Filipino-Kiwis Ken Tuffin and Joseph Nunag cooled down in their first-ever game against each other in six years.
Still, Wellington eventually prevailed, cruising past Franklin with a 111-82 victory in the 2021 Sal’s NZ NBL tournament, Thursday at the TSB Bank Arena.
Tuffin — who was averaging 8.5 points and 4.0 rebounds prior to this game — started the contest. However, he was limited to just three points on three attempts with a rebound and an assist.
Nunag, who played with Tuffin in Taranaki last season and Far Eastern University, only had five points in the game after averaging 14.8 points prior.
The Saints dominated all throughout the game, even leading by as much as 32 points, 100-68, midway through the final frame.
It did not help that Tuffin frustrated Josh Selby that resulted to the former NBA player being ejected with 5:07 left.
Wellington overpowered Franklin by shooting 55-percent from the field while out-rebounding them 43-21.
Kerwin Roach led the Saints with 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Meanwhile, Romaro Gill added 17 points, six rebounds, and two steals.
Tohi Smith-Milner and Dion Prewster finished with 14 and 13 markers respectively for the 5-0 Saints. Taane Samuel tallied 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block as well.
Selby and Dane Brooks paced the 3-3 Bulls with 16 markers each on a combined 11-of-22 clip. Jaylen Gerrand added 12 markers.
Tuffin and the Saints will next face Auckland on May 28. On the oth]er hand, Nunag and the Bulls look to bounce back on May 27 against Otago.