AIRS vs SHARKS - FRIDAY MAY 3 @ 7pm
Game Preview Is the pressure greater here on the winless Airs or on a Sharks outfit who were humbled last week in Wellington? The 2018 champs will have picked their R3 loss apart and no doubt taken away plenty of lessons, so expect a fierce bounce-back performance here.
The Airs continue to be inconsistent within games, but when they fire it is a good brand of basketball that comes with it. Kevin Foster sent a warning to all comers last week with a huge 37-point haul, so the Sharks will be mindful of that, which hopefully for the home team Derone Raukawa returns fighting fit after being a late scratching last Sunday.
Losing Mitch McCarron is a huge blow for the Sharks, so others will need to step up and fill the breach. All things being equal the Sharks should prove too strong, but it’s a big weekend for them with two games on the road and they will know only too well that both the Airs and Jets will view them as a big scalp.
Starting 5 14. Alonzo Burton (guard) 7. Houston O’Riley (guard) 3. Daniel Gomis (centre) 21. Chris Early (forward) 1. Kevin Foster (forward)
Bench 5. Xavier Shaw (forward) 8. Derone Raukawa (guard) 22. Aaron Bailey-Nowell (forward) 26. Morgan Trott (forward) 20. Thane O’Leary (forward) 6. Latrell Teka-Wall (guard) 2. Oscar Robertson (guard)
Coach: David Bublitz Assistant: Andrew Green Manager: Bevan Seddon
From The Coach – David Bublitz An improved level of effort by the whole team lead to improvements at both ends of the court in the game against the Hawks. We must now look to continue this trend as it is evident that the standard of play across the whole league has gone up a gear this year and that a 40min effort is required to get wins this season. This week we get Derone back from an ankle injury, to add his knowledge and experience is vital as we look to challenge the reigning champions, the Sharks.
Starting 5 35. Alex Pledger (centre) 97. Jarrad Weeks (guard) 24 . Todd Blanchfield (guard) 22. Hyrum Harris (guard/forward) 15. Tom Vodanovich (forward)
Bench 11. Dom Kelman-Poto (forward) 14. Tai Wynyard (centre) 25. Andrew Wheeler (guard) 45. Tinashe Matambanadzo (guard)
Coach: Judd Flavell Assistant: Tyson Huia Manager: Troy Paulin
From The Coach – Judd Flavell Taranaki is always a dangerous proposition at home. We’ve lost up there in my time with the Sharks so we won’t be underestimating them. Their results have been close and they showed last week the fight in their club. It’s going to be another tough battle. We had a good look at the video after the Saints game and “video don’t lie,” as they say. It’s still early in the season and we are going to make some errors, but I think a lot of us looked at the film and said we just made it too easy for them, so everyone has got to step up a lot. Individually, we have all got to do a much better job of holding our ground and keeping them in front of us.