Basketball heating up in Week 4

IT MATTERS: Adam Nepe (left, seen here evading Young n Useless’s Quentin Harvey) will provide size for GBHS Red in their game against Old School tonight. File picture

This is superb. Week 4 of the 2019 GBA men’s club basketball league sees SE Systems take on the Filthy Dozen at 5.45pm, Gisborne Boys’ High School Black up against City Lights (6.45pm) and GBHS Red clash with Old School at 7.45pm in the A Grade Games at the YMCA. In B Grade competition at the John McFarlane Memorial Centre at GBHS, come 5.45pm GBHS Blue and Campion College go at it with the GBHS Wolf-pack v Old Surfers at 6.45pm and Gizzy Gilas-Lytton High School as the late game at 7.45pm.

GBHS Red lost 67-72 to City Lights in Week 2 — the second non-competition game — and won their catch-up/senior derby clash v GBHS Black 87-26 last Thursday after school. City Lights are coming off a 74-72 win against the Filthy Dozen — an incredible effort at both ends of the floor, the touch of CL’s jumpshooters being matched at their own end of the court. Centre Ryan Walters was outstanding in defence of City Lights’ goal. Tonight he will have to deal with one half of GBHS’ senior arm, GBHS Black. Black led SE Systems into the third quarter of their Week 2 clash and have been competitive — Karlyle Te Maari led his team’s scorers with 12 points v SES — but are yet to taste victory. While a younger team than GBHS Red, the likes of Adam Nepe ensure that they have at least some size in the front-court.

The veterans in this league don’t take each other lightly.

Which is why SE Systems captain Adrian Sparks is conscious of his team’s need to score v the Filthy Dozen.

“Our shooters — Keenan Ruru-Poharama and Anton Riri — need to step up and stretch their zone defence out,” said Sparks. “If not, that zone will become an impenetrable fortress.”

The Filthy Dozen’s defence has big men, such as Dale Hailey and Wi Brown, with the ability to block shots and the physical presence of Siaki Tui at the basket also.

The Filthy Dozen made a strong start to the season with a 66-32 victory v GBHS Black and 59-55 upset win against Old School before last Monday’s loss to City Lights. Ruru-Poharama played a match-winning hand for 11 points in the 45-43 win against GBHS Black in Week 2 and Riri showed last week that he can still finish on tough drive moves at the rim.

The Dozen have already shown a tough outlook this season with the likes of Willie Brown and Wi Brown as scoring threats.

In a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire, championship-winning Boys’ High captain Max Scott and his Red crew face Old School tonight. Red’s 76-37 win against Systems on Opening Night (Systems, in fairness, have been much better since) is likely to be their only easy win this season.

In Sam Veitch and first 15 lock Ofa Tauatevalu, the college team has height but will be outweighed while also giving up many years’ worth of experience. Reggie Namana, Rongomai Smith and Thomas Tindale of Old School are top players, among the best big men club basketball here has ever seen. They are great passers of the ball and so to win, GBHS will need structure, composure and to finish difficult plays.

It will be plain very early tonight whether or not the Boys’ High crew is up to play: where younger teams start off nervously, air-ball jumpshots and turn possession over, the writing goes on the wall well before halftime. But Scott and company are most unlikely to do that. Their scorers include Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown and Holden Wilson, both of whom can produce 20 points on any given night.

The Luke Bradley-coached GBHS Blue go into their clash with Campion College as underdogs: Orlando Pedraza is captain of a Campion team which, since hammering the GBHS Wolf-pack 68-33 in Week 1, has beaten the Gizzy Gilas 64-38 and Lytton High School 60-43.

Pedraza and Ward are Campion’s most consistent scorers and Blue, who had the Opening Night bye in what was an 11-team league at its outset, has shown steady improvement. Ngaru Grayson scored 17 points in Blues’ 43-35 loss to Lytton first up, while the much-improved Darius Waititi-Leach (11 points) and Ryan Anderson (10pts) gave Lytton scoring punch that evening.

Pedraza, Tana Ward and Nelson Brown are all capable of scoring in double-figures for Campion, with the first two mentioned very quick across the floor; Brown is a promising forward and assistant coach/player-coach Paora Dewes is also a strong influence on-court.

Old Surfers v the GBHS Wolf-pack will be an interesting game. Being the younger team by, in a few cases, half a century, the Wolf-pack should be able to keep pace with Frank Russell’s Surfers. The Pack are also led on the court by Ray Noble, whose organisational ability and reading of the game makes a big difference to his unit. Hard-running Mercy Bristow (13) and Konnor Gibson led Surfers’ scorers last Monday with 13 points apiece v the Gizzy Gilas: if this season sees Gibson’s footwork and skills improve still further around the hoop, Gibson will join his fellow six-foot-sixers Tindale and Veitch as a major scoring threat.

Veitch plays higher on offence and hits more jumpshots than Tindale or Gibson, but all three make a big difference to their respective teams.

The previously mentioned Waititi-Leach and Anderson, plus Lytton team captain Ben Greaves, all need to fire if Lytton are to beat the Gizzy Gilas. LHS have the edge in height and their shot-selection is generally much better but in terms of quickness and speed of ball-movement, no B Grade team comes close to the Gilas.

This is superb. Week 4 of the 2019 GBA men’s club basketball league sees SE Systems take on the Filthy Dozen at 5.45pm, Gisborne Boys’ High School Black up against City Lights (6.45pm) and GBHS Red clash with Old School at 7.45pm in the A Grade Games at the YMCA. In B Grade competition at the John McFarlane Memorial Centre at GBHS, come 5.45pm GBHS Blue and Campion College go at it with the GBHS Wolf-pack v Old Surfers at 6.45pm and Gizzy Gilas-Lytton High School as the late game at 7.45pm.

GBHS Red lost 67-72 to City Lights in Week 2 — the second non-competition game — and won their catch-up/senior derby clash v GBHS Black 87-26 last Thursday after school. City Lights are coming off a 74-72 win against the Filthy Dozen — an incredible effort at both ends of the floor, the touch of CL’s jumpshooters being matched at their own end of the court. Centre Ryan Walters was outstanding in defence of City Lights’ goal. Tonight he will have to deal with one half of GBHS’ senior arm, GBHS Black. Black led SE Systems into the third quarter of their Week 2 clash and have been competitive — Karlyle Te Maari led his team’s scorers with 12 points v SES — but are yet to taste victory. While a younger team than GBHS Red, the likes of Adam Nepe ensure that they have at least some size in the front-court.

The veterans in this league don’t take each other lightly.

Which is why SE Systems captain Adrian Sparks is conscious of his team’s need to score v the Filthy Dozen.

“Our shooters — Keenan Ruru-Poharama and Anton Riri — need to step up and stretch their zone defence out,” said Sparks. “If not, that zone will become an impenetrable fortress.”

The Filthy Dozen’s defence has big men, such as Dale Hailey and Wi Brown, with the ability to block shots and the physical presence of Siaki Tui at the basket also.

The Filthy Dozen made a strong start to the season with a 66-32 victory v GBHS Black and 59-55 upset win against Old School before last Monday’s loss to City Lights. Ruru-Poharama played a match-winning hand for 11 points in the 45-43 win against GBHS Black in Week 2 and Riri showed last week that he can still finish on tough drive moves at the rim.

The Dozen have already shown a tough outlook this season with the likes of Willie Brown and Wi Brown as scoring threats.

In a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire, championship-winning Boys’ High captain Max Scott and his Red crew face Old School tonight. Red’s 76-37 win against Systems on Opening Night (Systems, in fairness, have been much better since) is likely to be their only easy win this season.

In Sam Veitch and first 15 lock Ofa Tauatevalu, the college team has height but will be outweighed while also giving up many years’ worth of experience. Reggie Namana, Rongomai Smith and Thomas Tindale of Old School are top players, among the best big men club basketball here has ever seen. They are great passers of the ball and so to win, GBHS will need structure, composure and to finish difficult plays.

It will be plain very early tonight whether or not the Boys’ High crew is up to play: where younger teams start off nervously, air-ball jumpshots and turn possession over, the writing goes on the wall well before halftime. But Scott and company are most unlikely to do that. Their scorers include Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown and Holden Wilson, both of whom can produce 20 points on any given night.

The Luke Bradley-coached GBHS Blue go into their clash with Campion College as underdogs: Orlando Pedraza is captain of a Campion team which, since hammering the GBHS Wolf-pack 68-33 in Week 1, has beaten the Gizzy Gilas 64-38 and Lytton High School 60-43.

Pedraza and Ward are Campion’s most consistent scorers and Blue, who had the Opening Night bye in what was an 11-team league at its outset, has shown steady improvement. Ngaru Grayson scored 17 points in Blues’ 43-35 loss to Lytton first up, while the much-improved Darius Waititi-Leach (11 points) and Ryan Anderson (10pts) gave Lytton scoring punch that evening.

Pedraza, Tana Ward and Nelson Brown are all capable of scoring in double-figures for Campion, with the first two mentioned very quick across the floor; Brown is a promising forward and assistant coach/player-coach Paora Dewes is also a strong influence on-court.

Old Surfers v the GBHS Wolf-pack will be an interesting game. Being the younger team by, in a few cases, half a century, the Wolf-pack should be able to keep pace with Frank Russell’s Surfers. The Pack are also led on the court by Ray Noble, whose organisational ability and reading of the game makes a big difference to his unit. Hard-running Mercy Bristow (13) and Konnor Gibson led Surfers’ scorers last Monday with 13 points apiece v the Gizzy Gilas: if this season sees Gibson’s footwork and skills improve still further around the hoop, Gibson will join his fellow six-foot-sixers Tindale and Veitch as a major scoring threat.

Veitch plays higher on offence and hits more jumpshots than Tindale or Gibson, but all three make a big difference to their respective teams.

The previously mentioned Waititi-Leach and Anderson, plus Lytton team captain Ben Greaves, all need to fire if Lytton are to beat the Gizzy Gilas. LHS have the edge in height and their shot-selection is generally much better but in terms of quickness and speed of ball-movement, no B Grade team comes close to the Gilas.

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