Wellington New Zealand’s most successful sporting franchise – the Saints basketball team – is aiming for an 11th overall National Basketball league title in 2018 with the backing of a new naming rights sponsor in Cigna New Zealand.
THE GAME – Saints vs Sharks, Friday, 27 April
The Cigna Saints’ historic 24 game winning streak came to an end in the opening home game of the season in front of a ferocious home crowd of 2,467.
It was a high scoring affair from the beginning, Wellington making the first run, going up 13-5, and then 31-27 at the end of the first. In the second half the Sharks would push their lead to nine in the later stages of the fourth, but mini fight back from Wellington got them to within four thanks to a crafty set play out of the time put which saw LJ Peak go back door for an alley-oop. But four straight free throws from Weeks were able to seal the game for the visitors.
Shea Ili carried the Saints with 32 points and 10 assists, and fellow Tall Black team mate Jordan Ngatai added 24. Saints new import, LJ Peak added 17, but struggled with early foul trouble playing only 22 minutes.
At half time four kids were chosen from the crowd for a shootout with the winner securing $3,000 worth of sports equipment for their school. Congratulations to Seatoun Primary who won the equipment and a fun day with the Saints at their school!
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