The EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls have had their two-game winning streak snapped in the SalsNBL after going down to the Nelson Giants 107-94 at the Franklin Pool & Leisure Centre in Pukekohe on Saturday.
The Giants managed to slow down a Bulls offense that has enjoyed an up-tempo style of play to date and carried them to successive wins before being stopped in their tracks back on home court.
“We can’t give up 107 points on the offensive end,” coach Jamie Reddish told Counties Sports Hub. “We have got to play some defense. This is the fourth game and too many points were given up and that is on us.
“The good thing is that it is things we can control.
“We get back to the court on Monday and start working on it.”
Reddish wasn’t too concerned with the Giants tactics and how effective they proved.
“We can play in the half court but we prefer the pace. They did a great job slowing us down so kudos to them,” he said.
“We have to do a better job executing in the half court.
“Scoring is not our problem – 94 points is more than enough to win a basketball game but you can’t give up 107.”
The visitors came out of the gates hot, hitting shots and creating space while the Bulls were laboured and found themselves in early foul trouble and frustrated by with the aggressive Giants defense.
The visitors pressed hard, particularly on star imports Josh Selby and Zane Waterman.
Both players had an ongoing battle with referees, who allowed a lot of contact both on and off the ball.
Selby was still a big threat, hitting 36 points, which included six of 11 from downtown while Waterman finished with 20 and 14 for his third straight double double.
The Giants spread the scoring load and found success all over the hardwood with all five starters recording double digit scoring.
A fourth quarter comeback looked on briefly as the Bulls raced back from 23 points down at one stage to get within three before the Giants closed it out.
Point guard Hunter Hale thrived in the scrappy affair, was a nuisance all night without the ball and came up with some crucial steals. He finished with a stuffed stat sheet that included 23 points, nine boards, nine assists and five steals.
The Bulls are back home next Friday night when they face the Southland Sharks.