Upset of the season: Jets stun Turatara

THE New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) has seen the most shocking result of the 2022 season take place over the weekend, with the Manawatu Jets defeating the Auckland Turatara. In a battle that was shaping up to be pretty one-sided at Ballroom B and M Centre, the Turatara were widely expected to claim the win, given their placement at the top of the ladder, while the opposition had won just one game and were in last spot.

However, the Jets overcame a slow start to make things interesting heading into the final term. In a dramatic finish to the contest, the result came down to the wire as both side traded buckets that appeared to be match-winning.

John Bohannon ended up having the last say, nailing a basket with 28 seconds to go, one that proved to be the difference as his side finished as one-point victors. While the standings will not change from the result, it is still one of the most remarkable finishes of the season, and demonstrates how even the competition can be at times.

Manawatu Jets (92) def. Auckland Turatara (91)

While the Turatara got off to a flying start and led for much of the game, it was the fast finish from the Jets that proved to be the difference. The home side trailed by seven points heading into the last quarter, and faced an uphill battle in fighting back to regain the momentum.

However, they completely erased the lead in just a few minutes. From there, they rallied behind Zane Najdawi, who went on a personal run on the scoreboard, and gave Manawatu the lead in the first few minutes of the term.

The final few minutes of play saw a plethora of jumpshots from the two sides, with outside scoring proving a big factor. In the end, it was the Jets who could produce the more consistent offence.

Najdawi was the star of the show for the Jets, finishing his terrific offensive outing with 31 points and eight rebounds. He made 13 of his 18 attempts from the field, demonstrating a magnificent display of efficiency.

Shane Temara (23 points), Robert Crawford (20 points) and Bohannon (nine points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists) were also damaging in the win. It was the largest number of contributors they have produced in a while, and the result of the game reflected that. Chris Johnson was outstanding for the Turatara, finishing with 27 points and 12 rebounds and almost getting his side over the line. Also impressive was Robert Loe, who notched up 24 points of his own.

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