With the Easter break occurring in some of the local leagues, a few players had the week off playing and were able to enjoy some time resting and with family.
It wasn’t very quiet however for our All NBL 1st Team Centre AJ Ogilvy who made his debut for Azad University Tehran in the Iranian Superleague. After a quick flight to Iran, he made his debut on the 10th of April in his sides 80-73 victory against Chemidor. Coming off the bench but still registering 32mins, AJ racked up an impressive 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Three nights later he was back onto the court, this time inserted into the starting lineup for a big clash against Petrochimi who featured another Aussie in Daniel Johnson of the Adelaide 36ers. AJ was busy again seeing 35 minutes of action and registering 17 points and 14 rebounds whilst shooting an impressive 60% from the field. Unfortunately it was not enough for his side to get the win going down 64-80, however it was enough to be recognised as the league’ Player of the Week.
The big centre was back on court on the 17th of April when his side took on Kashan. A dominant 83-49 win meant he was able to have a little less court time, but in 25 minutes of action AJ was able to register 17 points and 4 rebounds.
Across to Italy and Rotnei Clarke’s hot shooting form has continued as his side, VL Pesaro, registered back to back wins as they beat Juvecaserta 83-67. Rotnei was able to rack up 19 points (4-6 3pt fg), 4 rebounds, and 4 assists as his side continues to try to climb up the Italian Serie A ladder.
Over in West Australia, Cody Ellis has bounced back into a bit of form as well. After being ill in the lead up to his last game, a healthy Cody racked up 23 points (50% fg), 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots in 36 minutes. It wasn’t enough to get the Stirling Senators over the line though as they were narrowly defeated 92-98 by the Kalamundra Eastern Suns.
To the land of the long white cloud, where the duo of Mitch Norton and Nick Kay were also busy with a couple of games for the Southland Sharks. Their first matchup was against the Wellington Saints, led by Corey Webster but It was a tough night for our boys suffering a 93-111 defeat. Norto racked up 16 points, 6 assists and 2 steals for the game, while Nick was a kept a little quiet by the Saints bigs managing 9 points and 3 rebounds.
In the second game of the weekend for the duo they were able to pick up a win over the Taylor Hawks 101-87. Nick Kay managed 11 points and 8 rebounds, while Mitch was a littler quieter this time out racking up 8 points and 3 assists. The Norton/Kay combo are keeping the Southland Sharks right up there with the competition as they continue to hold on to second place in the NZ NBL.
Finally, this week sees the second consecutive year for the NBL Combine. The combine is where talented players who are trying to get into the league are all in one location in Melbourne to showcase their skills. Assistant Coach Eric Cooks and our General Manager Kim Welch are both at the combine casting an eye over the talent on display.
That wraps up this week’s off season report, we will keep you up to date with all the weekly action next Tuesday!