain Air too thin for Rams

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The noise was deafening and the crowd were on their feet for the final 37.1 seconds of the game at the TSB Stadium in New Plymouth as the Good Home Taranaki MountainAirs held off the Rams to claim their fourth win.

With the score 93 – 90 the Rams’ foul count soared as they fought with desperation for the win. Both Marcel Jones and Matthew Rogers clocked up the fouls and were shown the door late.

The fouls kept coming for the Rams with Jeremy Kench the last of the night. Suleiman shot 1 from 2 to end the game 98 – 93 a fourth win in a row for the Airs with the crowd roaring their approval.

Airs’ Coach Daryn Shaw said he thought the Rams had stepped up and played a lot harder than previously.

“Canterbury is a really talented team. They have got some really good players. They certainly did some things that caused us to adjust for sure.”

“Our four main guys really came to the party and played really well at the critical moments. I think it was an exciting game and all the boys played well. They (Rams) threw a lot of hooks at us that made us adjust but I think we always just grind it out.”

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‘AO’ comes up BIG for Airs

11-5-14 (2)A 3 pointer by Derek Albertsen on the final buzzer completed a superb win for the Taranaki Good Home MountainAirs.

The Airs came out on fire only slowing slightly in the 4th quarter in front of their home crowd at the TSB stadium in New Plymouth.

Airs’ Adrian Oliver played his best game yet proving to critics he has found his “shooting mojo” with a massive 42 points with four from seven 3 pointers, 4 from 5 frees and 7 rebounds.

Coach Daryn Shaw was impressed with Oliver stepping up and delivering with the crowd also voicing their approval.

“We have put the heat on AO.  He’s an outstanding shooter/scorer and we haven’t quite seen it.  For him to come out tonight and really put on a great performance is not a surprise to him or to us.”

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Quadruple Overtime for Good Home Taranaki Mountain Airs

With the biggest crowd of the season watching, The Good Home Taranaki Mountain Airs put on a show deserving of a win, only to be nudged out in the FOURTH extra period to lose to the Otago Oceana Gold Nuggets 137–145 at TSB Stadium, New Plymouth last night.

MountainAirs Coach Dave Bublitz said he has never known a game to go on and on like this game did.

The close game was very physical and at times out-of-control as players flew in all directions with inconsistent decisions from the refs.

The fourth quarter saw the Mountain Airs playing “catch up”.  Amazing work from Airs’ Jack Leasure, Link Abrams and Ethan Rusbatch saw the gap close.  The calls from the refs were starting to have a big impact on the game as Nuggets’ Mark Dickel took a swing at Airs’ Link Abrams. The crowd chanted “off, off, off” but the ref only gave Abrams 2 shots. This decision would haunt the Airs.

With 4.07mins remaining on the clock Nuggets’ Benny Anthony was fouled out of the game and expressed his displeasure to the crowd.  At full-time the scores were locked 93-93 with a clutch shot from Airs’ Jack Leasure sealing the deal.

Airs’ Kenny Gabriel had a quiet night adding only 10 points and 6 rebounds to be fouled out in the second of the four extra periods.

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