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Franklin Bulls keep Sharks winless in NBL

The Franklin Bulls have become the fourth team to at least six wins in the National Basketball League (NBL).

The Bulls improved to 6-2, and moved up to third in the standings, after a one-sided contest on Friday night, handing the Southland Sharks their ninth straight defeat, 109-75, at The Stockyard in Pukekohe.

Luther Muhammad top-scored for the Bulls, with 28 points (12/19 FG), while 3x3 Tall Blacks forward Dom Kelman-Poto had his biggest game of the season off the bench, with 15 points (6/6 FG) and six rebounds.

Tall Blacks guard Ethan Rusbatch hit five triples for his 20 points (7/9 FG, 5/7 3pt) and Kiwi big Sam Timmins posted a double-double with 16 points (8/9 FG), 12 boards and four assists.

Local centre Callum McRae led five Sharks in double figures, with 16 points (6/14 FG) and 11 rebounds. Alonzo Burton finished with 15 points (6/12 FG, 3/6 3pt) and four assists.

Luther Muhammad Franklin Bulls NBL
Luther Muhammad led the Franklin Bulls with 28 points. PHOTO: NBL

Although the Sharks scored the opening basket, the game was over as a contest early. The Bulls led by as many as 12 in the first quarter, by 18 in the second, 32 in the third and 42 in the fourth.

Franklin dominated in all facets, shooting 66 percent from the field, winning the rebounding battle, racking up 23 assists, scoring 68 points in the paint, 32 off turnovers, 37 from their bench and 30 on the fast-break.

The Bulls (6-2) are on the road to start Week 8, against the Bay Hawks (3-4) on Wednesday (tip-off 7.30pm), while the Sharks (0-9) will look to avoid double-digit losses on Sunday (tip-off 3pm) at the Taranaki Bulls (6-2).

Franklin Bulls 109 (Luther Muhammad 28, Ethan Rusbatch 20, Sam Timmins 16, Dom Kelman-Poto 15, Josh Scott 14) Southland Sharks 75 (Callum McRae 16, Alonzo Burton 15, Marcale Lotts 12, Brayden Inger 10, Caleb Asberry 10). 1Q: 30-21, HT: 53-39, 3Q: 85-54


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