The Wellington Saints shook off a fire alarm and stadium evacuation just minutes before the scheduled tip-off on Friday night to light their own fire against the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams, winning in style 95-74.
It was a masterful display by the 11-time League Champions and once again it was Dion Prewster reminding all and sundry that he is here to deliver on the big stage this season. The star guard finished with 31 points on 11 of 16 shooting.
Prewster wasn't alone when it came to stuffing the stat sheet as Kerwin Roach (18 points, 7 assists), Romaro Gill (17pts, 7 rebounds) and Kenneth Tuffin (13 points) all chimed in with impressive displays.
In particular the union between point-guard Roach and giant centre Gill looks a match made in heaven as they continually teamed up to leave the Rams guessing.
For the visitors, all eyes were on the returning Jack Salt and he didn't disappoint, finishing with 16 point sin his first game in two years.
Rams' import DeShon Taylor shook off an ankle twist to finsih with 18 points, while Quintin Bailey added 12 points.
The Saints used a 49-36 first half to lead by as much as 22 points at one stage, and even though the Rams clawed that margin back to single digits at one stage, the likes of Prewster, Roach and Gill kept coming up with big plays.
With a 2-0 record and improving chemistry the Saints now await a visit from the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks next Friday night, while the Rams need to quickly reassemble and hit the road to Hawke's Bay where they'll take on the Hawks this Sunday afternoon.
Wellington Saints (95) defeated Canterbury Rams (74) - BOXSCORE
Saints: Dion Prewster 31pts, Kerwin Roach 18pts, Romaro Gill 17pts, Kenneth Tuffin 13pts.
Rams: DeShon Taylor 18pts, Jack Salt 16pts, Quintin Bailey 12pts.
1. The Saints guard combo of Prewster and Roach continues to excite, they look a perfect match and right now are totally in sync with each other.
2. Speaking of partnerships, the Saints look to have pulled off another recruiting masterstroke with Roach and Gill proving to be the perfect bookends who just know where each other is, and how to play some classic pick and roll hoops.
3. It was a delight to see Jack Salt back on court. Onwards and upwards from here for one of New Zealand's brightest talents.
Stuff MVP Votes
Prewster - 10
Roach - 8
Taylor - 6
Gill - 2
Tuffin - 2
Salt - 2