The Supercity Rangers have come from 22 points down to edge the Taranaki Mountain Airs 65-62 in the National Basketball League today.
In a scrappy, defensive affair where neither team shot higher than 33%, the Rangers just had enough firepower to overcome an Airs side who lost crucial import centre Daniel Gomis to injury in the first quarter.
Gomis, who is one of the league's premier defensive centres, sufferred a suspected broken hand, leaving a huge load to carry for the Airs bench after they had previously shot out to a 31-11 lead.
In the end, they couldn't quite hold off the Rangers, who were led by 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists by Mitch McCarron, and 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists by Lindsay Tait.
Their contributions overcame poor shooting nights from Brook Ruscoe (1/10) and 6'11" centre Nnanna Egwu, who contributed 10 rebounds and four blocks but shot a ghastly 3/14 from the field.
Despite decent showings from Kiwi players Houston O'Riley, Alonzo Burton and Aaron Bailey-Nowell, the Airs couldn't execute offensively down the stretch, scoring just 11 points in the final quarter.
The Rangers are now in second on the NBL ladder at 3-1, and have reinforcements coming in the form of Ernest Ross, as well as potentially some collegiate players such as Tai Wynyard and Matt Freeman.
The Airs drop to 3-2, and may have to make roster changes if Gomis is out for a lengthy period.