Basketball: NZ NBL Preview - Wellington Saints v Super City Rangers

Torrey Craig of the Wellington Saints playing in the NZ NBL. Photo / Getty Images
Torrey Craig of the Wellington Saints playing in the NZ NBL. Photo / Getty Images

Live coverage of the NZ NBL tips off tonight (the game will be streamed here at nzherald.co.nz from 7pm) with last year's runners up the Wellington Saints going head-to-head with last year's semifinalist the Supercity Rangers.

The Rangers arguably boast the strongest guards in the competition with the additions of Brook Ruscoe and Marco Alexander. The Saints systems will be watched carefully as Kevin Braswell debuts as head coach, especially after having won a title with the Southland Sharks last year.

Tall Black Shea Ili will likely lead the Saints at the point guard position. Breakers forward Tai Wesley is 95% likely to be starting for the Saints, but fellow Breaker Mika Vukona will not be playing for the Rangers tonight.

Wesley was named last year's Forward of the Year averaging 18.1 points and 9.4 rebounds, and the Saints have also signed Breakers import Charles Jackson for their first two games.

To combat them, the Rangers will have the likes of experienced forwards Dillon Boucher and Casey Frank, as well as import Terrence Roberts and former first-class cricketer Tipene Friday.

The Rangers have won the last three games against the Saints in Wellington/Porirua, but did have trouble against last year's MVP Torrey Craig who had 38 points and 17 rebounds in their last meeting at TSB Arena.

Expect a high tempo contest, as both games between these two teams last season saw over 200 points scored in each game.

The game tips off at 7pm from TSB Arena Wellington and will be streamed live at www.nzherald.co.nz/basketball

- NZ Herald

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