It's early days but the Southland Sharks are already well and truly tooled-up for business in the National Basketball League.
Defending NBL champions Southland made it two from two when they beat the Nelson Giants 100-91 at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson on Thursday night, although they could have been under more pressure to deliver the victory if the home side had been able to drop more baskets from the field in the final quarter.
You know things aren't going well when a TV commentator questions whether there is gladwrap over the hoop, after yet another shot fails to drop.
At times that summed up Nelson's evening as they converted just 43 per cent of their shots from the field. Execution is going to be vital for teams challenging Southland this season, that is clear. So, too, is the task of stopping their offence.
At times you could sense the frustration in the Nelson team as they felt some calls were not going their way; however, there was no denying that Southland's speed and the power of their big men to make them a difficult opponent to overcome.
Southland forward Hyrum Harris came off the bench to add energy, scoring 18 points and nailed all five of his field goals. Mitchell McCarron top scored for Southland with 20 points, and fellow guard Todd Blanchfield scored 14.
Nelson led 27-22 after the first quarter, but they were unable to retain their momentum as Southland led 49-47 at halftime and 74-72 after the third period.
Nelson's Jordair Jett and Rhys Vague scored 23 points each, followed by Daniel Grida (20).