Big game looming for Southland Sharks
Thursday Night Lights is set to deliver plenty of highlights with the Supercity Rangers hosting the Southland Sharks in a must-win encounter for the visitors. With Tim Quarterman (Rangers) going at nearly 40pts per game over his last five outings, it won't be an easy night for the Sharks. Here's everything you need to know about another great Sal's NBL match-up.
Venue Change: note that this game will now be played at AUT Sport & Fitness Centre, Northcote.
A must-win game for the Sharks if they’re to keep their playoff hopes alive. The fourth-placed Sharks have played two more games than the fifth-placed Huskies and a loss for the aforementioned would give the Tasmanians the opportunity to draw even in the wins column. Todd Blanchfield and Jarrad Weeks both put in shifts last Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to take down the soaring Hawks. If the pair fails to fire the ramifications could be disastrous. As for the Rangers, they have been a one-man band as of late, with Tim Quarterman averaging 37 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3.5 steals over his last five outings. If the former Trailblazer is to receive some assistance on Thursday night from Venky Jois and co, an upset might well be on the cards. They do, however, play the Huskies three days later, where if they manage to win both it would brighten an otherwise gloomy weekend for their South Island foe.
1. Tim Quarterman (guard)
4. Daniel Green (guard)
5. Randall Bishop (guard)
55. Venky Jois (forward)
32. Nnanna Egwu (forward)
9. Lesae Coe (guard)
19. Denhym Brooke (forward)
20. Scott Telfer (forward)
6. Jaylen Gerrand (guard)
46. Reuben Fitzgerald (guard)
13. Mikaere Watene (guard/forward)
15. Nick Barrow (forward)
Coach: Jeff Green
Assistant: Anthony Keung
Assistant: Greg Elliott
Manager: Auatua Pamatatau
From The Coach – Jeff Green
After a positive display on the weekend versus the Hawks I am encouraged that our young team is accepting the challenge to execute on both ends of the court for 40 mins, not 25. The sharks have hit a rough patch of late but I am under no illusion they will be ready for us. The game will be intense with both teams being in the spotlight for a nationally televised encounter.
35. Alex Pledger (centre)
97. Jarrad Weeks (guard)
22. Hyrum Harris (guard/forward)
24 . Todd Blanchfield (guard)
15. Tom Vodanovich (forward)
4. Roberto Nelson (guard)
11. Dom Kelman-Poto (forward)
14. Tai Wynyard (centre)
25. Andrew Wheeler (guard)
Coach: Judd Flavell
Assistant: Leyton Haddleton
Manager: Troy Paulin
From The Coach - Judd Flavell
This week we have worked to re-establish what we want to do and emphasise our team identity. Rangers three imports look like they carry a huge scoring load . When Quarterman has the green light he has shown he is going to be a real challenge – we won’t be able to rely on one guy defensively - it’s going to have to be by committee.
10 TALKING POINTS
The Sharks - are sitting at 5-5 and have the Huskies snapping at their heels for a spot in the top four. After a run of three losses the reigning champs cannot come away from Auckland with anything other than a win.
Tim Quarterman - the star import is on fire and gets a chance to showcase his skills live on national television. Last week's 48pt-haul gave him Player of the Week status in a losing effort to the Hawks. Make no mistake, a few recruiters from the ANBL and potentially NZ NBL teams looking to next season will be watching Quarterman very closely.
Alex Pledger - the big fella has to stay on the court. Pledger dominated early in last week's game against the Hawks before a cut above his eye sent him to the sidelines for about 10-minutes. It was during that time the visiting Hawks gained momentum and went on to win.
Danger Game - the Rangers have lost three games in a row and can take a free swing here. The home team will go in as underdogs, which you get the feeling will suit them down to the ground. Beware Sharks, this has danger game written all over it.
Todd Blanchfield - after his selection in the Boomers World Cup squad Blanchfield started last week's game on fire, but as the game progressed his shots just wouldn't drop as much as he would like. If he can put four consistent quarters together here then the Rangers will be in big strife.
Young Gun - you can't help but be impressed with Hyrum Harris this season. The rising star has been presented with an opportunity and he is starting to show great signs. Hard at it, Harris has a terrific work ethic and is very quickly becoming a trusted and reliable force in the starting line-up for the Sharks.
Venky Jois - the power forward has been a little up and down, but he is carrying a huge load for the undermanned Rangers. If Jois can get going early against the Sharks he will be hard to stop. Strong on the boards and an attacking force in offence, it's time for Jois to throw caution to the wind and just go for it.
Roberto Nelson - the latest import to join the Sharks (after Mitch McCarron and Jeremy Kendle) has had a few games to settle in and no doubt Coach Flavell will be expecting a rise in production. It's time for Nelson to step it up and fire.
Leaky Defence - the Sharks are letting in 103pts per game. It's a dangerous sign and something they must quickly turn around if they have any hope of going back-to-back. A good place to start would be right here. It's time for the Sharks to lift defensively and start shutting teams down.
Venue Change - nothing like some late changes to throw a spanner in the works. Note that this game will now be played at AUT Sport & Fitness Centre in Northcote. Tip-off remains at 7:35pm and will be shown live on SKY Sport and Prime TV.