The Mike Pero Nelson Giants have landed a psychological blow ahead of their Final 4 clash in Wellington this weekend, with a 103-87 win over the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks in Invercargill today.
Damon Heuir came out firing with 30 points, Tohi Smith-Milner had 22 points and Finn Delany in his second game back from injury had 21 points for the Giants who claim the second spot finishing the regular season 14-4, their best finish since 2013 when they went 12-4.
The Giants came out firing in the first quarter, shooting 13-17 from the field to outscore the Sharks 33-24. In the second quarter the Giants extended their lead to as many as 18 points and Heuir in particular was the standout scoring 20 first half points.
Southland did get to within eight in the third quarter, but the Giants were able to push their lead back to 14 at the end of the quarter and from there they managed to never let the Sharks back into the game.
Orlando Coleman led the Sharks with 25 points, Jarrad Weeks had 17, and Alex Pledger added 12. Southland struggled from the three point making only 3 of 17.
The Sharks should not feel too concerned going into next week’s semi-final. It was a similar situation for them in 2013 when they were thrashed the week before against the Giants, only to end up beating them in the final to claim their first franchise title.