Tait, Abercrombie snare main NBL awards

SAINT: The Wellington Saints' Lindsay Tait in action.
SAINT: The Wellington Saints' Lindsay Tait in action.

Wellington Saints guard Lindsay Tait has won his second Most Valuable Player award after leading his side to its sixth National Basketball League title in the capital last Friday.

Tait was outstanding as the Saints won their first national crown since 2003 and rounded out a brilliant season for rookie coach and Tall Blacks legend Pero Cameron.

He had a team-high 28 points (11/13FG) and five assists in the game-three decider and was his team's best player throughout a series that ebbed and flowed.

Waikato Pistons swingman Thomas Abercrombie, whose side couldn't deny the Saints their crowning moment, was named Kiwi Most Valuable Player in thes 2010 Bartercard NBL Awards.

Tait who won the MVP award in 2005 also won both Outstanding Guard and NZ Outstanding Guard, as he led his Saints to a 14-4 record to clinch the regular season.

This is the fourth time Tait has been named Outstanding Guard (2003, '04, '05) and the fifth time he has won Best New Zealand Guard (2003, '04, '05, '07). This season he had a well-balanced output with 7.1 assists - a league best - to go with his 16.6 points in 15 games.

In only his second season in the league Abercrombie has already become a franchise player, winning his second Outstanding Forward and Best NZ Forward awards.

Leading his team in scoring (20.7), assists (2.9), steals (1.6) and blocks (2), Abercrombie also featured in the top echelon of the league in scoring (10th), rebounds (10th), and blocks (2nd).

Abercrombie’s team-mate at the Pistons Alex Pledger is the rebounding champ with 12.6 per game.

Pledger also led the league in double doubles with 11, averaging 11.5 points in 17 games.

Cameron deservedly won Coach of the Year after amassing a 17-5 record throughout the season.

Southland Sharks centre Martin Iti was named Rookie of the Year with averages of 6.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 13 games.

The Sharks sorely missed the inside presence of Iti who missed the last quarter of season though injury.

Sharks import Rene Rougeau was named in the All Star Five after leading the league in steals (3.8) and finishing fifth in blocks (1.6).

Rougeau topped the overall player power rankings in the regular season winning the player of the week four times, averaging 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds after playing in all of the Sharks' 18 regular season.

Alongside Abercrombie and Rougeau in the forwards, Nelson Giant Mika Vukona earns his first All Star Five Selection with career high averages of 14.5 points and 9.9 rebounds (3rd in the league).

Scoring Champ Eric Devendorf joins his back-court partner Tait to round out the All Star Five for his contributions both for the Pistons and the Saints.

Devendorf averaged 25.6 points in 13 regular season games which included a league high 49 points in his first ever NBL game.

2010 Bartercard National Basketball League Awards

Most Valuable Player
Lindsay Tait (Exodus Saints)
Regular Season Winners
Exodus Saints (14-4)
Keith Carr Trophy - Most Outstanding Guard
Lindsay Tait (Exodus Saints)
John Macdonald Trophy - Most Outstanding NZ Guard
Lindsay Tait (Exodus Saints)
Commissioners Cup - Most Outstanding Forward
Thomas Abercrombie (Waikato Pistons)
Stan Hill Trophy - Most Outstanding NZ Foward/Center
Thomas Abercrombie (Waikato Pistons)
Garry Pettis Memorial Trophy - Leading Individaul Rebounder
Alex Pledger (12.6) (Waikato Pistons)
Dave Taylor Trophy - Leading Assists
Lindsay Tait (7.1) (Exodus Saints)
Leading Scorer
Eric Devendorf (25.6) (Exodus Saints)
All Star Five
Lindsay Tait (Exodus Saints)
Eric Devendorf (Exodus Saints)
Thomas Abercrombie (Waikato Pistons)
Mika Vukona (Fico Finance Nelson Giants)
Rene Rougeau (Zerofees Southland Sharks)
Rookie of the Year
Martin Iti (Zerofees Southland Sharks)
Coach of the Year
Pero Cameron (Exodus Saints)
Free Throw Leader
Phill Jones (87.7%) (Fico Finance Nelson Giants)
Administrator of the Year
James King (Fico Finance Nelson Giants)
Media Award
Brendan Egan (The Southland Times)
Referee of the Year
Dallas Pickering (Auckland)