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Airs power away from Hawks in third period


Back near full-strength, the Taranaki Airs rolled to another road win in the National Basketball League (NBL).


Welcoming back Australians Sam Froling and Mitch McCarron - and now missing just Tall Blacks guard Flynn Cameron - the Airs used a dominating third quarter to ease to a 109-93 win over the Bay Hawks at Napier's Pettigrew Green Arena on Wednesday night.


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Back to his sixth man role, Tobias Cameron, the son of Tall Blacks head coach Pero Cameron, finished with a game-high 23 points (7/10 FG, 4/6 3pt, 5/7 FT), six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 26 minutes.


NZ Breakers development player Carlin Davison finished with 20 points (9/13 FG), eight boards and six assists, with Froling going for 17 points (7/10 FG) and nine rebounds, and import Elijah Minnie 15 points (6/8 FG, 3/3 3pt) and two steals.


For the Hawks, American guard Isaiah Moore posted 22 points (9/18 FG, 3/6 FT) and 12 assists, and fellow import Josh Roberts for 16 points (8/9 FG) and nine boards, and Australian guard Keanu Rasmussen 15 points (6/15 FG, 2/6 3pt).


Promisingly for the Hawks, two young Kiwi forwards made contributions, with Kobe Kara, boosted to the starting-five, putting up 11 points (5/9 FG), five rebounds and three assists, and Kahu Treacher 10 points (3/7 FG, 3/4 FT), six boards and three blocks.


Tobias Cameron Taranaki Airs NBL basketball
Tobias Cameron had 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench for Taranaki. PHOTO: NBL

But the story of the game was the third quarter, when Taranaki outscored the Hawks 42-17 to flip a nine-point deficit into a 16-point lead. In fact, the Airs turned the game on its ear with a 34-4 run, featuring 14 points from Cameron.


Taranaki stretched the lead to 26 points in the fourth quarter, before coasting home.


Earlier, the Hawks owned the first half, trailing for less than a minute early on and stretching out by 17 points in the second period on the back of a balanced offense.


The Airs (13-4) return home to face the league-leading Canterbury Rams (14-2) at TSB Stadium in New Plymouth on Friday (tip-off 7.30pm), while the Hawks (6-11) are off until next week when they face the Franklin Bulls (10-5).


Taranaki Airs 109 (Tobias Cameron 23, Carlin Davison 20, Sam Froling 17, Elijah Minnie 15, Mitch McCarron 11) Bay Hawks 93 (Isaiah Moore 22, Josh Roberts 16, Keanu Rasmussen 15, Kobe Kara 11, Luke Sutherland 10, Kahu Treacher 10). 1Q: 20-28, HT: 43-52, 3Q: 85-69

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