Pistons singlet waiting for Tom Abercrombie

BEN STRANG
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2014
Tom Abercrombie
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
OFFERING: The Waikato Pistons have a spare position for Tom Abercombie in their team.

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The Waikato Pistons No 10 singlet is ready and waiting for Tall Black and New Zealand Breakers star Tom Abercrombie if he chooses to wear it.

Abercrombie's stay with French club ASVEL has come to an end with the club losing their finals series 2-0 to Limoges on Friday.

In that game he played only 11 minutes and failed to score, but Abercrombie did score nine points and grab sevens rebounds in 20 minutes in the first game of the series.

With the French connection over, Abercrombie is slowly making his way back to New Zealand, where he will prepare for the Tall Blacks programme which begins in July.

Abercrombie said on Twitter yesterday that he was enjoying the sunshine in London, and preparing to support Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Pistons assistant coach Anthony Corban said he will be in touch with Abercrombie during the week to see when the star forward may be back in New Zealand.

"I talked to him about a week ago and there was no talk of coming back early, but until I speak with him I really don't know," Corban said.

"When [the basketball season] finishes in France, he's got his girlfriend over with him so probably, like all young Kiwi couples, he'll take a short OE and then come back to get ready for the Tall Blacks.

"We'll welcome him home with open arms if he's back, but it's a scenario really controlled by how his body is, and when he is back."

Corban said if Abercrombie does play in the NBL this season, there is only one team it will be for.

"If he's playing NBL, he's playing for Waikato," he said, "but, it's really a case of European summer, French red wine, versus New Zealand winter.

"We've still got his uniform with Abercrombie on the back, so we'd love to welcome him back."

The Pistons came off a two-game road trip down south on Friday and Saturday with a win and a loss.

After a 92-88 loss to the Southland Sharks in Invercargill on Friday night, a tired Pistons team edged the Otago Nuggets 91-88 in overtime on Saturday night in Dunedin.

Down three with sevens seconds left against the Nuggets, coach Pero Cameron made an inspired call to introduce guard Karl Noyer for the first time all evening.

The resulting play saw Noyer left open at the top of the key, and he drilled the three-pointer to tie things up and force overtime.

From there import Akeem Wright took over, finishing with 30 points on 11 of 28 shooting, while a hobbled guard Corin Henry finished with 26 points on 10-18 from the field.

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Henry had been a concern for the Pistons on Friday night, taken from the court in a wheelchair after a nasty collision on defence.

Corban said Henry took a knee to the hip, and was taken for X-rays which later cleared him of any fracture.

He played the following night despite the obvious pain, and will play again against the Sharks on Thursday at Hamilton Boys' High School.

- Stuff

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