Congratulations to the Wellington Saints!!! 2010 NBL Champs!!!

Exodus Wellington Saints shut out an unlikely last-minute Waikato Pistons comeback to secure their first national basketball title since 2003 with an 82-79 win.

Saints had levelled the best-of-three National Basketball League series yesterday in Wellington with a dominant 98-69 win after a lack-lustre effort in Hamilton the previous night saw the two-time defending champion Pistons out-play Wellington 80-74.

After a sluggish first half tonight, Saints eased away in the last quarter and were cruising home in the final minute of play. But a 10-point lead suddenly disappeared on the back of three Hayden Allen three-pointers in the closing 30 seconds.

With the Pistons on shooting fouls, Saints’ accuracy from the free-throw line was suddenly all that was keeping the game in their grasp.

In front by only three, and with just 13 seconds remaining, the Saints premature celebrations ground to a halt.

Former Waikato guard Eric Devendorf came to the rescue, sinking two from the free-throw line for Wellington to steady the ship and secure Saints the win.

A hard-fought game saw both teams fouling high, as Saints battled to turn around a slow start that had them trailing by 10 points midway through the first quarter.

Waikato captain and former Australian international Tony Ronaldson signalled his team’s intentions in opening the scoring with a three-pointer.

Tom Abercrombie, who posted a game-high 32 in the first match only to be shut down yesterday to 14, got involved early tonight and ended a sterling night’s work with 29 points. His first three-pointer fell after barely two minutes, and gave the Pistons an 8-0 lead.

Point guard Lindsay Tait kick-started the Saints game soon after, scything through the Pistons defence and setting the tone for a game which saw him dominate for 28 en route to winning the finals Most Valuable Player.

“This has been a long time for us,” Tait told Sky Sport afterwards. “We’ve been close the last couple of years, but to come back this year win it — it’s awesome.”

Things didn’t look too good for the Saints early on, as a focused-looking Pistons defence had them locked down and Abercrombie, given too much time was relishing the open shot as Waikato went into the first break leading 28-23.

Tait again was hugely effective for the Saints, orchestrating their fast-running game and driving well to the hoop. Waikato coach Dean Vickerman deputised Abercrombie to try and keep him in line, but Tait proved unstoppable and Saints edged closer to trail 41-44 at halftime.

Devendorf, who top-scored yesterday, tweaked his ankle in the second quarter, but was back on court as the third quarter began and the Saints settled into the business of reeling in the Waikato lead.

They hit the front with three minutes of the third stanza gone, Nick Horvath driving to the basket and drawing the foul on Alex Pledger — his fourth of the game. Ahead 62-55 at the end of the third quarter, Wellington stepped up a gear in the final 10 minutes.

They moved the ball with speed and precision, swinging the ball round the keyhole as the final quarter closed down and Waikato were left scrambling for possession.

It was left to Allen to reignite — albeit briefly — the visitors’ hopes with a treble of three-points in the space of 15 seconds.

This is championship number six for the Saints who have won the title in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2003 and 2010.


NBL Finals -  Waikato Pistons vs Exodus Wellington Saints 

Game One

Tuesday, June 29
At Hamilton Boys High School, Hamilton

Waikato Pistons 80, (Thomas Abercrombie 32, Hayden Allen 17, Alex Pledger 12) Exodus Saints 74 (Lindsay Tait 16, Casey Frank 14, Eric Devendorf 13) Final

Referees - Tim Brown, Dallas Pickering, Gavin Whiu
1Q: 27-16
HT: 48-38 (21-22)
3Q: 59-54 (11-16)
FT: 80-74 (21-20)

Game Two

Wednesday, June 30
At TSB Bank Arena

Exodus Saints 98 (Eric Devendorf 24, Erron Maxey 17, Two Tied at 12) Waikato Pistons 69 (Rashaad Tucker 18, Thomas Abercrombie 14, Alex Pledger 12), Final

Live on Sky Sport 3
Referees - Tim Brown, Dallas Pickering, Andy Thackray
1Q: 34-18
HT: 58-36 (24-18)
3Q: 85-52 (27-16)
FT: 98-69 (13-17)

 


 

Game Three

Thursday, July 1
At TSB Bank Arena

Exodus Saints 82 (Lindsay Tait 28, Eric Devendorf 17, Erron Maxey 13) Waikato Pistons 79 (Thomas Abercrombie 29, Hayden Allen 20, Rashad Tucker 12), Final

Live on Sky Sport 3
Referees - Tim Brown, Dallas Pickering, Andy Thackray
1Q: 23-28
HT: 41-44 (18-16)
3Q: 62-55 (21-11)
FT: 82-79 (20-24)

 


 

NBL Quarterfinals

Tuesday, June 22

Quarter Final One

At Trafalgar Centre, Nelson

Fico Finance Nelson Giants 82 (Michael Harrison 23, Phill Jones 20, Mika Vukona 17) Zerofees Southland Sharks 67 (Mike Helms 19, Luke Martin 18, Rene Rougeau 16), Final

Referees - Tim Brown, Melony Wealleans, Hayden Pipe
1Q: 21-14
HT: 43-27 (22-13)
3Q: 68-49 (25-22)
FT: 82-67 (14-18)
Giants v Sharks Boxscore (24 KB pdf)

Wednesday, June 23

Quarter Final Two

At North Shore Events Centre, North Shore

Harbour Heat 77 (Rick Rickert 30, Beny Anthony 17, Reece Cassidy 12) 0800 Easy LPG Bay Hawks 82 (Josh Pace 28, Three Tied 9), Final

Referees - Dallas Pickering, Andy Thackray, Jamie Hickey
1Q: 24-15
HT: 36-42 (12-27)
3Q: 54-58 (18-16)
FT: 77-82 (23-24)
Heat v Hawks Boxscore (24 kb html)

NBL Semifinals

Friday, June 25

At TSB Arena, Wellington

Exodus Saints 98 (Erron Maxey 24, Eric Devendorf 22, Nick Horvath 13, Lindsay Tait 13) 0800 Easy LPG Bay Hawks 92 (Josh Pace 30, Jon Rogers 16, Chris Daniel 16), Final

Referees - Dallas Pickering, Andy Thackray, Raewyn Willocks
1Q: 19-21
HT: 47-41 (28-20)
3Q: 68-61 (21-20)
FT: 98-92 (30-31)
Saints v Hawks Boxscore (24 KB html)

At Hamilton Boys High, Hamilton

Waikato Pistons 74 (Hayden Allen 28, Alex Pledger 16, Thomas Abercrombie 14) Fico Finance Nelson Giants 62 (Michael Harrison 18, Mike Fitchett 18), Final

Referees - Tim Brown, Melony Wealleans, Gavin Whiu
1Q: 14-23
HT: 41-38 (27-15)
3Q: 54-49 (13-11)
FT: 74-62 (20-13)
Giants v Pistons (24 KB html)

 


 

2010 NBL Standings (Regular Season)

 

Team P W L Win % GB Pts H A PF PA L5 Strk PD
&-Exodus Saints 18 14 4 77.8 0 28 8-1 6-3 1701 1471 5-0 W5 230
z-Waikato Pistons 18 13 5 72.2 1 26 8-1 5-4 1577 1378 1-4 L1 199
y-Fico Finance Nelson Giants 18 12 6 66.7 2 24 7-2 5-4 1473 1387 2-3 W1 86
y-Harbour Heat 18 11 7 61.1 3 22 6-3 5-4 1651 1597 3-2 W2 54
x-0800 Easy LPG Bay Hawks 18 11 7 61.1 3 22 6-3 5-4 1598 1427 4-1 L1 171
x-Zerofees Southland Sharks 18 9 9 50.0 5 18 4-5 5-4 1473 1504 3-2 W1 -31
e-Christchurch Cougars 18 9 9 50.0 5 18 6-3 3-6 1469 1475 4-1 W4 -6
e-Taranaki Mountainairs 18 6 12 33.3 8 12 4-5 2-7 1458 1524 1-4 L4 -66
e-McDonalds Manawatu Jets 18 5 13 27.8 9 10 2-7 3-6 1533 1756 3-2 L1 -223
e-OceanaGold Nuggets 18 0 18 0.0 14 0 0-9 0-9 1323 1736 0-5 L18 -413

&- clinched regular season
z- home semifinal
y- home quarterfinal
x- clinched playoff berth
e- eliminated

 





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