Back at the hangar

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The Giants celebrated the reopening of their beloved “hangar” in perfect style on Saturday night.

The Mike Pero Nelson Giants first home game of the National Basketball League also doubled as the reopening of the region’s largest civic building, the Trafalgar Centre.

It closed in December 2013 after it was deemed a risk to those inside in the event of a major earthquake.

Debate has raged since over the decision, but last year the council decided to strengthen the parts of the building and rebuild the aging entrance area that included the Victory room, kitchen and toilet block.

The $12.9 million upgrade still has months to go, but enough has been done to allow the Giants back into the stadium they’ve played at since the 1980s.

It was close to a sell-out and those who were there didn’t leave disappointed with the Giants holding onto a slender 88-86 lead to claim their fifth win of the season over the Taranaki Mountain Airs.

The win leaves the Giants top of the table.

One of the Giants best on the night, Finn Delany, says it was great to be back. “Mentally, it’s a big boost for the team and the club to get back to Trafalgar, it’s where all the history is and all the memories so it’s awesome for us to be back.”

Nelson mayor Rachel Reece says she’s proud of all those who worked on opening the stadium in time for the Giants.

“I couldn’t have picked a better event to get the stadium open for, to welcome our Giants home is just brilliant.”

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Phill Jones receives a bunch of flowers from his 96 year-old super fan Doris Cuthbert after he reached 7000 league points last week. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport.

Before tip off, Giants legend Phill Jones was handed a bunch of flowers from his oldest fan, 96 year-ol Doris Cuthbert, for reaching 7000 league points the week before. It is thought to be a league record.

Nelson Weekly reported on Phill and Doris two decade relationship as player and fan last month, when the Giants gave Doris and her daughter season tickets.

Mike Pero Nelson Giants are back at the hangar again this Saturday night when they host the Hawkes Bay Hawks. The games tips off at 7pm, tickets are available from Call a Geek, Jack Robins Stadium in Stoke and Richmond Mall.