The Mike Pero Nelson Giants went two from two this weekend and heaped further misery on the Auckland Huskies in the Sal’s NBL Showdown on Sunday night beating the local team 91-83.
It was a scoreline that actually flattered the Huskies – they trailed 77-54 at three-quarter time and the Giants were totally in control in the dying minutes before giving up the last 12 points.
The only bright spot for the Huskies was the form of Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa, who scored a game-high 32 points (8/14 3PG).
It was a balanced performance from the Nelson-based club - all eleven players featured in the points column on the scoresheet. Josh Leger and Tom Ingham made 14 points each, Josh Bloxham, showing some form of old, had 12 and Mike Karena contributed 10.
Leger, in his first year out of Mt Albert Grammar School, has improved with every game. He is in the team as an injury replacement for Mika Vukona but is making every post a winner.
A comprehensive win for the Giants looked highly unlikely in the first half as the two teams shared 40 points in the opening stanza and the Giants were only six points to the good at halftime (49-43).
Le’afa put on an exhibition in the second quarter, scoring 18 points with an array of quality finishes. Taine Murray and Nate Wilson provided good support for the Huskies who were searching for their second win in the competition.
The third period was all Nelson, as they outscored the Huskies 28-11 to put their stamp on proceedings. Theo Johnson and Bloxham were prominent but again, there were contributions across the board.
The Giants, with their third victory, controlled the final quarter before that Huskies strung together some baskets late.
Sky City MVP Votes:
Josh Bloxham (Giants-9), Izayah Le'afa (Huskies-9), Josh Leger (Giants-4), Tom Ingham (Giants-3), Taine Murray (Huskies-3), Nate Wilson (Huskies-1), Zeb Lovell (Giants-1).