Tuffin drops perfect shooting game as Wellington buries Manawatu

JR Isaga
Tuffin drops perfect shooting game as Wellington buries Manawatu

STREAKING. Ken Tuffin (left) and the Saints keep their winning run going.

Smart Sports screenshot

Fil-Kiwi forward Ken Tuffin steals the show with a perfect line for the Saints

The mighty Wellington Saints hardly broke a sweat in their weekly New Zealand National Basketball League (NBL) tilt as they blasted the Manawatu Jets, 100-77, on their TSB Bank Arena home floor on Sunday, June 13.

Tohi Smith-Milner led the balanced attack with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting while squad captain Dion Prewster chipped in 16 markers and a game-best 8 assists.

Fil-Kiwi forward Ken Tuffin, however, stole the show with a perfect line of 15 points, 4-of-4 shooting, 3-of-3 from three, and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in just 18 minutes on the floor as a starter.

With the win, the Saints maintained the league’s best winning percentage with an 8-1 record while the Jets remained at ninth in the 10-team field with a 3-8 slate. For now, the 9-3 Southland Sharks have claimed the top spot due to having more wins and games played.

As has always been the case with a majority of Wellington games, the Saints kept it close with the Jets early on, and only led by 4, 38-34, at the half.

However, the feared offensive switch was yet again turned on by the third quarter as Wellington unleashed a game-sealing 26-3 run in just five minutes, capped by a Kerwin Roach Jr. layup at the 4:55 mark for the 61-37 lead.

Smith-Milner then sank a late triple for good measure with 23 seconds left in the frame to reach a 34-point peak, 81-47. An entire quarter of garbage time then followed in the fourth just to formalize the final score.

Daishon Knight led all scorers in the sorry loss with 25 points on a 10-of-19 clip while Nikau Mccullough sparked the bench with 16 points in 21 minutes.

The Saints get five days of rest before they face the third-ranked Hawke’s Bay Hawks (7-3) on Friday, June 18, in the first game of a back-to-back set. –