Playoffs still possibility for Mountainairs

he Taranaki Mountain Airs made it two-from-two for the season against the Auckland Pirates with a 96-92 win in a National Basketball League match Auckland last night.

More importantly, the win maintains their faint hopes of making the top-six playoffs with three games remaining. On the other side of the ledger, the loss ended the Pirates' playoff chances.

"We talked about the importance of this game and winning. It gives us something to play for against the Saints on Friday," Taranaki coach David Bublitz said.


Leasure helps Taranaki stun Auckland in NBL

The Taranaki Mountain Airs breathed fresh air into their National Basketball League campaign by upsetting the Auckland Pirates.

They out-hustled the northerners under the offensive basket to post an important 96-92 victory in Auckland, just their third victory in 13 games but one which gives them a theoretical chance of earning a top-six playoffs berth.

Taranaki started much the stronger as they sped out to an early 16-4 lead and remained in front at the end of each quarter as Auckland suffered a loss which left them with no hope of qualifying for the playoffs.


Airs Knock Out Pirates

The TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS keep their slim play off hopes alive at the expense of theAUCKLAND PIRATES, thanks to a hugeJACK LEASURE three, final score 96-92.The Airs win also means that the ZEROFEES SOUTHLAND SHARKS and the FICO FINANCE NELSON GIANTS have clinched playoff spots


Leasure had a game high thirty one points, which included a three with twenty six seconds left putting the visitors up 94-92.

MARCUS CAMPBELL was again too much inside for the Pirates inside, with another double-double of twenty one points and twelve rebounds.


Unlucky Airs miss out again - Taranaki Daily News

Another week, another single digit loss for the Taranaki Mountain Airs.

This time it was 87-83 to the Nelson Giants in a National Basketball League match in Nelson on Saturday night.

It was a game the Mountain Airs could have won, with the side clawing back from six behind at halftime to go on a 13-2 run in the third quarter to lead by five.

The Giants came back in the fourth quarter and led by five on the back of two free throws from Phil Jones with just over a minute to play.


Banana skins and flying furniture - Nelson Mail

They're called "banana skin" games. The ones in which a team can be merrily making their way, when they slip up and land on their baggy-shorted behinds.

The Fico Finance Nelson Giants almost stepped on the banana skin that was the Taranaki Mountain Airs on Saturday, only an inspirational defensive play from American forward Rod Grizzard earning them an 87-83 win in the Bartercard national basketball league.

With the score favouring the home team by two points, Taranaki guard Jack Leasure had the chance to set up a play for a tie or a win but Grizzard met him at halfcourt and forced a turnover, the ball bouncing off Grizzard's legs as he hedged out on defence.


2011 Bartercard NBL Standings: Round Nine

2011 Bartercard NBL Standings: Round Nine


Team ↑P WLWin %GBPts
Zerofees Southland Sharks 10 5 5 50 4 10
Waikato Pistons 13 10 3 77 0 20
Taranaki Mountain Airs 11 2 9 18 7.5 4
OceanaGold Nuggets 12 2 10 17 7.5 4
McDonalds Manawatu Jets 10 5 5 50 4 10
HBS Bank Hawks 13 10 3 77 0 20
Fico Finance Nelson Giants 10 5 5 50 4 10
Exodus Saints 11 9 2 82 0.5 18
Auckland Pirates 10 2 8 20 7 4


Giants edge out Airs, Sharks rout Nuggets

The FICO FINANCE NELSON GIANTS have edged out the TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS87-83, while in Invercargill the ZEROFEES SOUTHLAND SHARKS have destroyed theOCEANAGOLD NUGGETS 100-58.


Airs trailed by as many as twelve in the first half, but fought back in the third quarter when they went on a 13-2 run to take a five point lead.

From there on the game would be tight, both teams taking turns with the lead. Giants would finally gain some distance when a couple of free throws from PHILL JONESput their lead to five with 1:12 remaining.


Taranaki's coming - and it's personal - The Nelson Mail

For Tony Rampton, it's personal.

While the assistant coach of the Nelson Giants will be willing his side to a third straight victory in the national basketball league, Rampton has another reason to be backing the Giants to beat Taranaki on Saturday.

The Trafalgar Centre game also doubles as a challenge for the Brian Rampton Memorial Trophy, a cup contested between the two provincial clubs to honour the memory of Tony's late father. Tony and his younger brother, Damon, turned out for both Nelson and Taranaki in their NBL careers and New Plymouth basketball identity John Kensington proposed the idea of a trophy to mark the Rampton family's connections with both clubs.

The Giants hadn't let it out of their sights, either, until this season.

A miserable 89-71 loss on the road at the start of the season saw the MountainAirs take hold of the trophy, a situation Rampton would like to see reversed on the Giants' home court this weekend.


Defence crucial to Airs' game plan - Taranaki Daily News

Two teams with two different goals will take the court when the Nelson Giants play the Taranaki Mountain Airs in Nelson tonight.

The Giants will be looking for their fifth win from 10 games and payback for their shock 89-71 loss to the Mountain Airs in New Plymouth earlier this year.

The Mountain Airs on the other hand will be looking for a notable double over the Nelson team and to turn things around after losing both their games last weekend – 92-88 to the Otago Nuggets and 97-95 to the Southland Sharks.


Sharks hold their nerve to edge Mountain Airs - Southland Times

The Southland Sharks have held on to beat the Taranaki Mountain Airs 97-95 in an nailbiter at the ILT Velodrome tonight.

The victory came at a cost for the Sharks, however, with American import Kevin Braswell leaving the court after just 46 seconds with a ruptured Achilles tendon to his left foot. He is expected to be out for a minimum of six weeks, with Sharks coach Richard Dickel admitting it could be even longer.

Southland showed huge character to win without the presence of the talented combo guard with youngsters Dan Peck and Sam Dobbs having huge games off the bench and scoring 16 points between them.


Airs coach Bublitz: Next game a must-win

  Regroup and go extra hard tonight.

That's the message from Taranaki Mountain Airs coach David Bublitz after his side crashed to a 92-88 loss against the Otago Nuggets in a National Basketball League match in Dunedin last night.

"If we don't win against Southland in Invercargill, that's our season gone," Bublitz said.

"We came down here hoping to win two games. If we can win one out of two that's acceptable, but we've made it hard for ourselves."


Ace shooter Jack Leasure has to work on it

Some sportsmen and sportswomen are naturally talented, others have to work hard to reach the top in their chosen sport.

Jack Leasure is one of the latter brigade. He knows he needs to go that extra mile and practise when others have headed home.

That sort of attitude and dedication led the American basketballer to set himself a personal challenge at the start of the year – 10,000 shots in 26 days.

It was hard and it was lonely. One man in a gym shooting baskets.


Basketball Taranaki Needs You!

The committee for Basketball Taranaki are looking for some new members.  It is not a huge commitment, generally meeting once a month for an hour or so.  Next meeting will be end of June, start of July.  If you are interested in coming along to a meeting, to see what it is all about, or if you have any questions, then please send me an email  Thank you


National Coaches Conference 2011

National Coaches Conference 2011: Empowering Thinking Coaches

1-3 July 2011


Breakers Training Venue

7 Atlas Place, North Shore, Auckland

For more details and to register, please click here!


Taranaki Mountain Airs steal win from Pirates

The Taranaki Mountain Airs picked up the booty and left the Auckland Pirates wondering just what hit them, scoring a 101-99 win in their National Basketball League game in New Plymouth last night.

Ahead 54-38 at halftime, things were going along nicely for the Aucklanders at the TSB Stadium and even the home fans had all but given up on their team.

No-one could have predicted such a turnaround in fortunes, with Taranaki storming back in the third quarter to outscore the visitors 36-24 and close to within four points.

Taranaki levelled up the game early in the fourth quarter and then took a six-point lead on the back of two Jack Leasure three-pointers with five minutes left.


Mountainairs 101 - Pirates 99

In New Plymouth the TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS have overcome an eighteen point deficit to win 101-99 against the AUCKLAND PIRATES.

With the scores 99 apiece, ZANE MEEHL stole the ball off LUKE MARTIN to hit the game winning field goal on the buzzer.

Meehl had fourteen points, six rebounds and seven assists, while his back court partner JACK LEASURE had a game high twenty seven points also grabbing ten rebounds.

After managing only 38 points in the first half, the Airs put on thirty six in the third period alone, cutting the Pirates lead from sixteen to four at the end of the period.

In the fourth the Airs would begin the period with a 5-0 run to get their first lead since the 5:15 mark in the opening quarter.


Round 6 Standings

2011 Bartercard NBL Standings: Round Six


Team PWLWin %GBPts
HBS Bank Hawks 8 8 0 100 0 16
Exodus Saints 9 8 1 89 0.5 16
Waikato Pistons 8 5 3 63 3 10
Zerofees Southland Sharks 7 3 4 43 4.5 6
McDonalds Manawatu Jets 8 3 5 38 5 6
Auckland Pirates 6 2 4 33 5 4
Fico Finance Nelson Giants 6 2 4 33 5 4
OceanaGold Nuggets 7 1 6 14 6.5 2
Taranaki Mountain Airs 7 1 6 14 6.5 2


July Coaching Conference



This is an advanced message to clear your diaries and be involved in a world class coaching conference to be held in Auckland from the evening of Friday 1st July – midday Sunday 3rd July.

A number of high profile and quality presenters have been organised to attend this event.

Please pass this message onto coaches across all levels of the game. It will be a weekend not to miss.

Full and final details will be announced at BBNZ’S AGM ON SUNDAY 29TH MAY


Mountainairs 84, Pistons 104

Pistons have given the TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS their fourth straight loss with a 104-84 win in Tauranga.

THOMAS ABERCROMBIE had his highest score of the season with thirty, twenty two of which was in the first half, where he shot 5/7 from behind the arc.

Waikato won every period against the Airs, but made their biggest move in the second winning it 28-18.

Taranaki did start the game off well, going point for point in the first quarter, having the lead a couple of times.

New addition ZANE MEEHL in his first start, complemented JACK LEASURE nicely in the back court scoring seven of his fourteen points in the period.


Team Standings After Round 5

2011 Bartercard NBL Standings: Round Five


Team PWLWin %GBPts
Exodus Saints 8 8 0 100 0 16
HBS Bay Hawks 7 7 0 100 0.5 14
Waikato Pistons 7 4 3 57 3.5 8
McDonalds Manawatu Jets 6 3 3 50 4 6
Auckland Pirates 5 2 3 40 4.5 4
Zerofees Southland Sharks 6 2 4 33 5 4
Fico Finance Nelson Giants 5 1 4 20 5.5 2
Taranaki Mountain Airs 6 1 5 17 6 2
OceanaGold Nuggets 6 0 6 0 7 0


Sport's long and short of it together

Pint-sized Central Districts jockey Robbie Hannam looks up to most people.

But on Saturday he almost needed binoculars to see the face of the man he was asked to interview at a celebrity function during the Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing's winter meeting at Pukekura Raceway.

One of the smallest senior jockeys riding in New Zealand at 1.49m (4feet 9inches) with his boots on, Hannam seized the opportunity to quiz the Taranaki Mountain Airs American import, Marcus Campbell.


Marcus Campbell Heads to the Clouds

Marcus Campbell has always been tall.

At 14, he was seven foot and basketball was his game.

The combination of height and basketball has given the American the opportunity to travel the world, earning him a wage and providing him with a lifestyle he enjoys.

The sport has brought him to New Zealand, Taranaki in particular, where the 29-year-old has teamed up with the Mountain Airs in this year's National Basketball League competition.

After a slow start, the 2.14 metre forward is quickly becoming a crowd favourite.


Southland Sharks Rebound for Road Win

A night after being shellacked by the Waikato Pistons, the Southland Sharks rebounded with a 90-81 National Basketball League win over the Taranaki Mountain Airs in New Plymouth tonight.

Import Sylvester Spicer had 21 points and NZ Breakers guard Kevin Braswell 19 points as the Sharks used a big second quarter to get out in front and then hold their lead in the second half at TSB Stadium, improving to 2-3 for the season.

Spicer shot 10-of-12 from the field and finished just one rebound off a double-double, while Braswell, who had an uncharacteristic low-scoring game in Hamilton last night, connected on four three-pointers, part of an overall 8-of-17 shooting night, and dropped six assists.


Sharks bounce back to defeat the Airs

ZEROFEES SOUTHLAND SHARKS have bounced back from last night’s loss to defeat theTARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS 91-80.

Sharks had their best offensive output of the season, import SLYVESTER SPICER having his best and maybe last performance for the Southland top scoring with 21 points.


Zane Meehl to move to Taranaki

Wellington guard Zane Meehl has been released to play for Taranaki for the remainder of the National Basketball League.

Wellington coach Pero Cameron was approached by Taranaki last week about releasing Meehl following Lindsay Tait's return to the Saints from the Taipans in the Australian National Basketball League.

In six games for Wellington this season, Meehl has averaged under 10 minutes per game, averaging 3.2 points and 1.3 assists per game.

Meehl, 24, moved to Australia as a teenager and spent five seasons in the Australian Basketball Association, four for the Maroochydore Clippers averaging nearly 22 points per game last season.


Next home game - Thurs 12 May 2011

Next home game for the Taranaki Mountainairs is Thursday 12 May, v Southland Sharks @ TSB Stadium, 7.00pm.  Southland Sharks will play the Waikato Pistons, on Wednesday 11th, before coming to Taranaki.  We have had some great crowds so far this season, but there are still plenty of seats, so we look forward to seeing you, your family, and your friends, at the game.  To win 2 free tickets to the game, like our Facebook page (link on the right hand side), be on Facebook Wednesday at 7.00pm, have the first correct answer to the question and the tickets are yours.  Best of luck!


'Gentle giant' showing good form for Mountain Airs' - Murray Hills - Taranaki Daily News

Marcus Campbell demands attention.

He should do ... he's a mountain of a man.

He's tall – 2.14 metres – and weighs 120kg.

And while he's a gentle giant off the court, on court he has all the aggression and passion basketball fans love.

The American – in his first season in the Kiwi league – had by far his best game for the Taranaki Mountain Airs in the shootout defeat against the Wellington Saints on Friday night.


Wellington Saints hit mark in shoot-out

The Wellington Saints came to town all guns blazing and lit up the court in a National Basketball League match in New Plymouth last night.

The Saints shot out to an early lead with their hit-and-run game and cruised to a 124-102 win against a spirited Taranaki Mountain Airs lineup to remain unbeaten after five games.


Umpires required

Good and reliable MiniBall Umpires are required by the YMCA New Plymouth.  The children's league starts Tues 10 May, 3.30pm-5.00pm.  This is PAID work!  Please contact Jon on 021 1834956


Coaching DVD's available

MAY 4, 2011

Basketball Pacific


BASKETBALL PACIFIC presents top Australian Development Coaches Marty Hansen, Tony Gall and Andrea Walsh in action from the Coaching Clinics at Easter Tournament in Rotorua. 

You can get current with your Coaching for 2011 with loads of ideas for your Coaching with these 3 separate ‘must-have’ Coach Development DVDs.

This is an ideal package of 3 DVDs aimed at Coaches who are developing fundamental skills.


Welcome to Taranaki Basketball, home of the Taranaki Mountainairs

Thanks for stopping by the Taranaki Basketball website.  We would love you to follow the Taranaki Mountainairs on Facebook, so please click on the FB link on the right-hand-side, (underneath the ad and social media tab) and LIKE us today.  We hope you enjoy looking around the site!


Mountain Airs lack firepower against Jets' blitz

The Manawatu Jets came up with a final quarter raid to shoot down the Taranaki Mountain Airs in a National League Basketball game in Palmerston North on Saturday night.  Article by Murray Hills

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