Sat, May 25, 2024 9:33 AM

Giants fall short to start Northern Tour


Jack Malcolm

The NBS Nelson Giants have started their Northern Tour on the wrong foot with a loss to the Auckland Tuatara.

Despite coming into the game as underdogs, the visitors started well before the wheels fell off late in a 99-81 loss.

With the Giants having a small lead taken away from them at the end of the first quarter, the second stanza saw the Tuatara start to stretch away on the scoreboard.

And while the team was able to claw their way back into the game, evening up the scoreboard midway through the third quarter before the Tuatara stretched their lead back out to unassailable heights.

That was largely the story of the game, with the patches where the Giants struggled to muster much of anything that cost them dearly after putting in the hard yards to get there.

Kobe Langley was impressive, with 25 points alongside six assists and eight rebounds, using his speed to make it to the rim for trouble-free points with ease.

But it wasn't enough as the Tuatara's big men put on a show with Tom Vodanovich (30pts) and Rob Loe (21pts, 10 rebounds) had their way from both cloae to the rim and from outside the three-point arc.

The Giants' big man, Theo Akwuba, was impressive with the court time he had to finish with 16 points, but he struggled with foul trouble that saw him spend extended periods on the bench.

With no one on the bench scoring more than two points, it was left to the Giants' starters to muster a comeback but they seemingly struggled with scoreboard pressure as they started getting caught trying to make something from nothing.

With a Sunday game against the Franklin Bulls, wins are needed for the team if they want to have any hope of being in the playoff picture come the end of season.

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