Ken Tuffin, Taranaki follow Marcel Jones' lead into NZ NBL semis
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 29, 2020 05:28 PM
(Photo courtesy of NZ NBL)
Ken Tuffin bounced back, Wednesday at the Trusts Arena and so did Taranaki to stay alive and kicking in the 2020 Sal's New Zealand National Basketball League.
Tuffin contributed nine points, but it was Marcel Jones' game-long brilliance that propelled the Mountainairs past very game Franklin, 99-90, and into the semifinals.
Jones scattered 31 points all throughout, most importantly, scoring 11 of his output in the 24-8 third quarter run that erased a six-point deficit and erected a 72-62 advantage for his side.
Tuffin's triple capped off that run, giving Taranaki the lead they would never relinquish.
Derone Raukawa joined in on the fun in the final frame and wound up with 28 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, and three steals himself.
Jones also collected 10 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks to make sure the Mountainairs moved on to a semifinals duel with archrival Manawatu on Thursday.
Dominique Kelman-Poto paced the Bulls with 31 points, the last three of which even pulled them within three, 85-88, inside the last four minutes.
Raukawa and Jones held down the fort for Taranaki, however, as they avenged their bitter 65-92 loss to the very same Franklin team to end the elimination round.
With the much-welcome win, Tuffin and company now turn their attention to the Jets in the knockout semifinals still to be streamed live on Smart Sports Facebook.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.