Gold Nuggets: Otago claim NBL Showdown title
The Otago Nuggets claimed the National Basketball League Showdown title after a last-gasp 79-77 victory over the Manawatu Jets last night. A crucial late block by Jordan Ngatai and an ill-advised final three-point attempt by Jets guard Nelson Kirksey saw the Nuggets hold on for their first title in a national competition. Impressive Nuggets forward Jordan Hunt led the way with 21 points, while league MVP Tom Vodanovich had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort for the Jets. The season was played entirely in Auckland with a draft format after the league’s three best sides — the Wellington Saints, Southland Sharks and Hawke’s Bay Hawks — all pulled out. The Nuggets were a late entrant due to reduced costs of playing in Auckland and were deserved victors.
The Otago Nuggets celebrate their victory.