Steep climb remains for Taranaki Mountain Airs

TONY BIRD
Last updated 05:00 11/06/2014
Suleiman Braimoh
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ
IMPORT ISSUE: The Taranaki Mountain Airs will play the remainder of the season with just one import, Suleiman Braimoh, after Adrian Oliver was released earlier this week.

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The Taranaki Mountain Airs are on a high after their stunning come-from-behind win against top four side the Wellington Saints in New Plymouth last Friday night.

But tonight, the Mountain Airs need to take another step up when they take on the in-form Super City Rangers at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.

The Rangers have won their last five games and are level with the Airs on the competition points table with a 5-8 record.

The Airs will see out the remainder of the regular season without a second import after American guard Adrian Oliver was released from his contract and returned home on Monday.

Mountain Airs assistant coach Steve McKean said the Airs' remaining import, Suleiman Braimoh, best summed up the situation in a pep talk to the team after training yesterday.

Arguably the best player in the league, Braimoh said that when you are down on manpower the margin for error is slight.

"That means we've got to rebound well, we've got to defend well, shoot well and make our open shots. We've got to if we're going to win," McKean said yesterday.

He said despite the off-court distractions around Oliver, there was a good feeling in the camp.

"We've got a few more wins than a lot of people thought we'd get but we think we deserve them because we play as hard most nights as any other team in the league."

McKean said the full squad was available to play tonight's game.

"They're fit and they're raring to go," he said.

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