Samuel, Tuffin conspire anew in Wellington rout of Auckland

JR Isaga
Samuel, Tuffin conspire anew in Wellington rout of Auckland

UNSCATHED. The Saints keep their firm hold of the top spot with a perfect 6-0 card.

Saints Basketball

Former UAAP stalwarts Taane Samuel and Ken Tuffin drop double-digit numbers to help the Saints stay unbeaten in the New Zealand NBL

The Wellington Saints yet again flexed their might in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NBL) as they crushed the Auckland Huskies, 107-76, on Friday, May 28, at the TSB Bank Arena.

With the win, the Saints kept their lofty place up top the league standings with a clean 6-0 slate, while the Huskies slid to a three-way tie at third place with a 4-3 record.

Team captain Dion Prewster continued his MVP-level scoring streak against the Huskies, and finished with a game-high 34 points on a stellar 13-of-18 clip. 

Former La Salle reinforcement Taane Samuel added 16 points on 3-of-5 shooting from downtown.

Fil-Kiwi forward and former FEU captain Ken Tuffin again stuck to his role, and chipped in an all-around line of 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in 23 minutes as a starter.

As is the case with most of their games, the Saints did not showcase their ruthless two-way prowess until the third quarter, when they turned a 53-51 halftime lead to an 81-64 gap, outscoring the Huskies, 28-13.

The game was practically over at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter, when Wellington big man Romaro Gill flushed a dunk down for the 27-point lead, 93-66, capping a 12-2 quarter start.

The Saints then peaked with a 31-point lead, 107-76, off a late jumper by reserve guard Rangimarie Dougall-Mita for the emphatic finish at home.

Only two Auckland players scored in double digits, led by Chris Johnson’s 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

Wellington gets another week of rest before facing the Southland Sharks on Friday, June 4, in the team’s first scheduled rematch of the season.

In their first match last May 7, the Saints eviscerated the Sharks, 105-73, for their third straight win. –