Hutt Valley were named National Mens Basketball Champions following a hard-fought 92-87 win over the Canterbury Knights in Saturday night's final at Te Rauparaha Arena. With Canterbury down four with forty seconds remaining in the Grand Final, Marty Davison hit what initially looked to be a fallaway three pointer and the foul, sending the mainly Hutt-cheering crowd into shock, though after a few moments it was made clear that the whistle was infact for Davison stepping out of bounds. That was the final push for Canterbury as Brendon Polyblank put the game out of Canterbury's reach at the free-throw line, seeing Hutt Valley claim the Championship. It was a back-and-forth opening quarter with both teams making runs of their own, before Polyblank sparked Hutt Valley to a seven-point lead. The big man finished the opening 10 minutes with 12 points, though the Canterbury Knights clawed back in the dying stages of the period to make it a 25-23 ball game. As was the case in the opening quarter though, Hutt Valley made a mid-quarter run to stretch their lead out to nine as their pressurising defence left Canterbury scoreless for the opening four and a half minutes of the spell. Nico Buckrell (190-G-95) was crucial in this stretch on his way to 27-point night on 13 shots though the NBC MVP was quick to pass the credit onto his team. 'We've just got a core group of guys who have been playing for five or six years together so we've got that chemistry. We just know how to play together. It's nothing more than that,' said Buckrell. However, the Knights soon began to play together themselves, eroding away the Hutt Valley lead using an 22-9 stretch to take a 45-42 lead into the half-time interval. Crucial in that stretch was again Davison. The veteran guard had himself 12 points by the half and was the spark to Canterbury's resurgence, hitting two three-pointers to end their drought. A lethargic Hutt Valley outfit came out to start the third quarter, forgetting about transition defence as Canterbury raced out to an eight-point lead. Marques Whippy (193-PF-86, college: BYU-Hawaii) then took matters into his own hands as he bushed away his first half cobwebs to torture Hutt Valley on the offensive glass, leading to second-chance points that the Fijian was missing in the opening half as he made his way to a 22-point, 20-rebound statline. As was the theme of the game though, Hutt bounced back right at Canterbury. The substitution of Whippy opened up an 11-1 Hutt run which they used to make the score just two points in the Knights' favour heading into the final period, 65-63. Beginning the forth quarter as they ended the third, Hutt Valley leaped out to a seven-point lead with five minutes remaining thanks to Jackson and Elliot Stubbins as Hutt managed to keep the Knights at arms-length as the Grand Final drew to a close to claim the 2016 crown. A big part of the team's success was player-coach George Le'afa (178-PG-78) whose pair of three-balls put Hutt Valley in the driver's seat in the dying stages of the semi-final, before contributing 11 points, six rebounds and five assists - all at the age of 38. 'I've got one sore body. I don't know how I ended up playing but hey, it is what it is and I'm not sure how I made the All-Star five but hey, I'll take it… ' said Le'afa. Though, despite Le'afa claiming the individual accolade of making the tournament team, the player-coach was quick to credit his team attitude as the reason for success. 'These boys have been playing together for quite some time, so it wasn't that hard to build that chemistry. All it was, was work for each other, play hard and play our game. 'It was good to play with these young guys and I told them from the start 'this is your guys' competition, this is an opportunity for you guys to go into the NBL… it was awesome.'
Canterbury Rams point guard Jeremy Kendle(186-G-88, college: Bellarmine) is Round Two player of the week after tallying 24 points (10/15 FG, 4/7 3pt), nine assists, five rebounds and two steals in the 114-80 win over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants. Kendle currently leads the league in scoring (26.0 ppg) and is fourth in assists (5.5 apg). Marcel Jones backed up his player of the week performance from last week with 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Giants. The Wellington Saints collect... [read more]
Canterbury Rams point guard Jeremy Kendle (186-G-88, college: Bellarmine) is Round Two player of the week after tallying 24 points (10/15 FG, 4/7 3pt), nine assists, five rebounds and two steals in the 114-80 win over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants. Kendle currently leads the league in scoring (26.0 ppg) and is fourth in assists (5.5 apg).
Marcel Jones backed up his player of the week performance from last week with 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Giants.
The Wellington Saints collected two wins on the road thanks to the play of forward Tai Wesley and guard Corey Webster. Wesley had 23 points and 14 rebounds against the Rams and 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks against the Sharks. Webster had 25 points and eight assists in the Rams game and 22 points and six assists versus the Sharks. Forward Leon Henry made a breakaway dunk to secure the two point win over the Sharks and also added 21 points and eight rebounds.
Reuben Te Rangi scored a round high 27 points for the SIT Zerofees Sharks in the loss and in the first two games of the season is averaging 22 points, shooting 58% from the field.
The James Blond Supercity Rangers have started the season 2-0 after winning on the road to the Taranaki Mountainairs. Australian Mitchell McCarron continued his impressive start to the season with 23 points and nine rebounds. McCarron's team mate Nnanna Egwu chipped in with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Taranaki bounced back from their loss to the Rangers with a 76-75 road win over the Taylor Hawks. Daniel Gomis grabbed 13 rebounds in the win and currently leads the league averaging nearly 14 in his first three games.
Mike Pero Nelson Giants (NBL) signed 24-year old Australian guard Kyle Adnam (186-93). He just played at United in Australian NBL league. In 20 games he had 3.6ppg and 1.2apg this season. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Adnam's team won Australian NBL Regular Season in 2016. He was also voted Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL Youth Player of the Year and Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL 1st Team in 2015. Adnam has played also professionally f... [read more]
Mike Pero Nelson Giants (NBL) signed 24-year old Australian guard Kyle Adnam (186-93). He just played at United in Australian NBL league. In 20 games he had 3.6ppg and 1.2apg this season. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Adnam's team won Australian NBL Regular Season in 2016. He was also voted Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL Youth Player of the Year and Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL 1st Team in 2015. Adnam has played also professionally for other Australian teams like Illawarra Hawks and Kilsyth Cobras.
Kendle's 24 points and 9 assists give him Player of the Week award - 2 days ago
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28-year old guard Jeremy Kendle (186-G-88) put on an amazing game in the last round for Canterbury and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. He had the game-high 24 points adding five rebounds and nine assists for Canterbury in his team's victory, helping them to outclass, the league's bottom-ranked team Nelson G. (#6, 0-3) with 34-point margin 114-80. Canterbury is placed at 4th position in New Zealand league. Canterbury is a typical solid league team place... [read more]
28-year old guard Jeremy Kendle (186-G-88) put on an amazing game in the last round for Canterbury and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. He had the game-high 24 points adding five rebounds and nine assists for Canterbury in his team's victory, helping them to outclass, the league's bottom-ranked team Nelson G. (#6, 0-3) with 34-point margin 114-80. Canterbury is placed at 4th position in New Zealand league. Canterbury is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 2-2 record. In the team's last game Kendle had a remarkable 75.0% from 2-point range and got four three-pointers out of 7 attempts. He just recently signed at Canterbury, being already a very valuable addition to the team. Bellarmine University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Kendle is league's best scorer averaging so far 26.0ppg. Kendle is in league's top in assists (4th best: 5.5apg) and averages solid 59.6% FGP and 41.4% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Tai Wesley (201-F-86) of top-ranked Wellington S.. He is American-Fijian forward in his first season at Wellington S.. In the last game Wesley recorded impressive double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds. Of course Wellington S. cruised to a 94-85 relatively comfortable win over Canterbury (2-2). A very good start of the season for his team, which won so far all 3 games without any defeat. Wesley is one of the most experienced players at Wellington S. and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
Third place about best performers goes to guard Mitchell McCarron (191-G-92) of league's second-best SC Rangers. McCarron showcased his all-around game by recording 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the last round. He was a key player of SC Rangers, leading his team to a 85-81 win against #3 ranked Taranaki MA in a game of the week. SC Rangers has a very good start of the season. But there were just 2 games played, so it's too early to judge them at this stage. McCarron also has a very good start of the season with very strong stats. McCarron has a great season in New Zealand. After only 2 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 25.5ppg (2nd best), rebounds with 7.5rpg (8th best) and assists with 5.0apg (7th best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Corey Webster (188-G-88) of Wellington S. - 25 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists 5. Reuben Te Rangi (198-F/G-94) of Southland S. - 27 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Marcel Jones (203-F-85) of Canterbury - 25 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists 7. Leon Henry (200-F-85) of Wellington S. - 21 points and 8 rebounds 8. Daniel Gomis (208-F-91) of Taranaki MA - 13 points, 13 rebounds and 2 assists 9. Nnanna Egwu (211-F/C-92) of SC Rangers - 19 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists 10. Everard Bartlett (193-G-86) of Taylor Hawks - 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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