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NBL Week 11 Preview

Mike Pero Nelson Giants (4-10) v Wellington Saints (14-0) (Live Streamed) When: Friday, May 26, 7pm Where: Trafalgar Centre, Nelson Referees: Melony Wealleans, Elliot Duncan, Sam Pan Notes: After a win at home to the Hawks, the Giants will host the unbeaten Saints who have now won 16 straight, which includes their semi-final and grand final win from last season. Nelson will hopefully have point guard Kyle Adnam back in the line-up after missing their last three games. Saints will also welcome back forward Tai Wesley who has also missed three games. Wellington won the first meeting between the two 110-84. Shea Ili had 27 for Wellington who was without their leading scorer Corey Webster. Webster currently leads the league in scoring at 26.5 points per game. Finn Delany scored a season high 30 against the Saints, and shot 4-for-6 from three. Delany is averaging 22 points in his last five games. Expect a better game from former Saint, Dion Prewster, who had only five points in the last meeting.

Canterbury Rams (7-7) SIT Zerofees Sharks (9-5) When: Saturday, May 27, 7pm Where: Cowles Stadium, Christchurch Referees: Sean Cronin, Ryan Jones, Hayden Pipe Notes: The Rams will try to avoid a third loss to the Sharks, who after winning six straight have dropped their last two, both of which were on the road. Sharks won the last meeting at Cowles, 93-79. Luke Aston scored 20 in the win and is averaging 17.7 points per game in his last three, and nearly 44% from three. Fourth quarters have been a struggle for the Rams against the Sharks, losing by 11 in the first meeting, and then 12 in the second. This Rams issue this season has been the defensive end where they allow a league high 92 points per game. They are 7-0 when they keep teams under 90 points. Sharks have been good defensively, but last week they allowed over 100 points to be scored against them in both games, they have only allowed over 100 points three times.

Taranaki Mountainairs (3-11) v Taylor Hawks (3-10) When: Saturday, May 27, 7pm Where: TSB Stadium, New Plymouth Referees: Dallas Pickering, Gavin Zimmerman, Jason McCabe Notes: After starting the season 3-1, the Airs have now lost ten straight. Hawks have dropped their last four, and will are now at crisis point, needing to win the remainder of their games and hope that the Rams or Rangers lose the remainder of theirs. This is the second meeting between the two, Taranaki beating the Hawks 76-75 at Pettigrew Green Arena. Tylor Ongwae scored 21, and centre Daniel Gomis had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Taranaki have only won one of seven at home, and the Hawks have struggled on the road winning only one of five. Match up between centre Daniel Gomis and Amir Williams, in particular the battle on the boards should play a large role in the result, both are averaging 9.3 per game.

James Blond Supercity Rangers (8-5) v Wellington Saints (14-0) (Live Streamed) When: Sunday, May 28, 3pm Where: Trusts Arena, Waitakere Referees: Matt Bathurst, Gavin Zimmerman, Tayla Ammunson Notes: The Rangers are coming off arguably their best in most comprehensive win of the season after they beat the second placed Sharks by 30. They will have the opportunity to play a Wellington side that would have played on the road in Nelson on Friday. The Rangers lost both times in Wellington, but have been good at Trusts Arena where they have won all three games. The Rangers will want to contain Corey Webster who scored 37 in the last meeting. Webster will go head to head with Mitch McCarron who is currently third in the league in scoring at 23.2 points per game. The Rangers have a good chance to finish in second place with three of their last four at home which includes the Sharks who they can win the tiebreak. Wellington are now chasing their best regular season finish which is 15-3 in the 1988 and 2013 seasons.

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