Facing second-seeded Manawatu, Ken Tuffin and Taranaki could not pull off an upset, bowing to the Jets, 95-105, to bow out of the 2020 Sal’s NZ-NBL Showdown, Thursday at the Trusts Arena in Auckland.
Tuffin struggled in the contest, finishing with just six points on a 2-of-6 clip from the field to go along with a rebound, an assists, and a steal.
“We probably could have executed better. The Jets are a tough squad, they have a lot of good players and I think maybe on defense, our defense let us down out there. They went on a bit of a run. There’s nothing much we can do now,” shared Tuffin during the post-game over at SMART Sports and hosted by 2OT’s Carlo Pamintuan and Magoo Marjon.
At the forefront of Manawatu’s attack was former DLSU Kiwi student-athlete Taane Samuel, who tallied 23 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Behind 73-75 Samuel jumpstarted the Jets’ 12-0 run that gave his side a 10-point cushion with 6:14 left.
Derone Raukawa tried to carry the Airs on his back but Thomas Vodanovich and Hyrum Harris were there to shut down any rally.
Vodanovich added 28 points and seven rebounds while Harris posted a complete statline of 7 points, 11 boards, seven assists, and seven steals.
Marcel Jones paced Taranaki with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists.
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