Guts, grit and determination got it done for the Mike Pero Nelson Giants, as they took down the 2Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers 81-73.
The game was a evenly contested bout and was the story from the outset. The visitors were the first team to hit the 10-point mark, but it took almost half the quarter for them to do it.
Jordair Jett led his team like he was all season from the tip and scored eight points in seven minutes. For the Rangers it was Nnanna Egwu doing the damage on the offensive end, where he dropped nine points in just as many minutes.
Bronson Berri nailed a three near the end of the period and gave his team 22-21 lead going into the second.
Skipper Venky Jois returned for his first game in the last three weeks and made an immediate impact. He scored the opening three points of the quarter and had his hand in everything, which resulted in his team retaking the lead.
The foreign trio of Jois, Egwu and Tim Quarterman took over the period and combined for 15 of the 21 points in the period. The Rangers went into the half with a 42-35 lead and all the momentum.
Play in the third quarter followed the suit of the first, as the Giants cut the lead to a one-possession game and allowed for little easy points.
Jett and Jois continued to battle it out on both ends of the floor, with the latter doing just enough to keep the host's noses out in front. The Rangers' captain scored his team's last four points in the third to give them a one-point lead heading into the final period.
Nicholas Brophy opened the fourth quarter with a trey, but a 10-0 run from the Giants followed. Now it was the hosts in the driver's seat and they never relinquished it. Baskets from Kiwi duo Kruz Perrott-Hunt and Tyrell Harrison kept the Giants lead afloat and drained the Rangers on the defensive side of the ball.
This was a big win for the visitors, but whether or not it'll count for anything in July is yet to be determined. Every game for them from now on is win or go home, and then some.
Nelson Giants 81 defeated Supercity Rangers 73
Giants - Jordair Jett 24pts, 3rbs, 7ast, Daniel Grida 14pts & 9rbs, Tyrell Harrison 12pts & 10rbs.
Rangers - Venky Jois 23pts & 10rbs, Tim Quarterman 15pts, 7rbs, 10ast, Nnanna Egwu 14pts & 5rbs.
Stats That Matter - The Giants out-rebounded the Rangers 45-36. While that difference isn't lofty, it certainly can have an influence in close games and it showed tonight.
(Photo credit: PhotosportNZ)