Short-handed Sharks vow to meet challenge

Last updated 05:00 31/05/2014
Brian Conklin
KEY PLAYER: Southland Sharks power forward Brian Conklin is up for tomorrow’s challenge.

Relevant offers


Starting five come up big as Taranaki Mountain Airs see off Hawke's Bay Hawks McKenzie Moore stars as Canterbury Rams topple Southland Sharks Funding crisis for Tall Blacks with $2m price tag accompanying move into Asia Turkish NBA star, team-mate of Steven Adams, hits back at arrest warrant report Wellington Saints notch 15th consecutive win of 2017 NBL season Taranaki Mountain Airs to make amends in crucial game against Bay Hawks Giant forwards named in Junior Tall Blacks' Under-19 World Cup squad Cleveland Cavaliers through to NBA finals as LeBron James breaks Michael Jordan's playoff scoring record Rams forward Marques Whippy fed up with slow starts crippling team National Basketball League: Veteran Southland Sharks player Hayden Allen closing in on return

Southland Sharks coach Paul Henare says imports Brian Conklin and Kevin Braswell love a challenge and tomorrow night is one the two Americans are ready to tackle.

The Southland basketball team was rocked this week with Reuben Te Rangi, Shea Ili and Leon Henry all suspended indefinitely after being arrested in New Plymouth on Sunday morning and charged with assault with intent to injure.

With Gareth Dawson also stood down following confirmation he tested positive for a banned drug, the Sharks squad is depleted.

It has left a lot resting on key players Conklin and Braswell to get the job done tomorrow night.

Henare said he had noticed a steely resolve in his American duo this week to step up to the task.

"Guys like Kevin Braswell and Brian Conklin are two of the toughest human beings I know and they see this as a challenge and a challenge they'll accept head on. While we may be undermanned, I have full faith in some of the guys we have here that can step up and do the job, and represent the Sharks with pride."

Henare talked with the team in their first training back on Tuesday night about the situation and what was ahead of them.

"It was the first time, as a whole team, we sat down and had a chat about everything that's gone on - and look, they are really driven. They really want to come out [tomorrow night] and put on a good showing for the club and for the community."

Despite the dark cloud the three suspended players have left over the Sharks' campaign, Henare said the team was in full support of the trio.

"One thing that has never wavered - and that I love the guys for - as hard as it has been on everybody, they are still supporting those three guys," he said.

"They are like brothers and like any family member you support them through thick and thin. They are a really tight group and part of what they are going to do [tomorrow night] is going to be for the Sharks and the community of Southland, but also, in part, it will be for their three brothers who won't be playing."

Southland will take on Taranaki tomorrow for the second time in eight days.

The two teams met in New Plymouth last Saturday night, when the Sharks produced a dramatic come-from-behind win.

Southland outscored Taranaki 48-16 in the last 13 minutes to claim what was one of the most remarkable victories in the Sharks' five seasons in the league.

Meanwhile, Henare will make a left-field comeback to playing tomorrow night. Close to four years after playing the last of his 243 national basketball league games for Hawke's Bay, Henare will suit up for the Sharks.

Ad Feedback

Dan Peck will also make a comeback against Taranaki.

The 26-year-old played 50 games for the Sharks before he retired at the end of last season. He is stepping out of retirement to help the depleted Southland team.


What: National Basketball League
Who: Southland Sharks vs Taranaki Mountain Airs
Where: ILT Stadium, Invercargill
When: Tomorrow, 7pm

- The Southland Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

How do you expect the Breakers to perform in this season's Australian NBL?

Last season was a blip, they'll be champions once again

They'll go close to another title, beaten finalists I'd say

Playoffs for sure, but can't see them going any further

Not too excited, they'll miss the playoffs again

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content