The Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams did everything they could to snap their losing streak, but it was the Property Brokers See Me Media Manawatu Jets who walked away winners, finishing 101-98 to the good.
Only one member of the Jets bench contributed to the scoreboard, leaving the starting five with the responsibility of keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
The big three of Taane Samuel (2opts & 9rbs), Tom Vodanovich (23pts & 13rbs) and Jayden Bezzant (27pts) all cracked the 20-point mark, while Nelson Kirksey (19pts) fell one point shy in what was another efficient outing for the American.
The Rams were in pole position for nearly the entirety of the game and held an 11-point final quarter lead, only to succumb to their seventh-straight defeat. The result lifted Manawatu to second on the competition ladder.
The Jets controlled much of the first half, particularly in the paint where they had the size advantage. The match-up between Canterbury captain Taylor Britt and Jets playmaker Bezzant did not disappoint. Britt totalled 13 points by the time for oranges, while Bezzant had 17.
Big-name signing Reuben Te Rangi hit a three-pointer with his first shot and then earned a three-point play with his second. Team-mate Quintin Bailey scored five points in as many seconds to complete a stellar first two quarters and help his team to an unlikely 49-45 advantage at the main break.
The third spell saw Bailey and Britt continue their strong form, while it was a trio of three-pointers from Vodanovich which kept the Jets in touch.
The Rams offence was more consistent to start the second half and they muscled-up in the paint to take a deserved 82-71 advantage. The final three of that 11-point buffer came from a Britt buzzer-beater to close the quarter.
The Jets were able to cut the lead to six as the prospect of snapping a six-game losing streak appeared to dawn on the Rams. A big trey from Bailey settled the nerves but the Jets were not done.
Making the Rams work for it on offence, the Jets chipped away when with the ball in hand and with 61 seconds left, Vodanovich hit his fifth three-pointer to give the Jets a one-point lead.
Canterbury failed to reply to the Tall Black's jump shot and was made to pay for it when Kirksey iced the contest with another triple on the following possession.
- The Reuben Te Rangi signing may be season-saving for the Rams who have sorely missed Jack Salt. Expect him to get better as he gets more court time. He managed 10 points in 18 minutes.
- The Jets attack struggled in the middle two quarters which should have cost them the game.
- The Jets starters scored 95 of their 101 points.
SkyCity MVP Votes
Jayden Bezzant (Jets-10), Quintin Bailey (Rams-7), Tom Vodanovich (Jets-6), Taylor Britt (Rams-4), Taane Samuel (Jets-3).