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Nuggets claim first first blood in preseason

The Go Media Otago Nuggets rode a strong finish to claim first blood in the 2021 Sal’s NBL PreSeason with a 77-62 victory over the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks in Queenstown today.

The Nuggets jumped out to an early lead with a hot start from behind the arc to take the first quarter 21-10, before the Sharks closed it up to a one point game at the main break.

A 49-42 Nuggets’ lead at three quarter time disappeared in the first 90 seconds of the final quarter and with five minutes to play only two points separated the two teams. But from there it was all Nuggets as the men in blue went on a 10-0 run to blow the game apart.

Sharks Head Coach Rob Beveridge was obviously disappointed with his team’s performance.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well. For a team that’s meant to be a shooting team we were something like 6/25 from the three point line so I was actually happy with the looks we had we just didn’t execute.”

“But in saying that, the purpose of today was to get a baseline level to see where we are at and evaluate and get better tomorrow. That’s our first game together and as a coach I’m learning who’s who, learning rotations and I know I can do a better job.”

“We’ve just got to correct the things I’m not happy with and get back on the horse tomorrow,” Beveridge said.

”Now, its about the players looking after their bodies. We’ve had a really tough week and I think thought we were running in mud at times out there today but that is part of our process. I know what we are doing now will be beneficial for us so the players have to take care of their bodies. We’re educating them and will continue to do that, it’s a grind, it’s hard work and right no a little bit of adversity is good.”

As a coaching staff, Leyton (Haddleton) and I will go back and review it and set some goals for tomorrow on where we were really poor and make sure we address that area.”

The teams meet again on Sunday at 1pm.

Sharks 62 (Brayden Inger 16, Dom Kelman-Poto 13, Alonzo Burton 13, Toby Gillooly 10, Tom Cowie 6, Johnny Helu 2, Ethan Mitchell 2), Nuggets 77.

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