Tag: anzac risetto

2021 NZNBL team review: Nelson Giants

IN the wake of the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) coming to a close over the weekend, Draft Central will run through each of the 10 competing sides to look at the key stats and players of the 2021 season. The series continues with Nelson Giants.

SEASON SUMMARY:

Position: 7th
Wins: 6
Losses: 10

KEY STATS:

Points: 80.7 (9th)
Rebounds: 29.9 (10th)
Assists: 14.1 (9th)
Steals: 7.7 (5th)
Blocks: 1.3 (10th)
Field Goal %: 45.0 (eq. 7th)

KEY PLAYERS:

Hunter Hale

His side might not have had a great season, but it was hard to fault the consistency of Hale, who night-in, night-out put up a ridiculous amount of points for his side. Earning a place in the All-Star 5, Hale also averaged the most points in the NZNBL. In season 201, Hale averaged 26.9 points per game, shooting at 48.5 per cent from the field including a 35.9 per cent clip from long-range and draining a total of 52 three-points in the season. He was also reliable when he got to the line, averaging 82.6 per cent from the charity stripe. With 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals to go with his high-volume shooting, Hale was the complete player.

One might not have guessed his season would pan out the way it did with just eight points in 27 minutes against Southland Sharks in the opening match. From then on, he would only play less than 30 minutes twice, and would only dip below 20 points once, in a mirror of consistency. He kept putting up huge records and breaking them, with a 37-point outing against Canterbury Rams on May 20 eclipsed two days later with a 41-point performance against Otago Nuggets in overtime. He had another 41-point effort a week later, and recorded an additional 30-plus points on four occasions. Whilst never recording a triple-double and in fact only one double-double, Hale came within reach of that feat twice, against Franklin Bulls on May 8 (26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists) and Auckland Huskies on July 2 (30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists).

Donte Ingram

The other dominant shooter for the Giants was Ingram with the fellow American averaging 18.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 2021. Playing the perfect tandem support role to Hale, Ingram was huge off the boards, teaming up with Sam Dempster as Nelson’s two key rebounders. His overall balance was impressive, shooting at 35.7 per cent from outside the arc and 45.3 per cent from the field, hitting the second most threes (35) in his side. Much like Hale, Ingram was a regular fixture in the Giants’ starting five and a key contributor throughout the year.

The versatile utility only had single-digit points once – against Otago Nuggets on June 18 when he put up six points – and had 20 or more points on five occasions. Whilst a consistent 15-20 point shooter on his night, Ingram exploded against Auckland Huskies on July 2, knocking down 38 points and picking up 10 rebounds. The night feature five of eight from long-range, and was 12 more points than his next highest score. That 26 points came against Manawatu Jets on June 3, which triggered back-to-back double-doubles, with the Huskies double-double making it four for the year in total.

OTHERS:

Dempster’s rebounding was important for the side, putting up more rebounds (7.8) than points (7.3), but providing that extra big body close to the basket. Tom Ingram (10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds) and Anzac Risetto (7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds) also contributed well, whilst Nic Trathen came off the bench with his deadly three-point shooting of 45 per cent accuracy to average 9.3 points and 2.9 rebounds.

SUMMARY:

Whilst the season was not ideal for the Giants who struggled at times, there was no shortage of highlights with the likes of Hale and Ingram going to work. They had some solid supporting roles, but not enough depth to match the top sides, which culminated in their overall eighth placed finish in 2021.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

Giant win over Franklin gifts Nelson breathing room on the ladder

NELSON Giants reigned supreme in their clash against Franklin Bulls claiming a whopping 35-point win, 119-85. It was only the Giants’ sixth win of the season but it was a convincing one as they put the clamps on the seventh placed Bulls.

The intention of the Giants was clear from the opening jumpball of the game with Anzac Rissetto winning it and propelling it down court. Not only were the Giants hungry but they were also daring and willing to back themselves in from down town. Their confidence was sky-high nice and early and while it did not take long for the Bulls to answer the call, Nelson were always able to find a way to surge ahead. They skipped out to an eight-point lead midway through the opening term as they continued to build on that momentum. Things only got better and better for the Giants as the quarter went along with the likes of Nicolas Trathen and Hunter Hale combining to apply scoreboard pressure to blow the Bulls out of the water.

Heading into quarter time up by 14 points it is fair to say the Giants well and truly had the upper hand and did not look like letting up as they immediately added to the total. It was becoming all too much for the Franklin Bulls who simply had no answers in either defence or offence to stop the Giants who were firing on all cylinders. The lead ballooned out to as much as 19 points before the Bulls rallied to somewhat stem the bleeding, however that was only short lived. The third quarter continued much of the same with Nelson able to find easy avenue to the basket time after time while their defensive pressure limited the fluidity for the Bulls. The lead extended out to a whopping 32 points but that was just an indication of what was to come in what was a blistering final term of action. The Giants refused to take their foot off the pedal and managed to increase the lead to a winning total of 35 points.

Statistically speaking the two sides were incredibly close on the rebounding front with 43 and 42 apiece in favour of the Giants while when it came to assists it is no surprise that Nelson also had the upper hand with 22 compared to 13. Turnovers proved to be the main killer with Franklin amassing a whopping 19 while the Giants only coughed up possession four times.

The Giants had no shortage of players putting their hand up to lead the way throughout the clash with Trathen imposing himself. He topscored for the side with 24 points in only 20 minutes out on court. Trathen also managed to register two assists and three rebounds. Hot on his heels in a scoring sense was teammate Hale who slotted 23 points at 45 per cent from the field. He tried his luck from deep sinking three triples from nine attempts while he also reeled in five rebounds. Donte Ingram was among the best out on court for the Giants as he dropped 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds while the work of Samuel Dempster did not go unnoticed as he fell agonisingly short of a triple-double with 15 points, nine assists and 14 rebounds to his name. In his 100th game, Thomas Ingham was the only other player to hit double-digits for the Giants with 10 points.

It was a different story for the Bulls who did not share the same amount of depth but still had a couple of crucial cogs that were able to step up to the plate. Isaac Davidson proved to be a real menace producing 24 points, two assists and three rebounds in the loss. Denhym Brooke was also up there for the Bulls contributing 20 points at an impressive 80 per cent from the field while also accumulating four assists, eight rebounds and three blocks. Jaylen Gerrand and Manel Ayol both plied their trade sinking 15 and 10 points respectively in the loss with the latter also picking up six rebounds.

Photo credit: NZNBL Twitter

Wellington Saints maintain winning momentum

WELLINGTON Saints reigned supreme over Nelson Giants, claiming a 12-point win in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL). It was a tight contest throughout the game, with neither side able to really pull away as the lead chopped and changed until the top of the table Saints put the foot down (86-74).

The Giants came out with a real pep in their step early to control proceedings and create an early lead. The margin blew out to as much as eight points midway through the first term before the Saints were able to peg their way back into the contest with some crafty court play and big shots. Nelson held a handy three point lead at the first change but Wellington refused to go away constantly niggling at their opponents to eventually steal the lead in final seconds of the term.

From there on out the Saints rallied momentum to forge ahead landing the first shot of second half to kickstart the action. But in true testament of this match-up the Giants hit back. They quickly levelled the scores at the seven and a half minute mark before putting the foot down as Hunter Hale and Donte Ingram came to life.  It was once again time for the Giants to skip out to a handy lead as they established a four point buffer but it was not enough to put their opposition away as the seesawing affair continued. Somehow in the final minutes of the third term Wellington kicked things up a gear with a flurry of shots to hold the lead heading into the last term. Once things started to fall into place for Wellington, nothing was stopping them as they upped the ante both in offence and defence.

When looking at the stats it is incredibly hard to split with Wellington Saints only just holding the upper hand with 36 rebounds in comparison to the Giants’ 35. Wellington also recorded nine assists to seven and led the way with six steals in comparison to five. A main difference was the turnovers the Giants racked up two more than their opponents with 14 compared to 12.

Hale commanded the ball for the Giants as he poured on 25 points in his 37 minutes out on court. He also got busy with three assists and three steals to keep his side within touching distance. Hunter was ably assisted by the likes of Ingram who chimed in with 17 points at 46 per cent from the field along with eight rebounds. Five of those rebounds were defensive, highlighting his capacity to get down and help out on D. Thomas Ingham was influential in the loss producing 12 points, while the efforts of Anzac Rissetto did not go unnoticed as he finished with 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks to his name.

Looking at the victors and it was the impact from their two key cogs in Taane Samuel and Dion Prewster that got them over the line in this clash. Samuel led the way on the points scoring front with a team-high 25 points and converted at a relatively high accuracy with his 64 per cent clip from the field. Prewster managed 20 points and also racked up six assists, three rebounds and a steal in the win. Tohi Smith-Milner was also amongst the thick of things draining 14 points for the Saints as he also showcased his class to record seven assists and seven rebounds. Kerwin Roach Jr and Leon Henry both plied their trade with 14 and 10 points respectively to keep the Saints ahead and push them over the line for a win.

Photo credit: Wellington Saints Twitter

Giants deflate Airs with big win on Queen’s Birthday

NELSON Giants have produced a commanding performance to defeat Taranaki Mountainairs by 14 points on a Queens Birthday afternoon clash in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) competition. After going down to Manawatu Jets by one point in their last encounter, the Giants started strongly and never looked back, dominating the Airs to run out 100-86 winners at the Trafalgar Centre.

Nelson took control from the first tip-off, putting on 29 points to 16 in the opening term, before going out to a 22-point half-time lead. With a commanding 57-35 advantage heading into the third term, the Giants found the going a little tougher after getting out to as much as a 34-point lead. Taranaki Mountainairs roared to life to outscore the Giants by 20 points in the run home, being competitive in a high-scoring third term, before winning the last quarter 27-14. It was a case of too little, too late however, as Nelson got the win.

The Giants nailed 16 triples to 11 in the match, and whilst their shooting efficiency was lower (46 to 50 per cent) from the field, they made up for it with a high volume of shot, putting up 38 of 81 compared to 34 of 67. They also won the rebounds (44-34), assists (24-20) and steals (12-8). With less turnovers (12-19), they capitalised on points from turnovers (33-22), and also had more second chance points (18-12) and bench points (40-16). The Airs had an extra two blocks (4-2), more points in the paint (42-36) and less personal fouls (15-17).

Donte Ingram (22 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists) lead the way, teaming up well with Hunter Hale who had 20 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. Ingram dropped five of six from long-range in a three-point scoring clinic, as Tyler Marsh had four from four off the bench for eight points and two assists, whilst Riley Bensemann hit both his three-point attempts for six points and two rebounds. Sam Dempster (five points, seven rebounds), Anzac Risetto (eight points, three rebounds and two assists) and Nic Trathen (10 points, two rebounds) all contributed in an even team performance across the board.

For Taranaki Mountainairs, Marcel Jones again carried the team, putting up 32 points – including four of nine from long-range – as well as six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Tai Wynyard played a support role with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, whilst Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape had 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Carlin Davison (nine points, eight rebounds and five assists) was the other lively player, with support from Haize Walker (six points, four assists and three rebounds) and Francis Mulvihill (six points, two rebounds and two assists).

Taranaki Mountainairs next play on Sunday against Canterbury Rams, as the Nelson Giants wait until June 18 in an 11-day break before hosting the Otago Nuggets.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

Jets produced Giant upset to grab second NZNBL win

MANAWATU Jets have claimed their second win of the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) season, defeating Nelson Giants by a single point in a unique sort of match. The Jets only won the first quarter as the Giants clawed their way back, with even a three-point jump shot on the buzzer closing the margin to one, but it would not be enough, with the Giants going down 98-99.

The Jets were up and about in the opening term, scoring nine consecutive points to open up a seven-point advantage at the first break. The Giants refused to go away though, putting up 31 points to 29 in a high-scoring second quarter to reduce the deficit to five, and then again in the third when they made it 27-25 for the term and the difference was just three points.

Early in the fourth the Giants actually hit the front and made it an eight-point turnaround to lead by five, and even lead by three points with 2:58 on the clock, 92-89. From there, Jayden Bezzant capitalised off an And-One opportunity to level the scores, but was not finished yet, pouring on back-to-back free throws and then a three-point jumper with 22 seconds on the clock. All of a sudden, the Jets had scored another nine straight points to lead 97-92.

A Nic Trathen triple cut the deficit to two points, but Bezzant again held his nerve with a couple of free throws off a deliberate foul to ensure it was a two-play ball game. That was lucky considering Trathen then hit another long-range make on the buzzer, despite it being all in vain. Bezzant had scored the last 10 points of the game for the Jets to lead his team to victory in an impressive effort.

The Jets were more efficient from the field with a 52 per cent efficiency to the Giants’ 44 per cent, made more noticeable by the 60 to 47 per cent differential from inside the arc. Manawatu also won the rebounds (42-40), assists (19-17) and blocks (4-2), as well as their points in the paint (42-40) and second chance points (20-19). The Giants won the steals (12-7) and had less turnovers (11-17), therefore making more chances from turnovers (24-12), as well as having more contribution off the bench (19-9) and less personal fouls (12-14).

Bezzant won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the match following his late hot streak, also topping the points for the match with 30, as well as four rebounds, four assists and two steals in the game. Deandre Daniels was equally up there with impact for the Jets, almost playing the full 40 minutes as he picked up a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds. Between the pair, they hit seven of 13 from long-range to fo a lot of damage. Daishon Knight (19 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals), Shane Temara (12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks) and Jake McKinlay (eight points, four rebounds and two assists) all held their own as starters for the winners.

Hunter Hale‘s shooting spree continued with 27 points – five of 11 from three-point range – 10 rebounds and five assists. Donte Ingram shared the load with Hale, also recording a double-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and three assists. Anzac Risetto (12 points, six rebounds), Thomas Ingham (12 points, two assists) and Trathen (11 points, four rebounds) all chipped in with some good numbers despite the defeat.

Manawatu Jets will take on Franklin Bulls on Sunday, with Nelson Giants hosting Taranaki Mountainairs in a Monday night blockbuster.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

Hawks, Nuggets and Giants secure wins in Saturday night triple treat

THERE was no shortage of available basketball around in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) last night, with three clashes taking pace across the country. Hawke’s Bay Hawks handed Southland Sharks their second consecutive loss, as the Otago Nuggets sent the Manawatu Jets to 0-4, and Nelson Giants grabbed their first win of the season with a victory on the road against the Franklin Bulls.

Starting off at the Pettigrew Arena, Hawke’s Bay Hawks kept in touch with the top of the table Wellington Saints by remaining undefeated this season thanks to a victory over Southland Sharks. The Hawks started strongly to lead by two points at the first break and then nine at half-time. By the final break the home team had blown the lead out to 16, and while the Sharks had cut the eventual deficit back to 12 with a spirited final term, it would not be enough.

Derone Raukawa was the star, earning Player of the Match honours thanks to 28 points, five assists and three rebounds, while Jonathan Janssen was enormous off the boards, racking up a massive double-double of 11 points, 15 rebounds and two assists. Devondrick Walker (16 points, two rebounds and two steals) and Everard Bartlett (14 points, three rebounds) also hit double-figure points, and Hyrum Harris (nine points, eight rebounds) and Ethan Rusbatch (seven points, four rebounds and two assists) also contributed on the scoreboard.

Josh Cunningham was the star for the Sharks once again, knocking down 21 points – including all three attempts from long-range – as well as 11 rebounds. Dom Kelman-Poto (14 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Alonzo Burton (14 points, two steals) both hit the scoreboard well, while Courtney Belger (seven points, two rebounds) and Toby Gilloolly (five points two rebounds and three steals) were also steadfast in defeat.

The Hawks next play the Nelson Giants next Sunday night, while the Sharks travel to Franklin to take on the Bulls on Friday night.

Otago Nuggets grabbed their second win of the season with the reigning premiers stringing back-to-back victories since an opening night loss to Wellington Saints, knocking off Manawatu Jets to sentence them to their fourth consecutive defeat. The Nuggets dominated the opening term to race out to a 25-12 lead at quarter time. An explosive high-scoring second quarter saw the Jets slam home 37 points to 29 to cut the deficit to five points, before the Nuggets again took control to win the third term 29-20 and hold a 14-point advantage with a quarter to play. Refusing to throw the towel in, the Jets kept fighting and scored 27-25, but would fall short to the Nuggets, 108-96.

Isaiah Moss was named Player of the Match, putting on a shooting clinic with seven of 13 long-range attempts dropping as he went on his merry way for 33 points in 33 minutes, as well as seven rebounds and three steals for the Nuggets. Sam Timmins crashed the boards and set up the offence on his way to a double-double and almost triple-double of 23 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocks, while Gerasimos McKay (18 points, five rebounds) also stood strong. Josh Aitcheson (10 points) hit double-figure points starting, while Darcy Knox (11 points, six rebounds) came off the bench to have an impact in 19 minutes.

For the Jets, Daishon Knight scored 29 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists, creating a damaging tag-team with Jayden Bezzant (23 points, four assists and three rebounds). Shane Temara (14 points, 15 rebounds) had enormous impact off the boards, while Jake McKinlay (13 points, eight rebounds and two steals) and Deandre Daniels (seven points, seven rebounds) also did well. The Jets will now have to tweak some things before a fixture quirk sees them taking on the Otago Nuggets again in their next game on Saturday night, but this time they return to their home court.

In the third game on the night up at Franklin Pool and Leisure Centre, Nelson Giants proved too strong for Franklin Bulls, getting up by 13 points in a four-quarter performance. The Giants won three of the four quarters, but most of the damage was done early, racing out to a nine-point lead after one quarter of play. They extended it to 12 by half-time, and whilst the teams were fairly even in the second half, the Bulls could not make inroads further and went down, 107-94.

Hunter Hale won Player of the Match honours with 26 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and five steals in an outstanding performance that almost netted him a triple-double. He was one of five Giants players to hit double-figure points as the starters all shared the load. Donte Ingram (19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists) picked up a double-double, Thomas Ingram (15 points, four rebounds and two assists) contributed across multiple facets, while Anzac Risetto (14 points, two rebounds) and Sam Dempster (13 points, four rebounds) were both busy.

For the Bulls, Josh Selby continued his remarkable start to the season playing every minute in the loss and put up 36 points – including six of 11 from three-point range – along with six rebounds and four assists. Zane Waterman had a double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and two assists, while Jaylen Gerrand came off the bench for 10 points, two rebounds and two assists. Others contributed in small parts, but it was the duo of Selby and Waterman who really stepped up to the plate in the loss.

The Bulls next host the Southland Sharks on Friday night, with the Giants not having much time to recover, taking on Auckland Huskies tonight, before a clash with another undefeated side in the Wellington Saints next Saturday night.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL