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Hawks fly by Giants; Saints topple Whai


Jordan Ngatai and Isaiah Moore have inspired the Bay Hawks to a comeback win over the Nelson Giants.


The pair combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks silenced the Trafalgar Centre, outscoring the Giants 26-16, to win 89-84 in the National Basketball League (NBL) on Thursday night.


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Tall Blacks forward Ngatai scored a game-high 29 points (9/16 FG, 5/9 3pt, 6/7 FT), with nine coming in the fourth, while American guard Moore had 10 down the stretch for his 24 points (9/19 FG, 5/5 FT), four boards, seven assists and two steals.


American big Josh Roberts recorded a double-double for the Hawks, with 10 points (5/9 FG), 16 rebounds and four blocks, with Australian guard Keanu Rasmussen also providing 14 points (4/14 FG, 2/7 3pt) and four boards.


Australian forward Dan Grida led five Giants in double-figures, finishing with 18 points (8/16 FG, 2/4 3pt) and nine rebounds, with Kiwi Dan Fotu putting up 17 points (6/12 FG, 4/6 FT), eight boards and two steals.


American guard Kobe Langley scored 15 points (6/16 FG), with seven assists and three steals, big Theo Akwuba 14 points (6/8 FG), nine rebounds and four blocks, and Nick Davidson 10 points (5/13 FG) and four boards.


Jordan Ngatai Bay Hawks NBL basketball
Jordan Ngatai hit five threes in his game-high 29 points for the Bay Hawks. PHOTO: NBL

The Hawks trailed by five entering the fourth, which quickly moved to nine points. However, the visitors answered with a 18-6 run, including two triples from Ngatai, over the next four minutes, to lead 81-78 with 4:24 remaining.


Nelson countered with three straight buckets to take their own three-point lead just over a minute later, but Moore hit a three to tie it with 2:17 to play and then Ngatai gave the Hawks the lead for good with 1:43 on the clock.


Earlier, the Hawks led for most of the first period, but the Giants led by three at the first break and then built a lead with an 11-0 burst in the second quarter. Either side of halftime, the Hawks made a 15-4 run to close within one.


The Hawks (5-6) complete their South Island double-header against the Canterbury Rams (9-2) in Christchurch on Saturday (tip-off 4pm), while the Giants (5-8) rest up until facing the Tauranga Whai (5-8) on the road next Friday (tip-off 7.30pm).



On Wednesday night, the Wellington Saints moved back into the top-four with a relatively comfortable 102-90 win over the Whai at Mercury Baypark.


Tall Blacks guard Izayah Le'afa dropped seven threes in his team-high 27 points (8/16 FG, 7/12 3pt, 4/6 FT) and eight assists, Australian Ben Ayre put up 22 points (5/10 FG, 2/5 3pt, 10/15 FT), six rebounds and eight assists and Kiwi forward Tohi Smith-Milner 21 points (8/13 FG, 4/8 3pt) and nine boards.


American big Phil Carr had a game-high 31 points (10/16 FG, 3/8 3pt, 8/9 FT) for the Whai, with four rebounds and three steals, while former Tall Blacks guard Kruz Perrott-Hunt was the next best with 14 points (4/14 FG, 4/10 3pt) and two steals.


Former Hawks import Ira Lee put up 11 points (5/12 FG), nine boards and three steals in his Whai debut, while Jayden Bezzant dropped 12 points (4/8 FG, 2/3 3pt), four rebounds and six assists.


Wellington trailed in the early minutes before leading by eight after the first period and 14 at halftime. They gradually added to their advantage, up 19 after three quarters and as many as 25 midway through the fourth.


The Saints (8-3) play the second game of their double-header against the league-leading Auckland Tuatara (11-2) on Saturday (tip-off 7.30pm), while the Whai next host the Giants.


Bay Hawks 89 (Jordan Ngatai 29, Isaiah Moore 24, Keanu Rasmussen 14, Josh Roberts 10) Nelson Giants 84 (Dan Grida 18, Dan Fotu 17, Kobe Langley 15, Theo Akwuba 14, Nic Davidson 10). 1Q: 23-26, HT: 35-43, 3Q: 63-68


Wellington Saints 102 (Izayah Le'afa 27, Ben Ayre 22, Tohi Smith-Milner 21, Sam Gold 14) Tauranga Whai 90 (Phil Carr 31, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 14, Jayden Bezzant 12, Ira Lee 11, Denhym Brooke 10). 1Q: 23-15, HT: 51-37, 3Q: 84-65

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