Rams raid hangar to hold off Jets

A DOMINANT first term set up Canterbury Rams has set up an important 10-point win over Manawatu Jets in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) Round 3 clash. The Rams piled on 31 points to 15 in the first quarter, and whilst the Jets were able to maintain a consistent approach after that – and flew home in the fourth term, it would not be enough as the Rams depth and talent handed them a 92-82 victory at Fly Palmy Arena.

MANAWATU JETS 15 | 24 | 19 | 24 (82)
CANTERBURY RAMS 31 | 23 | 23 | 15 (92)

A three-point fest in the opening half, highlighted by Rams imports Sunday Dech and Ryan Taylor set up the result, putting up a combined eight three-pointers in the first two terms. It lead to the Rams taking a 54-39 lead. Though the Jets actually won the second stanza by one, the Rams’ 31-15 run put the visitors in the best position. Once the Rams took the lead midway through the first term – after Manawatu held as much as a five-point advantage – Canterbury never surrendered it. At times the Jets managed to regain some ground, but could not get it back below seven.

Canterbury Rams extended the lead out to as much as 21 points early in the fourth term, but the Jets did not give up, continuing to press and charged home, albeit in a case of too little, too late. Though Manawatu kept applying pressure through the final term, the Rams would continually respond to each challenge and came away with the 92-82 victory.It was off the back of a slick ball handling display, where the Rams stole the ball eight times and only committed six turnovers, compared to the Jets’ none and 13.

The Rams were able to take control from those turnover numbers to post 17 points from turnovers compared to two, whilst also having more rebounds (42-39) and assists (18-15). The Jets were ore efficient from inside the arc and overall, shooting at 55 and 45 per cent efficiency respectively compared to the Rams’ 48 and 40 per cent. Both sides were able to draw fouls in the paint for a combined 44 attempts at the charity stripe, and both shot 18 of them. Manawatu also produced eight blocks to two to remain defensively strong.

Taylor starred for the Rams to pick up the 10 Most Valuable Player (MVP) votes for his 27 points – including six of 13 from beyond the arc – three rebounds and two assists. He was well supported by Dech, who had 27 points himself, which featured five of eight from long-range. Dech also managed four rebounds, four steals and two assists in the win. Mike Karena (18 points, 10 rebounds) provided strength around the baskets with five rebounds up each end. Though only adding five points himself – all from the charity stripe and missing all nine field goal attempts – Taylor Britt picked up nine rebounds and seven assists.

Manawatu Jets had four players managing double-digit points, lead by Shane Temara. The towering number five managed a team-high 22 points, as well as seven rebounds and three blocks, nailing four of eight from beyond the arc. Zane Najdawi proved an important inclusion, recording 17 points and nine rebounds, along with two blocks. Robert Crawford (16 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Pafe Momoisea (13 points, six assists, three rebounds and two blocks) were the other Jets who tried hard.

Canterbury Rams have another Round 3 match, taking on Taranaki Airs tomorrow, whilst Manawatu Jets get to rest up until Round 4, when they take on Otago Nuggets.

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