NBL misery continues for the Waikato Pistons

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 25/05/2013

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Basketball

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An inept opening to the third quarter consigned the Waikato Pistons to another heavy NBL defeat last night.

The Advice First Waikato Pistons' losing streak now stands at six ahead of tonight's home match against the Manawatu Jets.

A 97-71 defeat by the Taranaki Mountain Airs in New Plymouth last night meant the Pistons stayed rooted to the bottom of the NBL table.

The visitors made a tardy start, allowing Taranaki to jump out to a handy advantage within five minutes. The hosts had few problems scoring, knocking down seven of their the first nine field goal attempts and ended the quarter shooting 72 per cent from the field.

The Pistons, in contrast made just five of 16 shots to trail 28-13 after 10 minutes and things got worse before they got better. Taranaki stretched their lead to 18 points midway through the second period but a spirited reply by the Pistons, led by imported centre Zack Atkinson, helped them reach halftime just 11 points behind.

However, any chance of turning the game into a legitimate contest evaporated when Taranaki scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to open up a 24-point lead before the Pistons got on the board in the second half. The hosts outscored Waikato 28-10 in the quarter, making the final 10 minutes meaningless.

Atkinson led the beaten side with 20 points and eight rebounds, but it was a forgettable night for the hosts. who made just one successful three-point shot from 11 attempts. Tonight's match tips off at Hamilton Boys' High School at 7pm.

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- Waikato Times

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