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Saints and Sharks head to Grand-Final

Saints and Sharks head to Grand-Final

It will be a rematch of the 2015 Grand-final as both the Wellington Saints and Zerofees Sharks win their semi’s.   

Both teams have dominated the NBL recently, combining for six of the last seven championships (Saints 4, Sharks 2).   

In the first semi the Wellington Saints had to overcome a strong first quarter from the Canterbury Rams to win 94-73.   

Tai Wesley, the winner of two straight Finals MVP’s had a stellar performance of 36 points and nine rebounds for the defending champions.   

The Rams came out firing in the opening quarter, hitting 9-15 from three to take a 29-18 lead. Jeremy Kendle led the way with 14 points.   

Canterbury did their best to contain the league leading scorer Corey Webster, and managed to hold him to four points in the first half. 

But they had no answer for Wesley who scored both inside and out, with 22 first half points on 10-13 shooting, giving the Saints a 44-43 point lead.   

In the third quarter, Canterbury point guard McKenzie Moore would score seven straight points to give his side a slight two-point lead with four minutes to go.   

Wellington would reply with a 10-0 run to put them up ten with twenty seconds left in the quarter. Moore answered with a three-point play to end third trailing by seven.   

The Saints upped their defensive intensity in the fourth quarter, and would outscore the Rams 29-15   Shea Ili was the next best scorer with 18 points, and also added five assists and three steals. 

Despite only scoring 12 points, Webster tallied nine assists and four steals.   

The win means Wellington will be heading to their seventeenth grand-final and will attempt go for their tenth championship.   

Kendle would end the game with 25 points, Moore registered 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Rams who suffered their second straight semi-final defeat.   

In the second semi, the Sharks arguably had one of their finest games of the season, executing on both ends of the court, thrashing the James Blond Supercity Rangers 106-67.   

Judd Flavell had the luxury of rotating his squad and rest key starters as they led 85-41 at the end of the third.   

Alex Pledger was dominant inside with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Reuben Te Rangi had 19 points against his former team.   

Mitch McCarron scored a team-high 14 points, but the only other notable scorer was Earnest Ross Jr with 10.   

The Rangers got off to a promising start leading 5-0, but it would be all Southland from there on, winning the opening quarter 31-20, and widening their lead to 24 at halftime.   

There was no stopping Southland in the second half, extending their lead to 46 points.   

The Sharks will make their third Grand-Final appearance, and will have to like their chances as they are 2-0. 

It will be a short turnaround tomorrow with tip-off at 5pm.   

Friday, June 16   

At ASB Baywater, Tauranga   

Semi-Final One 

Wellington Saints 94 (Tai Wesley 36, Shea Ili 18, Corey Webster 12) 

Canterbury Rams 73 (Jeremy Kendle 25, McKenzie Moore 21, Marcel Jones 10) 

Live Stats   

Semi-Final Two 

SIT Zerofees Sharks 106 (Alex Pledger 24, Reuben Te Rangi 19, Hayden Allen 13) 

James Blond Supercity Rangers 67 (Mitch McCarron 14, Earnest Ross Jr 10) 

Live Stats