This weekend the Mountainairs embark on a tough South Island double header to take on the Nelson Giants on Friday 25th May and the Canterbury Rams on Saturday 26th May. We need to improve our tempo late in the games, I feel this has been an issue in our tight contests. Coach Trent Adam is looking for some improvements from his team this weekend.
Star Jets import Kuran Iversonscored 16 points and hauled in a remarkable 17 rebounds while Daishon Knight had 14 points but missed all nine of his attempts from beyond the arc.
The hosts led by three with 9sec remaining and the Jets in possession, but Brandon Lucas couldn't hit a three-point attempt that could have sent it to overtime.
The 2019 New Zealand National Basketball League season will be the 38th running of the competition.
Burton, Xavier Smith (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Javonte Douglas (16 points, 13 rebounds) were the main contributors for the home side who trailed 39-35 at halftime before taking the lead in the third quarterand keeping their composure down the stretch.
2019 New Zealand NBL season
As is typical of the Mountainairs this season, they were fighting hard which kept them in touch on the scoreboard despite the lack of fluency. Manawatu looked the stronger team at the beginning of the match, with Taranaki looking out of rhythm as several new combinations were experimented with.
Alonzo Burton managed to shake off an injury, which sidelined him last weekend to top score with 19 points. Local young guard, Dane Brooks continues to impress as he replaced Douglas and scored eight of his 12 points in the first period. The Mountainairs looked like they might be in trouble early on with import Javonte Douglas committing two early fouls, putting him out for the majority of the first quarter.
Taranaki cling on to beat Manawatu in tense NBL finish
The local basketball community are certainly getting their share of tense entertainment this year. So far this season, the home crowd have witnessed the Augusta Taranaki Mountainairs fight hard only to lose two games by three points, both against the top two teams in the league. Last Thursday night the Mountainairs were able to rise above and win an arm-wrestle 75-70 over the Manawatu Jets at the TSB Stadium. A tight game is always more entertaining but every home fan wants to see their team be the one that pulls through.
The regular season will commence on Thursday 11 April in Palmerston North with the Manawatu Jets hosting the Super City Rangers at Arena Manawatu. The season will contain 14 weeks of regular season games followed by a Final Four weekend in August.
The teams for this season will be: Canterbury Rams, Hawke's Bay Hawks, Manawatu Jets, Nelson Giants, Southern Huskies, Southland Sharks, Super City Rangers, Taranaki Mountainairs and Wellington Saints.
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Thursdays game carried no certainty as the Mountainairs were missing two starters due to injury, and the Jets were coming off the back of a big upset win over the Supercity Rangers. Earlier this season, Taranaki travelled to Palmerston North to play Manawatu and were dominant in winning 95-69.
The Jets were coming off their first win, over Supercity Rangers, and looked in good shape to go back to back as they shot out of the blocks.
Led by a game-high 19 points by Alonzo Burton, Taranaki put last weekend's back-to-back defeats behind them to register their second win of the season on Thursday.