BLENHEIM,NEW ZEALAND. 11th March 2017. Hunters Wines Summer Blitz Basketball. Canterbury Rams vs Nelson Giants at Stadium 2000 in Blenheim. Photo: Ricky Wilson/Shuttersport.co.nz

Nelson Giants lose season opener

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A horror opening first quarter for the Mike Pero Nelson Giants summed up a rough night in their season opening 96-58 NBL loss to Southland Sharks in Invercargill tonight.

The Giants scored just nine points in the opening quarter while they conceded 27.

It didn’t get much better over the last three quarters.

The Sharks will be title contenders this year but it was a grind from start to finish as the Giants trailed by 19 points at halftime and 31 at the final break.

Another concern will be the lack of offensive production from the two American imports Curtis Washington and Joe Slocum who contributed just three points between them in the first half.

The Giants looked better from beyond the three point line than they did in the paint.

Finn Delany worked overtime all game to give his team a level of respectability in the game while Ali Granger and Sam Dempster tried hard but the Giants were outclassed at both ends of the court.

Finn was the standout, he played every minute of the first three quarters and led all scorers for most of the game.

Coach Alan McAughtry said the performance simply wasn’t good enough.

“We were shell-shocked and we sat back on our haunches and stopped playing at times and we can’t do that in this league.”

Alan says his players didn’t adjust their defence and there wasn’t enough rebounding pressure.

“We can’t play like that in front of our home fans and we can’t play like that again.”

The Giants shot just 18-69 for the match and were out rebounded 53-29.

Finn was equal top-scorer with 19 while the only other Giant in double figures was Curtis was 12.

The Giants head back home to the Trafalgar Centre on Saturday night to take on the Taranaki Mountainairs.

Tip-off is at 7pm.