31 Jul 2020

Otago to face Manawatu in NBL grand final

6:01 am on 31 July 2020

Otago are through to their first-ever National Basketball League grand final, where they'll play Manawatu for the title.

Manawatu player Hyrum Harris.

Manawatu player Hyrum Harris. Photo: Sal's NBL

Otago advanced thanks to a 97-79 win over Canterbury in Thursday night's semi-finals in Auckland.

Manawatu beat Taranaki 105-95 in the other final four clash to reach Saturday's title match in Waitakere.

Otago's campaign has been built around a strong team culture and the excellence of Jarrod Kenny, Jordon Ngatai and Jordan Hunt.

Hunt finished with a season-high 33 points plus 10 rebounds while Ngatai (23 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists) and Kenny (16 points, 7 assists and 3 steals) produced strong contributions.

Taylor Britt, one of only four players to score over 300 points in tournament, scored 12 points for Canterbury.

His guard colleague Sam Smith scored 13, Tom Webley managed 12 while Reuben Te Rangi and Alex Talma contributed 10 points each.

Manawatu were boosted prior to tip-off with news that tournament MVP Tom Vodanovich would suit up after being sidelined with injury.

He didn't disappoint with a telling contribution of a game high 28 points and seven rebounds for the winners.

The grand final is on Saturday night at 7:30pm.