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Giants dump more misery on Sharks

The balanced Nelson Giants had little trouble dealing with the winless Southland Sharks in the National Basketball League (NBL).

The Giants had seven players score in double-digits, none with more than 14 points, as a big second quarter propelled them to an 89-79 win over the Sharks at Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland on Friday night.

NZ Breakers development guard Alex McNaught led the Giants with 14 points (6/9 FG) and five assists, while import centre Theo Akwuba put up a double-double with 10 points (5/10 FG), 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Australian forward Dan Grida also had 14 points (4/10 FG, 6/6 FT) and three boards, with captain Sam Dempster scoring 13 points (4/11 FG, 3/9 3pt), three rebounds and four steals off the bench.

Tall Blacks forward Dan Fotu contributed 11 points (3/9 FG, 5/5 FT) and two steals, Tom Ingham 11 points (3/3 FG, 3/3 3pt) and Nick Davidson 10 points (4/6 FG). Import guard Kobe Langley had just six points, but added three boards, five assists and three steals.

Kiwi big man Callum McRae scored a game-high 21 points (8/14 FG, 5/7 FT) and had a big stat-line, adding 13 rebounds, eight assists and a steal and block. American guard Caleb Asberry managed 15 points (5/14 FG, 3/6 3pt), six rebounds and five assists, and captain Alonzo Burton 13 points (4/10 FG, 3/7 3pt).

Theo Akwuba Nelson Giants NBL
Theo Akwuba had 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Nelson Giants. PHOTO: NBL

After a back-and-forth first period, which saw five lead changes, the Giants took control in the second quarter.

Trailing by one after the first, the G-Men started with a 7-0 run, then scored nine straight points later in the period, including six from Grida, as part of an overall 24-8 stretch to take a 43-28 lead with 2:50 remaining in the half.

The Sharks were able to close that to 10 points by the main break and to four early in the third period, but Nelson responded with an 18-4 run, including triples from Dempster and Ingham, to stretch out by 18 points.

The Giants (3-4) complete their 'Deep South Double-header' against the Otago Nuggets (3-3) on Sunday (tip-off 3pm), while the Sharks (0-8) regroup before a tough road double-header against the Franklin Bulls (5-1) and Taranaki Airs (4-2) in Week 7.

Nelson Giants 89 (Alex McNaught 14, Dan Grida 14, Sam Dempster 13, Dan Fotu 11, Tom Ingham 11, Nick Davidson 10, Theo Akwuba 10) Southland Sharks 79 (Callum McRae 21, Caleb Asberry 15, Alonzo Burton 13, Marcale Lotts 12). 1Q: 19-20, HT: 47-37, 3Q: 69-55


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