The Waimea Knight Riders have run away with the Nelson Basketball Association men’s A grade competition, thrashing the Stoke Bears last week.
The Knight Riders, featuring basketball legend Phill Jones and Mike Pero Nelson Giant Ali Granger, lined up against the Stoke Bears which featured current Giants captain Sam Dempster.
Sam says this year’s competition has been the best in a few years.
“It’s been really competitive. A couple of the college teams were really good, one beat us during the season and Waimea College almost beat the Knight Riders in last week’s semi-final.”
The final was a one-sided affair though, with the Knight Riders showing too much energy for the Bears.
“They played really well,” says Sam.
“We lacked energy and passion, it was pretty sad to see a final go down like that. We’ve played those guys in finals for the past five years and it’s always a really close game, so it’s a shame this one wasn’t.”
In the B grade, the Richmond Renegades beat Rhythm and Brown to win the title.
Sam says there is a social basketball league held over the summer and the region’s top players will start to train together.
“The off season is far too long. But we try to keep ourselves fit and sharp.”