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Sal's NBL: Week 9 Matchups

Go Media Jets (1-9) v Mike Pero Nelson Giants (9-2) When: Thursday, 21 June, 7pm (Live Streamed) Where: Springvale Sports Stadium, Whanganui Referees: Melony Wealleans, Yalla Edwards, Sam Pan Notes: The Jets will try to end their six game losing streak when they host the red hot Giants who have won six on the trot. The Giants have won both meetings against the two teams, but they only narrowly won by two in Palmerston back in Round Four. The Giants had no answer for Kuran Iverson who scored 38 points, but the Giants were without key forwards, Tohi Smith-Milner and Mika Vukona. Vukona is coming off a double-double of 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 7-for-7 from the field. Kyle Adnam scored 21 against the Jets in the 87-85 win, but he will not be in the line-up due to participating in the NBA mini-camp with the Dallas Mavericks. The Giants have won eight straight over the Jets, the Jets last winning back in 2012. This will be the first game played this season in Whanganui.

SIT Zerofees Sharks (7-3) v Cigna Saints (10-1)

When: Friday, 22 June, 7pm (Live Streamed)

Where: ILT Stadium, Invercargill

Referees: Sean Cronin, Marty Davison, Duran Whiu

Notes: Saints are winners of 34 of their last 35, the last loss was to the Sharks, who won in Wellington 113-108 in the opening round. Since then Wellington have won ten straight, but will probably be short handed again without LJ Peak (knee inju-ry). The Sharks had previous won their last five at home, each being 20 plus point wins, but had a shock loss to the Rams last week. Sharks centre, Alex Pledger, has missed the last two Sharks games with an ankle injury, but has had an able replacement in James Hunter who had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds last week. The Sharks will hopefully have both Hunter and Pledger to combat Majok Majok who has grabbed six double-double this season and in his last three games is averaging 18 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. Sharks forward, Conor Morgan, missed the game against the Saints and has been consistent for the Sharks all season, averaging 16 points, nearly seven rebounds and 36% from three. Morgan will go head to head with Leon Henry who is coming off back to back double-doubles last week.

Taylor Hawks (6-5) v Augusta Mountainairs (2-8) When: Saturday, 23 June, 5pm Where: Pettigrew Green Arena, Napier Referees: Dallas Pickering, Gavin Zimmerman, Rhys Hamilton Notes: The Hawks ended their two game losing streak with a hard fought 93-84 win over the Rangers. The Hawks trailed by as many as 13 points against the Rangers, but it was the front court of Angus Brandt and Jamie Skeen that was the differ-ence, combining for 47 points and 22 rebounds. The Airs will be reeling from their loss to the Saints last week when they led by as many as 14 points. The Airs will want to improve on last week’s fourth quarter when they were outscored 32-13. The two teams met in Round Two in New Plymouth, the Hawks wining 90-87. Shooting guard, Dion Prewster, had a season best 25 in the win and will be looking to bounce back from his two point performance last week. Airs forward, Javonte Douglas, is currently leading the league in rebounds (11.3 per game), and is fifth in points (21.5 per game). Douglas had a season high 30 points against the Hawks

The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams (6-4) v Go Media Jets (1-9) When: Saturday, 23 June, 7pm (Live Streamed) Where: Cowles Stadium, Christchurch Referees: Matt Bathurst, Tayla Ammunson, Sherhon Martin Notes: The Rams ended their three game losing streak with a big win over the Sharks. They will now host the struggling Jets who are on a six game losing skid. This will be the first of three meetings between the two teams which includes playing each other in back to back weeks. Since 2014, the Rams have won four of the last five meetings. The match up of the game will be between forwards Winston Shepard III and Kuran Iverson. Shepard III is averaging 20 points, 9.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, Iverson is averaging 23.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. The Jets will be without rookie centre, Callum McRae, who will begin is US college career at the University of California Riverside. McRae has been the Jets leading rebounder at 7.2 per game, and would have been a good match up against fellow up and comer MaX Darling who is the active league leader in blocks at 1.6 per game.

2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers (1-10) v Augusta Mountainairs (2-8) When: Sunday, 24 June, 5pm (Live Streamed) Where: Trusts Arena, Auckland Referees: Ryan Jones, Hayden Pipe, Rhys Hamilton Notes: The Rangers got their first win of the season which was against the Airs 93-86, and will try take advantage of an Airs side that is coming off a game the night before in Napier. The Airs got off to a slow start against the Rangers, and had no answer for rookie, Dominque Kelman-Poto, who had 26 points and 15 rebounds. Marcel Jones also grabbed a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds. Forward, Roger Woods, had 29 points despite fouling out in 25 minutes. Taranaki will be hoping to have their third import, Xavier Smith, back in the line-up as he has missed their last three games with an ankle injury. The Rangers have won four straight over the Airs, the last win was 20th May, 2016, 81-69.

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