Henare keeping options open

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 07/04/2014

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Southland Sharks coach Paul Henare is keeping a look out for other potential import options with the prospect that American Brian Conklin could spend time on the sidelines.

Conklin picked up a hamstring injury while playing for the Townsville Crocs in the Australian National Basketball League but had felt he had recovered in time to line up for the Sharks in the New Zealand league season opener against the Otago Nuggets in Invercargill on Friday.

However, during the third quarter, Conklin again injured his hamstring and missed a good part of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter. His injury was costly for the Sharks as they went down 83-77.

Henare told The Southland Times yesterday they would assess where Conklin is at today, and didn't rule out calling in another import for Friday's game against the Waitakere Rangers in Invercargill.

Henare said time was against them, given that they wanted to give Conklin time to decide whether he could play.

"I want to at least wait until Monday or Tuesday before I make a decision on that.

"He's still young, he's fit, he's strong, so we're hoping he's going to bounce back. If we need to go down that path, though, it's definitely something I'll consider," he said.

"I'll definitely look at the option. Whether anything can be done in time [for Friday night], I'm not too sure.

"Realistically, you're probably looking at Australia and guys that have finished their season over there and are willing to come over from there at short notice. There might be someone or there might not."

Henare said the loss to Otago was frustrating, with his team coming up short in most areas.

They were out-rebounded and they missed several open looks at the basket. Key shooters Kevin Braswell, Leon Henry and Shea Ili shot just five from 31 shots between them from the field and two from 14 from the three-point line.

Braswell, remarkably, contributed just five points.

"It was a frustrating night; we just weren't able to get any flow. We got beaten in some areas on the boards, which was disappointing, and some of the loose balls that were floating around, but we still had our chance to win.

"It's disappointing but at the same time there is definite room for improvement."

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- The Southland Times

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