They won a tight arm wrestle 74-69 in ' />

Manawatu pulled off a huge upset when tipping over National Basketball League leaders Hawke's Bay tonight.

They won a tight arm wrestle 74-69 in Napier to inflict Hawke's Bay first defeat in nine matches this season.

Manawatu's fourth win in nine outings came on the back of a physically defensive game as they held Hawke's Bay to 15 or less points in both the first and last quarters.

Points were hard to come by for both sides but Manawatu had the edge with a 19-12 run in the last stanza proving crucial.

Their leading scorers was Darryl Hudson with 19 while Nick Horvath and Jeremiah Trueman chipped in with 14 and 13 respectively. Paora Winitana was Hawke's Bay's best with 16.

Waikato closed to within two points of Hawke's Bay and co-leaders Wellington by chalking up their fifth win in succession, this time 87-71 over Southland at Invercargill.

International Tom Abercrombie was a standout with his game-high 28 points while Brendon Polyblank was Southland's go-to guy as he accounted for 25 points, more than one-third of the home team's final haul.

Taranaki secured just their second win of the season when delighting their home fans with a 101-99 success over Auckland in New Plymouth.

Auckland looked to have the outcome under lock and key when leading 54-38 at halftime but Jack Leasure and Marcus Campbell stood up big time for Taranaki as they charged home.

Leasure finished with 27 points and Campbell 25 while Auckland were reliant on a pair of 20-point returns from Kevin Smith and Brad Anderson.

- NZPA