Pressure on Wellington Saints to fire up in NBL

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014

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After emerging from a robust soul searching session, Lindsay Tait is adamant the Wellington Saints can revive their slumping season.

Wednesday's review of their fourth-quarter capitulation against the Manawatu Jets sounded like a beauty.

"We took it pretty hard," said Tait, the Saints' point guard and co-captain.

"The video session was pretty brutal. Not only the coaching staff but the players were really honest with each other and that's the only way we're going to get some of these bumps out. After that we had one of our better trainings of the year."

With five games remaining in the regular season, the 8-5 Saints are in third place but have lost five of their past eight.

Monday's 100-89 loss to Manawatu was particularly poor as the Jets outscored the self-destructing Saints 36-19 in the last quarter.

They have a chance to start putting things right against the 4-8 Taranaki Mountain Airs in New Plymouth tonight.

"The big issue all year has been our defence and rebounding," Tait said."It's a cliche but that's what wins championships. Rebounding is an effort and desire thing."

Tait admitted that the chopping and changing of imports - three have been released this season - had not helped matters.

"But that's not an excuse. There's a lot of expectation placed on this team and with the amount of resource and talent that we have, I think that's fair. I've been around the block and winning championships is not smooth sailing all the time."

Meanwhile, Tait said he supported NBA rookie Steven Adams' decision not to play for the Tall Blacks at the August-September World Cup in Spain.

"I was with Steve today and I didn't even bring it up. After everything he's been through, I didn't want to talk basketball with him.

"We'd love to have Steve involved but I understand and respect his decision. He's been amazing for New Zealand basketball, [with] what he's achieved."

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- The Dominion Post

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