The Nelson Giants made an emphatic statement on Saturday night, opening their season with a 49-point demolition of the Super City Rangers.
Signs of a Mike Pero Nelson Giant’s resurgence in 2018, after a poor 2017, look positive after the 117-68 round one rout in front of a boisterous crowd at the Trafalgar Centre.
The opening encounter also featured the highly-anticipated debut of American Jerry Evans Jnr, who sunk the side’s first three pointer of the season.
Jerry went on to contribute 16 points include four three pointers. Another debutant, Damon Heuir, looked strong throughout, top scoring with 25 points and nine assists.
Former Nelson College student Finn Delany made his presence felt all over the court, chipping in with 15 points.
“Everyone who came on contributed, the boys are pretty excited about the win, but we need to continue to build and don’t want to get complacent.”
Finn says after a disappointing couple of campaigns, the club has a different feel this season.
Perhaps most pleasing for the home side was the contribution from their bench.
Head coach Jamie Pearlman has added plenty of depth to the roster, the Giants bench comfortably out-scoring the visitors 43-26.
Jamie says he is delighted with the opening result.
“You’re never quite sure where you’re at till you play that first game, so it’s great to get a win.”
The Cairns Taipans assistant coach says fellow Taipan Damon Heuir was superb in his first Giants appearance.
“Damon did a terrific job guarding [Clay] Wilson and he made some really tough shots and rebounded the ball well.”
Jamie says it was pleasing to see so many shots find the net. “We did shoot the ball tremendously well and we can’t expect to shoot that well all season, but it was nice to see them going in first game.”
The result sees the Giants rocket to the top of the New Zealand NBL table on points differential.
The Giants will next take the court when they host the Southland Sharks next Saturday night.