Kenneth Tuffin’s heater in the endgame was not enough to lift Taranaki to win no. 3 as the Mountainairs fell to Canterbury, 101-112, in the 2020 Sal’s NBL Showdown at The Trusts Arena in Auckland.
Down by as much as 14 points, 99-85, with 3:25 left in the game, the FEU Tamaraw scored five of his seven fourth quarter points in the final stretch.
However, it proved to be too late as the duo of Samuel Smith and Alexander Talma had a counter for every big Tuffin bucket.
Tuffin had 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and six boards in his second start in as many games.
Enderun Titan Francis Mulvihill added seven markers.
Taylor Britt led the way for Canterbury with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists while Smith added 23 markers.
Derone Raukawa paced the Mountainairs with 25 points.
Taranaki will next face Auckland on Tuesday.