GIANT WINNERS: Nelson Giants administration award winner Julie Bensemann, best forward, Finn Delany, and head coach of the year Jamie Pearlman, following the NBL final four weekend in Wellington. Photo: Dave Lintott Photography.

Giants fall short of title but still winners

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The Nelson Giants’ season ended on the weekend after being knocked out of the NBL by eventual champions, the Southland Sharks.

The Giants went down 98-93 to the Sharks in the semi-final on Saturday night.
Head coach Jamie Pearlman was disappointed not to be making a grand final appearance.

“That’s finals basketball, we always knew we would make a run at it, but the Sharks just played more disciplined basketball than us.”

While the Nelson Giants may not have come away from Wellington with the silverware they had hoped for, they did manage to pick up three prestigious prizes.

The franchise won the management award, coach of the year and best forward during the finals four weekend. Finn Delany took home the best forward award as well as being named in the All Star five, while Julie Bensemann won the administration award and Jamie Pearlman was named coach of the year in just his first season with the side.

Jamie says, while it has been a huge turnaround from the franchise’s four-win season in 2017, they still wanted to achieve more.

“You’re never satisfied, this group was good enough and should have been a finals team.”

Jamie says he hopes to retain as many of his squad as possible for 2019. “It has been a fantastic team and we want to keep as many players as possible and build for next year.”