Team pays coach back in stunner

Southland Sharks star Kevin Braswell feels his team owes their coach Paul Henare.

Seven days before Saturday night's thrilling 85-83 victory over the Wellington Saints, Henare had taken some of the heat following his team's loss to Hawke's Bay.

He owned some of the blame, suggesting he got some of the preparation wrong.

Braswell was disappointed with the situation, saying the players were the ones who needed to look at themselves and turn it around against Wellington - something they certainly did.

"He took a lot of the blame last week for what's been going on and he's a tough guy so, as a coach, he's going to do that. But at the same time it was actually with the players, we had to step up and show we could come in here and do it within these lines.

"All he can do is do the great job day in day out preparing us but, when we get here, we've got to do it.

"Now there's that confidence in the team, knowing that we've got each other's backs, which will show in the rest of the games."

Braswell also added it was the fans who had fronted again after the patchy start to the season at home that they wanted to reward.

And reward they did, with what was regarded an upset win by many outside the Sharks camp.

"Basketball is a exciting game and when you get this crowd that support us week in, week out, and they come and they watch the nailbiters and watched the game last week where we came back from 18 down to cut it by six, they are right there into it.

"And then you get a game the next week the same exact way but you're on the other side of it and get the win.

"I think the relief was not just in us but also the crowd."

The Southland Times