2015 Bartercard NBL Preview (Round Two)

2015 Bartercard NBL Preview (Round Two)
Round Two of the Bartercard NBL begins tonight with three games going on around the country.


Canterbury Rams (1-1) v Zerofees Southland Sharks (1-0)

When:                     Friday, 10th April, 7pm

Where:                    Cowles Stadium, Christchurch

Referees:                Gavin  Zimmerman, Raewyn Willocks, Matt Bathurst


The Rams went 1-1 last week, winning their opening game at home to the Jets. Sharks also won their first game at home, but now play two games on the road before a five game home stretch. Last season the two teams split their meeting, Rams winning 90-87 at home in their last meeting. Richie Edwards and Ethan Rusbatch combined for 39 points. Despite coming off the bench Edwards leads his team in scoring at 22 points, shooting 53.8% from the three point line. Edwards will have a tough match up against Todd Blanchfield, who scored 28 on debut. The Sharks have no true centre on their roster and will have to do their best contain Ram’s centre Mickell Gladness, who averaged 11.5   rebounds last weekend.

James Blond Supercity Rangers (0-1) v Augusta Airs (0-1)

When: Friday, 10th April, 7pm

Where: Trusts Arena, Waitakere

Referees: Tim Brown, Miguel Gallardo, Ryan Jones


The Rangers didn’t have the start at home they hoped for, losing to the Giants. This week they move to Trusts Arena which should be a noticeable difference than Otara Rec where they shot 7/36 from the three point line. Taranaki shot even worse from three in the their home loss to Wellington, shooting 4/24. But despite this they were extremely competitive, only losing by nine. Forward Aaron Fuller was impressive on debut, with 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Fuller will go head to head with Australian Tom Garlepp, who was plagued with foul trouble last week, limited to 23 minutes for 14 points and nine rebounds. Last season the two teams split the meetings, Rangers winning 97-88 at home. Jason Cadee scored 29 points in that win, and will want to make amends for last week’s 5/17 shooting.

IMS Payroll Hawks (0-1) v Wellington Saints (2-0)

When: Friday, 10th April, 7pm

Where: Pettigrew Green Arena, Napier

Referees: Dallas Pickering, Gareth Tehan, Shane Nikora


The Hawks did not have a great night offensively in their home loss to the Giants, scoring only 68 points, one point less than their last game which was in the 2015 Grand Final against Wellington, final score 85-69. Their will be no shortage of motivation for the Hawks and one player who has had success against Wellington is forward Suleiman Braimoh, who had 40 points and 12 rebounds in his last game for Taranaki. Both Braimoh and Jarrod Kenny arrived late for the Hawks, but with a week of training under their belt the game should be a tough one. Wellington are coming off a 120 point performance against the Rams, and are averaging 111 point after two games. Saints import Kareem Johnson will face his former team for the first time and will match up against Zack Atkinson, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Nelson. Hawks will need to get better production from shooting guards Alonzo Burton and Marco Alexander, who combined for 2/15 (five points) in last weeks loss

Mike Pero Nelson Giants (2-0) v Zerofees Southland Sharks (1-0)

When:                     Saturday, 11th April, 7pm

Where:                    Saxton Stadium, Nelson

Referees:                Melony Wealleans, Yalla Edwards, Hayden Pipe


Nelson Giants were arguably team of the week in Round One for their two huge road wins over the Rangers and Hawks. They return home to host the Sharks, who are coming off a game the night before.  Last season the Giants were 6-3 at home compared to the Sharks who were 3-6 on the road. In their last meeting at Saxton Stadium, the Giants won 101-89, but were carried by former imports Josh Pace and Jamal Boykin who combined for 52 points. History is not in favour of the Sharks who have never won in Nelson. The size of Nelson’s back court of McKenzie Moore an DeRonn Scott, both 6’6 could be an issue for smaller guards Kevin Braswell and Shea Ili. The match up of the game will be between forwards Josh Duinker and Tai Wesley, both good inside scorers, Wesley arguably the best scoring post player in the competition.

Breakers Manawatu Jets (0-2) v Wellington Saints (2-0)

When: Saturday, 11th April, 7pm

Where: Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North

Referees: Sean Cronin, Kieran Udy, Jason McCabe


The Jets suffered two big losses down South last week, but will be happy to have their first game at home to Wellington, whom they beat at Arena Manawatu last year 100-89. Brandon Jenkins had 22 points and Nick Horvath had 14 points and 14 rebounds. The star of that game was former import Paul Jones who had 40 points. Replacing Jones this season is Dion Harris who averaged 17.5 points last week. Manawatu have been the better of the two in the last three seasons winning four of six. But the uncertainty of Nick Horvath playing will be a huge factor for the Jets, but hopefull they will have former Saint Jordan Ngatai available to play his first game of the season. The Jets also signed former Tall Black Mike Homik this week, giving them some much needed depth in the front court.