Sal’s NBL basketball is well and truly back in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, with the Sky Tower Auckland Huskies improving to 2-0 after a 106-97 win over the Property Brokers Manawatu Jets. Eventfinda Stadium, home to so many historical moments in New Zealand basketball, was pumping down the stretch as the Huskies, again led by import Jeremy Kendle, stuck with the Jets through 3 quarters before stretching away in the fourth.
The Jets exciting backcourt of Daishon Knight and Jayden Bezzant were having their own way with the Huskies young defence early on in the contest, driving and dishing at will as the Jets led by as many as 10 in the first half. Shane Temara was tough to contain down low and it seemed like the Jets would be too strong for the League’s newest team.
However, a combination of an effective Huskies zone defence and some tiring Jets imports saw the Aucklanders work their back into the game in the third term. Kendle took over in the second half, finishing with 30 points for the second straight game, while 16-year-old Dontae Russo-Nance again impressed with 26.
The Huskies were countering the Jets twos with threes of their own down the stretch, with Sean Murphy gobbling up rebounds and proving plenty of second chance opportunities. The Jets now head to Franklin for the second leg of their Tāmaki Tour, while the Huskies can be very happy with their perfect start to their first full season.
Auckland Huskies (106) defeated Manawatu Jets (97) - BOXSCORE
Huskies: Jeremy Kendle 30pts & 8ast, Dontae Russo-Nance 26pts, Sean Murphy 14pts & 11rbs, Brrok Ruscoe 14pts/
Jets: Daishon Knight 30pts & 6ast, Shane Temara 16pts & 10rbs, Jayden Bezzant 15pts
Stuff MVP Votes
Jeremy Kendle – 9
Dontae Russo-Nance – 8
Daishon Knight – 5
Sean Murphy – 4
Shane Temara – 2
Jayden Bezzant - 2