Samuel, Tuffin conspire as Wellington cruises to blowout anew

JR Isaga
Samuel, Tuffin conspire as Wellington cruises to blowout anew

TOP PERFORMER. Taane Samuel celebrates with a young Wellington Saints fan.

Photo from Instagram/@SaintsBasketball

Former La Salle big man Taane Samuel delivers his best game yet for the Wellington Saints in the New Zealand NBL

The Wellington Saints prove yet again why they are the 2019 New Zealand National Basketball League (NBL) champions as they cruised to a 105-73 blowout over the Southland Sharks on Friday, May 7 on their home floor, TSB Bank Arena.

With the win, the dominant Saints rose to a 3-0 record, while the erstwhile undefeated Sharks sunk to 2-1.

Former La Salle foreign student-athlete Taane Samuel had his best game so far of the new season, as he erupted for a game-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting, and 5-of-8 from downtown with 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Meanwhile, Ex-FEU captain Ken Tuffin brought the intangibles as he chipped in 9 points on a 3-of-5 clip from downtown, and was a game-high +32 for the night.

Following a relatively competitive first 3 quarters where Southland only trailed by 6, 65-71, early in the fourth, Wellington responded as only champions can with a massive 20-0 run to emphatically put the game away midway through the frame, 91-65.

Head coach Zico Coronel then opted to keep his starters in the game for a few more garbage time minutes as the Saints peaked with a 32-point lead for the final score.

Brayden Inger and Alonzo Burton paced the hapless Southland in the stunning endgame rout with just 12 points apiece. However, 4 other Sharks scored at least 9 points as a consolation in the brutal loss.

Wellington now shifts their dominant warpath towards the Nelson Giants on Saturday, May 15, still at TSB Bank Arena. –