Underdog Mountain Airs out to roast the Rams

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 17/05/2014
Brad Anderson
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
HOT HANDS: Taranaki’s Brad Anderson passes the ball to Adrian Oliver in last week’s game against the Super City Rangers in New Plymouth. Anderson knocked down 26 points in the 123-90 win.

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Twenty-six points is usually enough to grab the headlines in basketball.

But when two of your team-mates are scoring 42 and 35, it doesn't rate as highly.

Yet for Taranaki Mountain Airs guard Brad Anderson, 26 points represented his best return for the season in the National Basketball League.

The 22-year-old dominated the second quarter of the Good Home Mountain Airs' match against the Super City Rangers in New Plymouth last Saturday night when just about every shot he put up dropped.

"I've been struggling with my shooting, I knew I could do better," he said yesterday ahead of today's match against the Canterbury Rams at the TSB Stadium.

"I've been playing good defence, it's my shooting I've been disappointed in. The last two weeks have been better. On the Thursday night, I'd slotted everything at training and on Saturday I came out and it carried on."

Anderson's 26 points in the 123-90 win were easily his best of the season. Six rebounds and two steals made for a productive night.

"I've had 16 in two games, but I haven't been shooting well. It's nice to finally start finding the net. It's now a matter of consistency. I don't mind if Adrian or Suleiman [imports Adrian Oliver and Suleiman Braimoh] are scoring, I'll just take the shots when I'm open."

Anderson said the feeling in the team was good.

"Hopefully we can carry on with it. At the start of the season, everyone was picking us not to win a game. Then we got one, then another when we upset Otago. Last week we thrashed Rangers. Now we have to carry on. People are now starting to realise we've got some real talent in the team."

Anderson said he knew little about today's opposition, apart from they were one of the tallest teams in the league.

"We just have to forget about last week's win and go out and get another win."

Mountain Airs coach Daryn Shaw echoed those sentiments.

"Canterbury have got some talented players. The message this week has been to forget about last week's game and target this game," he said.

"It's what we said at the start of the season. We're the underdogs and we have to maintain that hunger to beat teams every week."

AT A GLANCE

TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS vs CANTERBURY RAMS 5pm, TSB Stadium New Plymouth

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