7 DAYS TO GO!
Welcome to our daily Showdown Countdown where we’ll keep you updated daily with all the news and views ahead of the 2019 Sal’s NBL on July 20/21 at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch.
Got your tickets yet? Click HERE.
GRAND FINAL MVP
A seven-person panel has been selected to vote for the Grand Final MVP Award including former star players Dillon Boucher and Casey Frank.
WORLD CUP ON DISPLAY
Not only will the World Cup be on display at Horncastle Arena during the Final 4 (Saturday/Sunday), it's also now been confirmed the prized trophy will be on display at the Sal's NBL Annual Awards Night at Christchurch Casino on Friday evening, July 19.
FAN FREE FRIDAY - open from 11am / court access at 11:15am on Friday July 19 at Horncastle Arena.
Come and see all four teams on court and going through their final preparations before Saturday's Semi Finals. It's free entry and everyone is welcome.
11:15am - 11:45am: Canterbury Rams
12:45pm - 1:15pm: Wellington Saints
2:15pm - 2:45pm: Southland Sharks
3:45pm - 4:15pm: Hawke's Bay Hawks
4:30pm: Media Conference with the four Coaches and Captains
Join Us At The Annual Awards Night - Friday July 19
There are only 50 VIP Weekend Packages remaining, These passes include courtside seats for all five games across the weekend, plus a ticket to the Annual Awards Night at the Christchurch Casino on the Friday night where all the big awards for 2019 will be announced. VIP Weekend Packages from just $142. Click HERE.
SINGLE DAY TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE
Single Day Passes (from $12) and Weekend Passes (from $23) are now on sale HERE.
EJ Singler (Hawks) - was a late scratch last night, expected to train in full next week and be ready for the Final 4.
Daniel Kickert (Hawks) - remains doubtful and is likely to be announced as 'out' next week.
Darryl Jones (Hawks) - played last night, but doesn't look at 100%. Also copped a knock to the face in the game.
Isaiah Wilkins (Rams) - has played consecutive games after a shoulder injury and is set to play.
Leon Henry (Saints) - played good minutes last week and looks set to be ready for the Final 4.
HAWKS - the Hawks delivered a rousing win against the Rams last night, the same team they will play next Saturday night (6:30pm) at the Final 4. While the game was expected to be an open affair with a number of stars being managed through reduced minutes, the contest ended up being the absolute opposite. Both teams went hard and put on a great show, the Hawks getting up 77-71. Of particular concern though for the Hawks was the absence of EJ Singler. With the star import also missing the trip to Tasmania tomorrow, it means one of the best league's best players will go into the Semi Final having not played for a few weeks. There is also swirling reports that Daniel Kickert won't make it to Horncastle Arena and will be announced next week as missing through injury. Stay tuned!
SAINTS - all quiet out of the Saints, business as usual as they focus on sweeping the Rangers off the floor this Sunday and completing an 18-0 regular season. The task ahead however is a lot tougher, starting with the Sharks next Saturday afternoon, and should they get the win they will have either the ultra-defensive Rams or supercharged offensive Hawks waiting for them. Only injury concerns remain Leon Henry, but he looks like he'll be right to get some minutes under his belt against the Rangers in preparation for another Final 4 appearance.
SHARKS - the Sharks should get past the Jets without too many concerns on Sunday evening (7pm start) and then all focus will be on the Final 4, where they'll play the Saints (3:10pm) on Saturday. One thing firmly on the minds of everyone at the Sharks Tank will be their two blowout losses to the Saints this season (24pts & 45pts). What will they change, what have they learned, will we see a different approach? What the Sharks can take solace from is that the last time these two teams met in a final (last year's championship decider) the Sharks won by 2pts.
RAMS - the Rams surprised us all last night (as did the Hawks) with a fierce battle and no real signs of nursing their starters through the game. It was a delight to watch. The Rams led at half-time and had their chance to win the game down the stretch. Of major concern is a lack of scoring punch, and while the Rams are a defensive beast, they just can't get the scoreboard ticking over enough. Their foul shooting (11/22) last night was also ordinary. Will defence be enough to win a title? On the injury front, Isaiah Wilkins got through the game with a heavily strapped shoulder and took some heavy knocks without any further effect.