The New Zealand Basketball league is back and the first match that is going to take place will be between Taranaki Mountainairs and Nelson Giants.
Both the teams had an underwhelming last season and will look to improve on the same this season. The teams will be on the lookout for some early momentum in this game and set the tone for the season.
Nelson Giants finished 6th last season which was an underwhelming result for them although they have a squad which is capable of upstaging anyone on their day and the opposition they face this week is a weak one and they should be able to get the better of them.
Taranaki Mountainairs won only 3 games in the last season and will need to up their game if they were to have any chance of qualification into the playoffs at the end of the season. They need to find their game this season and Nelson Giants are an uphill task for them.
Teams: Taranaki Mountainairs vs Nelson Giants
Match Timing: June 23, @ 11:00 AM
Venue: New Zealand Stadium
Both the teams are fortunate on the injury front and have a full squad to choose from and no injuries to hamper their selection.
For the Taranaki Mountainairs, the key players are Derone Raukawa and Denhym Brooks. They’ll look forward to be the inspiration that their side desperately needs this season.
For the Nelson Giants, they will rely primarily on their key players Tom Ingham and Thane O Leary to get them off to the start they are looking for.
Taranaki Mountainairs – Derone Raukawa (PG), Oscar Robertson (SG), Mitch Dance (SF), Kenneth Tuffin (PF), Denhym Brooke (C)
Nelson Giants – Josh Bloxham (PG), Tom Ingham (SG), Mika Vukona (SF), Thane OLeary (PF), Zeb Lovell (C)
Taranaki Mountainairs squad – Shane Temara, Mitch Dance, Baxter Fenwick, Denhym Brooke, Zach Easthope, Derone Raukawa, Carlin Davison, Oscar Robertson, Francis Mulvihill, Kenneth Tuffin, Marcel Jones, Tai Wynyard
Nelson Giants squad – Josh Bloxham, Dane Brooks, Tom Ingham, Mike Karena, Tysxun Aiolupotea, Mika Vukona, Theo Johnson, Tommy Garguilo, Thane OLeary, Zeb Lovell, Nic Trathen, Riley Bensemann
Team 1 –
PG: Derone Raukawa, Josh Bloxham
SG: Tom Ingham(SP) ,Oscar Robertson
SF: Mitch Dance, Mika Vukona
PF: Thane OLeary
C: Denhym Brooke
Team 2 –
PG: Josh Bloxham
SG: Tom Ingham, Carlin Davison
SF: Mitch Dance, Dane Brooks
PF: Marcel Jones, Kenneth Tuffin
C: Denhym Brooke (SP)
Nelson Giants are the superior team and should clinch this contest.