2020 Sal’s NBL Showdown Week 2 preview: Who will back up the best?

A WEEK of the 2020 Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) competition is in the books and the top sides have started to emerge, while others improved across the week to show the competition will be incredibly even over the next month. With another 10 games set for this week, it will be a huge round of action.

Auckland Huskies:

  • Gradually improved over their first three games, particularly in the narrow loss to the Bulls, so starting to gel
  • With Izayah Mauriahooho Le’afa back for the Huskies, they will have the full side they expected heading into the competition
  • A tough couple of games this week against the in-form Airs and building Giants (who will surely have Mika Vukona back), but only the two games this week

vs. Taranaki Mountainairs – Tuesday, 5.30pm
vs. Nelson Giants – Sunday, 5.30pm

Canterbury Rams:

  • After a favourable draw in terms of rest in week one (two days between games) the undefeated Rams have to face the Jets and Giants back-to-back midweek
  • A potential unbeaten clash with the Nuggets awaits on Sunday
  • Have had a perfect start to the season despite losing two key players prior to the season in Jack Salt and Joe Cook-Green

vs. Manawatu Jets – Wednesday, 7.30pm
vs. Nelson Giants – Thursday, 7.30pm
vs. Otago Nuggets – Saturday, 7.30pm

Franklin Bulls:

  • Three games this week with the two days break between them, starting with the Giants on Tuesday as both teams recorded their first wins on the weekend
  • A tough few games this round, against three sides that could well be title contenders
  • Broke the drought in their third game for an important win against the Huskies to have the belief to carry it over

vs. Nelson Giants – Tuesday, 7.30pm
vs. Otago Nuggets – Thursday, 5.30pm
vs. Manawatu Jets – Saturday, 5.30pm

Manawatu Jets

  • Tough encounter up against the undefeated Rams, but have been building the last couple of games
  • Tom Vodanovich is unstoppable when “on” and Hyrum Harris is not too far behind
  • Ideally would love the three wins, but the two from this patch would be great considering the one-day turnaround on the weekend

vs. Canterbury Rams – Wednesday, 7.30pm
vs. Franklin Bulls – Saturday, 5.30pm
vs. Taranaki Mountainairs – Sunday, 7.30pm

Nelson Giants

  • Showed why they could do with Mike Karena and Dane Brooks back in the side, looking a completely different outfit
  • Playing two of the other bottom three teams this round which the Giants would back themselves in
  • Surely Vukona returns after touted to return the last couple of games

vs. Franklin Bulls – Tuesday, 7.30pm
vs. Canterbury Rams – Thursday, 7.30pm
vs. Auckland Huskies – Sunday, 5.30pm

Otago Nuggets

  • After the two games in week one, the Nuggets have a tough three games in four days which will really test the team
  • Jordan Ngatai and Jarrod Kenny are in ripping form and hard to stop
  • Two of the other top three sides in this round will give the Nuggets a huge idea of where they stand

vs. Taranaki Airs – Wednesday, 5.30pm
vs. Franklin Bulls – Thursday, 5.30pm
vs. Canterbury Rams – Saturday, 7.30pm

Taranaki Mountainairs

  • Had a good first week and showed they are a title contender after pushing the Rams all the way
  • Have gelled well and will hope to continue that form against the Huskies and Nuggets – the latter of whom have had almost a week’s break
  • A four-day gap between their second and third games will have the Airs cherry ripe for the Jets in the final game of the week

vs. Auckland Huskies – Tuesday, 5.30pm
vs. Otago Nuggets – Wednesday, 5.30pm
vs. Manawatu Jets – Sunday, 7.30pm

WEEK 2 FIXTURES:

Tuesday June 30

Airs vs Huskies – 5:30pm
Giants vs Bulls – 7:30pm

Wednesday July 1

Airs vs Nuggets – 5:30pm
Jets vs Rams – 7:30pm

Thursday July 2

Nuggets vs Bulls – 5:30pm
Rams vs Giants – 7:30pm

Saturday July 4

Bulls vs Jets – 5:30pm
Rams vs Nuggets – 7:30pm

Sunday July 5

Huskies vs Giants – 5:30pm
Jets vs Airs – 7:30pm

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