NELSON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 21: Nelson Giants v Indigo Hawks at the Trafalgar Centre on May 21 2016, Nelson, New Zealand. (Photo by: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport Limited)

A win, and hope yet as Giants seek playoffs


For a team that has struggled in the third quarter regularly this season, the Nelson Giants got it right during their 90-77 win over the Hawke’s Bay Hawks on Saturday night.

The winless Hawks were proving a nuisance in the first half, with the game locked at 41-all at the main break.

However, the Giants standard third quarter slump was turned around by an impressive 31-18 quarter.

On the back of big American Ben Strong’s best game for the team, the Giants did what they had to do to keep their season alive ahead of a game against the title favourites Wellington Saints on Saturday.

Strong had 29 points and 11 rebounds to lend crucial support to Ray Cowels III.

“I was working on my hook shot all week and tonight everything was going in,” Strong says.

“It was a bit comical, but they guys kept giving me the ball once they noticed it was going in.”

Giants coach Tim Fanning says his team must embrace the challenge of playing the Saints.

“We have to win, we have to build on this.

“I thought the guys responded really well to the challenge the Hawks threw down.

“The Hawks played without pressure and that’s how we’ll have to go against the Saints,” he says.