The Manawatu Jets made sure the Taranaki Mountain Airs finished the season on a sour note with a 104-77 win in Palmerston North tonight.
The Jets, who booked their semifinal spot last week, dominated the game from the outset as their three-point shooting was too much for Taranaki who finish with a 7-9 win/loss record.
The Jets led at every quarter and except for a period at the start of the second quarter and the end of the third where they switched off on attack and Taranaki closed the lead to 10, the Airs never got close to them.
American centre Josh Pace led the way for Manawatu with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while point guard Chris Hagan added 19 points.
Taranaki struggled against Manawatu's defence and it took nearly four minutes for the Airs to get their first points on the board with the Jets leading 12-0 at the start of the game.
Taranaki's best was Link Abrams who top-scored with 19 points and picked up 10 rebounds.
The free-throw shooting of Manawatu will be a worry with the playoffs around the corner as they shot only 11 from 22.
It is the third big win for the Jets and their fourth in a row, keeping them in third on the table with a game to play.
They have their final game against the Bay Hawks in Palmerston North on Sunday afternoon while the Airs will finish the season in either fifth or sixth position.
- Manawatu Standard