The Taranaki Mountain Airs survived a spirited fightback from the Canterbury Rams to pick up their fourth win of the National Basketball League competition in New Plymouth tonight.
The Airs clinched the game 99-93 in the final minute with the Rams running into foul trouble.
The scores were locked at 88-88 with one minute 13 seconds on the clock, before Brad Anderson gave the home side a three-point cushion with a shot from the deep.
Back came the Rams with a two to close to one at 91-90, with Airs import Adrian Oliver nailing a two to push the lead back out to three with 32 seconds. Then came a string of fouls as the Rams tried desperately to steal the match.
First Suleiman Braimoh shot two from two from the free throw line, with Oliver repeating the dose with 19 seconds remaining. With 10 seconds remaining, Jeremy Kench trimmed the deficient to four at 97-93.
The Airs sealed the win with Brad Anderson and Braimoh both making one from two from the free throw line in the dying seconds.
Oliver scored a game-high 30 along with eight rebounds, while Braimoh added another double, double with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Aaron Bailey-Nowell and Anderson both scored 20 points.
Glen Dandridge led the scoring for the Rams with 23, with Richie Edwards and Marcel Jones both scoring 18. Jones also dragged down 14 rebounds.
Scorers: Taranaki Mountain Airs 99 (Adrian Oliver 30, Suleiman Braimoh 25, Brad Anderson 20, Aaron Bailey-Nowell 20) Canterbury Rams 93 (Glen Dandridge 23, Marcel Jones 18, Richie Edwards 18). FQ Rams 22-28; halftime Airs 52-46; 3Q Airs 73-68; full-time Airs 99-93.
- Taranaki Daily News
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