Horvath's return eases burden

BACK IN BLACK: Nick Horvath is thrilled to be pulling on a Tall Blacks singlet again.
BACK IN BLACK: Nick Horvath is thrilled to be pulling on a Tall Blacks singlet again.

No-one was happier to see the return of Nick Horvath than Arthur Trousdell.

New Jets forward Trousdell and Jeremiah Trueman have been shouldering a bigger workload in the absence of the injured Horvath, but now Horvath is back, all their jobs got a little easier.

Trousdell and Trueman have had to play extended minutes this year in the absence of Horvath

"I think everyone's pretty stoked to be honest," Trousdell said. "It's been pretty clear teams have been trying to attack our bigs.

"We've had less bigs than other teams. That's been a strategy; JT and I have had to try and play smarter and avoid foul trouble.

"Having Nick back changes the game. All three of us can play more aggressively defensively and not hold back in any respect."

Horvath, who played his first game of the season last week, was a little sore after playing against Nelson, but trained this week and should be fine for the Jets' game against Waitakere's Super City Rangers at Arena Manawatu tomorrow night.

Trousdell said they had been doing their best, but Horvath's absence has showed, particularly with the Jets sitting ninth on the table.

The league veteran has been one of the Jets' best this season, defending strongly and has been averaging nearly 11 points per game and nearly eight rebounds and even though he may get more of a rest, Trousdell will keep going as hard.

"The way I play, our guys play, I just get out there to leave it all on the floor. Irrespective of minutes, I'm always going to be knackered."

Trousdell said they were gutted after the 91-82 loss to the Nelson Giants last week, where they played well in spurts, but didn't have the consistency to get it done in the second half.

Defence had been a big focus this week, but so had fixing their shooting, which was only 38 per cent against the Giants.

Trousdell said when a few players don't shoot well it's hard to win, so they had been working on shooting under pressure.

Manawatu Jets coach Darron Larsen said tomorrow's opponents the Rangers, who are one place above them on the table, are in a similar position to them and hoped for an improvement from the Giants game.

"We watched the video and pointed out a few glaringly obvious things," Larsen said. "We had a good discussion and talked about how we can get better.

"Shooting four from 29 from six guys is never going to cut it."

Larsen said they had addressed the shooting problem and had to improve on defence.

Waitakere have been in hot form recently, winning three on the trot and should have in-form import Jason Cadee, former Jet Duane Bailey, former Tall Black Dillon Boucher, who Larsen called "the smartest guy that's ever played", and New Zealand Breakers shooting guard Daryl Corletto.

Tipoff is at 7pm.

TEAMS FOR TOMORROW NIGHT Manawatu Jets: Paul Jones, Brandon Jenkins, Jeremiah Trueman, Alonzo Burton, Arthur Trousdell, Troy McLean, Derone Raukawa, Matt Te Huna, Nick Horvath, Kaine Hokianga, Nick Fee, Paul Bristol Stephen Hansen. Super City Rangers: Daryl Corletto, Jason Cadee, Houston O'Riley, Duane Bailey, Patrich Bolstad, Tohi Milner-Smith, Dillon Boucher, Christoph Fahrensohn, Theo Johnson. 

NBL POINTS TABLE P W L Win % Pts Hawke's Bay 12 10 2 83.3 20 Wellington 12 8 4 66.7 16 Nelson 13 8 5 61.5 16 Southland 9 6 3 66.7 12 Waikato 11 6 5 54.5 12 Otago 9 4 5 44.4 8 Taranaki 10 4 6 40.0 8 Waitakere 11 4 7 36.4 8 Manawatu 9 2 7 22.2 4 Canterbury 11 1 10 9.1 2

Manawatu Standard