The Wellington Saints are 2017 National Basketball League champions, and the best NBL team of all time.

Those facts are indisputable after the Saints became the first team to complete an unbeaten season, capping off a perfect 20-0 campaign by beating the Southland Sharks 108-75 in the NBL final on Saturday night.

The victory sealed a 10th championship for the Saints; their second in a row and fifth in the past eight years.

None were more convincing than the trouncing they put on the league this season.


Possessing a roster with seven legitimate NBL starters and arguably the three best players in the league, the Saints were rarely challenged. Coached with precision, passion and detail by Kevin Braswell, the Saints managed to top their already high standards on their way to NBL perfection.

Saints forward Jordan Ngatai didn't believe an unbeaten season was possible when the season began, but credits Braswell for helping create a culture of success.

"We just all got on so well together. KB [Braswell] made sure we were prepared for every game, but we just had fun. The chemistry was there from day one and the practices were intense, even more intense than some of the games we played.

"We all sacrificed something to win this championship and make history."

The Sharks were worthy adversaries in the finale, giving the Saints their best for the opening portions. The score was tied at 21 after the first quarter, with the Sharks battling for loose balls and significantly, drawing three fouls on Saints big man Tai Wesley.

Yet, the Saints had already defeated them three times this season, and a fourth victory seemed inevitable once they went on a 12-0 run to graft a 44-37 halftime lead.

Such runs have been a Saints staple all season. Any sign of potential distress is quickly waved away by a spree of up-tempo basketball; where the Saints' advantages shine through and the opposition efforts are curtailed.

In the final, the Saints' 12-0 run was a sign of things to come. The Sharks' defence started to slip, initially letting Corey Webster get free for open looks, before Wesley and Shea Ili started to connect on threes to make the game lop-sided.

Webster capped off his MVP-winning season with 27 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, Finals MVP Ili added 31 points, five rebounds and five assists and Forward of the Year Wesley contributed 14 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Their lead stretched to 33 by the final buzzer, giving the Saints a fittingly dominant ending to the greatest season in NBL history.​