Rams' Davison makes most of increased action
Marty Davison has identified a mid-season soulsearching session as the catalyst for the Canterbury Rams' resurgence.
Canterbury's National Basketball League campaign was in tatters four weeks ago, after a 25-point thrashing by the Super City Rangers at Cowles Stadium, which dropped them to a one-win, 10-loss record.
A few home truths were shared at training the following day, and since then the Rams have been a much-improved outfit.
They have won four of their past six games - beating playoff hopefuls Waikato and Otago away from home.
"If you look on paper, the guys we had, we definitely weren't a 1-10 team," Davison said.
"The way we were playing wasn't the right way. In all of our trainings, we switched our focus from offensive execution to the defensive side of things."
Davison was one of the Rams' unsung heroes in Sunday's 90-87 overtime victory over the Otago Nuggets in Dunedin.
With American import Glen Dandridge out injured and Marcel Jones suspended, Davison, who is usually a bench player, gained a starting role.
The reserve point guard made the most of his opportunity, producing the best performance of his five-year, 54-game NBL career.
Davison contributed seven points, nine rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes of court-time. He teamed up nicely alongside skipper Jeremy Kench in the backcourt and also provided plenty of energy on the defensive end.
The 27-year-old debuted for the Rams in 2008 and then played two seasons with the Christchurch Cougars, before the 2011 earthquake brought a halt to elite basketball in the city.
Davison appeared for the Auckland-based Harbour Heat in 2012, but his passion was to always come back and wear the red and black singlet.
He was thrilled to see the Rams brand revived this season, and said it was vital for Canterbury's emerging basketball talent.
"With no flagship team, when you finish school, there was nothing to aim for. We only had Canterbury under-23. We would have lost a lot of players.
"Five wins this season is better than zero wins. It's definitely a good step forward."
Homegrown youngsters such as Shou Nisbet, James Cawthorn, Matthew Campbell and James Anson-Holland had all had a taste of the NBL this season which was encouraging for the future, Davison said.
Canterbury wrap up their comeback season against defending champions Southland at Cowles on Saturday night.
The Rams will be determined to finish their season on a positive note and reward their home fans with an upset win.
Southland thumped Canterbury 108-83 last Friday in Invercargill. Davison said they needed to be switched on from the start, having fallen behind 35-14 after the first quarter in that game.