Go Media Jets (0-1) v Taylor Hawks (1-0)
When: Thursday, May 3, 7pm (Live Streamed)
Where: Ballroom Arena, Manawatu
Referees: Sean Cronin, Yalla Edwards, Hayden Pipe
Notes: The Go Media Jets will play their second home game of the season after suffering a 26 point loss to the Airs. Two things the Jets will need to improve on if they want to compete with the Hawks, the first is offense which they scored 69 points on 28% from the field, and the second is rebounding which they were outrebounded by 25. Hawks were efficient from three last week making 13 three’s at 41%. The Hawks Australian import, Angus Brandt, fouled out in 15 minutes last weekend. Brandt will match up against young up and coming centre, Callum McRae, who had an impressive debut with a couple of nice hook shots, ending the game with eight points and eight rebounds. From 2013-15, the Hawks struggled against the Jets who won five of the last six.
The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams (1-0) v SIT Zerofees Sharks (1-1)
When: Friday, May 4, 7pm (Live Streamed)
Where: Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
Referees: Dallas Pickering, Matt Bathurst, Marty Davison
Notes: The Rams host the Sharks who play their third straight road game, after going 1-1 last week. The Sharks showed their offensive firepower, scoring 113 points against the Saints, despite missing one of their imports, Conor Morgan. Morgan was one of the star players for the Canadian national team in the commonwealth games, and is a versatile forward who can play inside and spread the floor with his three point shooting. Morgan will probably match up against Winston Shep-ard III, who nearly tallied a triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Another intriguing match will be between points guards Jarrad Weeks and Xavier Thames. Weeks had 26 points and six assists against the Saints and Thames had 21 points.
Augusta Mountainairs (1-0) v Taylor Hawks (1-0)
When: Friday, May 4, 7pm
Where: TSB Stadium, New Plymouth
Referees: Melony Wealleans, Ryan Jones, Sam Pan
Notes: The Airs play their first home game of the season, but it will be a challenge against a Hawks team that is coming off a win over the Sharks. Taranaki have had a good record against the Hawks, winning five of the last six. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Hawks did win 85-73 at TSB Stadium. Hawks will be playing on the second night of a back to back, but the Hawks have arguably one of the strongest benches in the competition, coach Zico Coronel using a nine man rotation last week. The Hawks have to keep Airs import trio the off the boards, Javonte Douglas grabbed 18 re-bounds Xavier Smith had nine and Roger Woods eight.
Mike Pero Nelson Giants (1-0) v SIT Zerofees Sharks (1-1)
When: Saturday, May 5, 7pm
Where: Trafalgar Centre, Nelson
Referees: Sean Cronin, Gavin Zimmerman, Hayden Pipe
Notes: The Giants opened their season with impressive win over the Rangers, and like the week before they will be hosting a Sharks team that is on the second night of a back to back. But that shouldn’t phase the Sharks who did get a win over the defending champion Saints off the back to back last week. Nelson were great offensively, scoring a league high 117 points which was higher than any output from last season when the team only averaged 80 points per game. Southland are also are coming off a 113 point game, so potentially it could be another high scoring affair. Former team mates at Cairns Taipans Jarrard Weeks and Damon Heuir will look to bring much the same form from last week, both scoring team highs in their wins. Heuir 7/11 from the field for 25 points and also dished out nine assists. It was been a one sided series in the last few seasons between the two teams, Sharks winning seven of the last nine, including all three last sea-son.
2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers (0-2) v Cigna Saints (0-1)
When: Sunday, May 6, 3pm (Live Streamed)
Where: Trusts Arena, Auckland
Referees: Dallas Pickering, Ryan Jones, Marty Davison
Notes: Both the Rangers and Saints suffered losses last week, and for the Rangers they will be desperate to avoid three straight defeats to start the season. The Saints will be disappointed with the defensive effort last week, allowing 113 points in the loss to the Sharks. Wellington scored 108 points despite shooting only 3/17 from the three. The Rangers also allowed far to many points last weekend, 100 against the Rams and 117 against the Giants. The Rangers were solid at home last season with a 6-3 record, but have struggled against the Saints in the two seasons, losing all seven attempts. Match up of the game will be between points guards Lindsay Tait and Shea Ili. Tait notched up 19 points and nine assists against the Rams, and Ili had a season high 32 points and 10 assists.
Image via Photosport NZ