The Battle of the North has delivered once again, and this time it was a celebration for Blitz the Bulls and his charges from Pukekohe.
The EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls have started their charge back up the Sal's NBL ladder with a tough 78-70 win over arch rivals, the Sky Tower Auckland Huskies.
Played in front of a bumper crowd on the North Shore, the Bulls came armed with new Australian import Manel Ayol, who joined returning local star Isaac Davidson and quickly settling young forward Kyrin Galloway.
The dangerous trio led the way for the visitors, with strong support from Denhym Brooke.
The opening five minutes belonged to the Bulls as they jumped to a 20-8 lead, before some steadying leadership from Tom Vodanovich (also returning from the ANBL) and Chris Johnson pulled the Huskies back into the contest.
An even second quarter filled with plenty of highlights had the Bulls ahead 45-38 at the half.
Though neither team was shooting well the action was non-stop as the Bulls constantly opened up mini-gaps, only to be clawed back in by the gallant Huskies.
The last quarter battle kept the fans on the edge of their seats as both teams tried to land killer blows in a game that featured a massive 113 rebounds, 10 blocked shots and high number of dunks.
In the end the Bulls held firm with Galloway in particular starring. The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Bulls and keeps the race for the finals tight.
Auckland Huksies (70) lost to Franklin Bulls (78) - BOXSCORE
Huskies: Chris Johnson (23pts, 11rbs, 4blks), Tom Vodanovich (22pts).
Bulls: Kyrin Galloway (25pts, 15rbs, 2blks, 5 treys), Manel Ayol (19pts, 11rbs), Denhym Brooke (14pts).
Stuff MVP Votes
Kyrin Galloway (Bulls) 10
Chris Johnson (Huskies) 8
Tom Vodanovich (Huskies) 5
Manel Ayol (Bulls) 3
Dontae Nance (Huskies) 2
Denhym Brooke (Bulls) 1
Isaac Davidson (Bulls) 1
(Photo Credit: PhotosportNZ)