Mike Pero Nelson Giants (0-3) v SIT Zerofees Sharks (1-1) - Live Stream via NZ Herald When: Thursday, March 30, 7pm Where: Trafalgar Centre, Christchurch Referees: Yalla Edwards, Hayden Pipe, Sam Pan Notes: The Giants will try avoid a fourth straight loss and third at home when they host the Sharks who play their first road game of the year. It will be a tough ask for the Giants after they lost to the Sharks by 38 points in the opening round and have lost 8 of the last 12 meetings. Defense is a key concern for the Giants, allowing a league high 101 points. The Sharks will hopefully have centre Alex Pledger after had to stand down for one game due to a head injury in training. Match up of the game will between small forwards Reuben Te Rangi and Finn Delany, both players lead their respective teams in scoring. The Giants also released import point guard Joseph Slocum in favour of Australian and Melboune United point guard Kyle Adnam.
Taranaki Mountainairs (2-1) v SIT Zerofees Sharks (1-1) When: Friday, March 31, 7pm Where: TSB Stadium, New Plymouth Referees: Melony Wealleans, Ryan Jones, Rhys Hamilton Notes: Taranaki will have an opportunity to take advantage of a Sharks team who will be playing the second game of a back to back road double-header. Taranaki have lost seven of their last ten at home, while the Sharks went 5-4 on the road last season. Taranaki did defeat the Sharks 88-85 at home in the last meeting and current point guard Houston O’Riley scored 25. O’Riley had a good battle with Sharks point guard Mitch Newton who a career best 26. Expect a battle on the boards especially with the current leading rebounder Daniel Gomis against last seasons league leader Alex Pledger. Gomis is also leading the league in blocks (1.7). Southland have dominated the meetings since 2013 winning eight of the last nine.
Canterbury Rams (2-2) v James Blond Supercity Rangers (2-0) - Live Stream via NZ Herald When: Friday, March 31, 7pm Where: Cowles Stadium, Christchurch Referees: Sean Cronin, Matt Bathurst, Gavin Zimmerman Notes: Canterbury Rams will face the Rangers for the second time this season after losing 114-107 in the opening round. Can-terbury lost the first three quarters, but nearly took the game away from the Rangers when they scored 37 points in the final quarter. Jeremy Kendle scored a season high 39 points in the loss while his opposition Lindsay Tait had 29. Kendle currently leads the league in scoring at 26 points per game and is closely followed by Rangers guard Mitch McCarron who is at 25.5 per game. Expect another high scoring game between the two, the Rams leading the league at 101 points per game while the Rangers are second at 99.5. Both teams account for four of the top five scorers in the league. The Rangers defeated the Rams seven of the last nine games played between the two.
Taylor Hawks (0-3) v Wellington Saints (3-0) When: Saturday, April 1, 7pm Where: Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale Referees: Dallas Pickering, Marty Davison, Jacob Cromb Notes: The Taylor Hawks will try end their 23 game losing streak, but it will be no easy task when they host the Wellington Saints who have opened the season with three wins and have won their last five. After dropping the first meeting to the Saints by 23, the Hawks have improved since, losing to Rams in overtime and then the Airs by a single point. Jarrod Kenny made his first appearance for the Hawks this season and will have a good match up against fellow Tall Black Shea Ili, both players are strong on the defensive end. The contest will feature another Tall Black match up between shooting guards Everard Bartlett and Corey Webster. Bartlett is leading the Hawks in scoring at 21 point per game and Corey is averaging 25.3 with the Saints.
James Blond Supercity Rangers (2-0) v Taranaki Mountainairs (2-1) - Live Stream NZ Herald & Live Broadcast on Maori TV When: Sunday, April 2, 3pm Where: Trusts Arena, Waitakere Referees: Dallas Pickering, Ryan Jones, Hayden Pipe Notes: The Rangers and Airs face each other for the second time in a little over a week and the Airs will have one day rest ad-vantage compared to the Rangers who travel from Christchurch. Rangers were able to win in New Plymouth 85-81 and if they win again then will hard the crucial tiebreak advantage which could be crucial to securing a playoff spot. In the last meeting the Rangers outrebounded the Airs 43-34, Nnanna Egwu and Dillon Boucher had 10, and Mitch McCarron added nine. The Rangers were also able to slow down key players Houston O’Riley and Tylor Ongwae who shot a com-bined 10/30 FG. Taranaki have won both road games this season and seven of their last 11.