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    Tuffin, Wellington look to close in on NZ NBL crown

    Jul 21, 2021
    Wellington Saints

    PRESSURE is on for the Wellington Saints as they gun for New Zealand National Basketball League title No. 12.

    The NZ NBL Final Four begins on Thursday at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, with the winners advancing to the one-game championship game on Friday.

    "The habits we have developed have got us to this point — the Final Four, but now the climb gets steeper and they’ll be put to the test," said coach Zico Coronel as Wellington tries to live up to expectations after going 16-2 in the elimination to tkae take the top seeding.

    Leading the charge for the Saints is Season MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Dion Prewster, who posted 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 assists for the season.

    Mythical Team member Taane Samuel, who averaged 16.6 points, 3.9 boards, and 1.7 dimes, as well as Kerwin Roach Jr. and Tohi Smith-Milner are also expected to take a big role.

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    Ken Tuffin

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    Ken Tuffin

    Filipino-New Zealander Ken Tuffin is also expected to deliver after averaging 8.6 points on 49 percent shooting from deep, to go with his 3.3 rebounds in his sophomore season in the NBL.

    Wellington, however, will have its hands full against No. 4 seed Auckland Huskies (11-7) led by Chris Johnson.

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    In the other semis pairing, the No. 2 Hawke's Bay Hawks, leaning on Devondrick Walker, will take on third seed Southland Sharks, bannered by Mythical Team member Dom Kelman-Poto.

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