Kestrels kick started the NBL Division 2 Men’s season with an impressive 108-70 victory on the road at NASSA in East London on Saturday afternoon. Isa Brandon posted 21 points on his debut for the club whilst Matt Hughes and Russ Gariepy added 17 and 16 points respectively, as they helped TSK to an opening day triumph.
TSK Head Coach Matt Guymon was pleased with his sides first outing of the season; “Todays performance was exactly what we needed to get our season underway, we are a new group and are still finding our rhythm. That said, I thought we got a number of contributions at different points of the game, which was reflected in 6 guys reaching double figures. We played unselfishly on the offensive end and showed glimpses of our potential on the defensive end but ultimately a great start point for us.”
The new look Kestrels had the better of the opening exchanges as Isa Brandon connected from deep and a number of defensive stops led to transition points for the visitors. Despite an early timeout from the home side, they would be unable to slow down TSK’s balanced scoring attack. Sean Mulhern came off the bench to stroke back to back triples before Russ Gariepy capped off a 30 point quarter for his side with a three of his own, 30-14 Kestrels after one.
It was a much more back and forth affair in the second quarter with NASSA able to find their scoring touch but Kestrels also showed no signs of slowing down and followed up with another 28 point quarter. Matt Hughes would get going in transition scoring 7 straight through the mid point of the period, before Will Taylor and Gariepy continued to pour it on scoring wise. TSK 58-36 to the good at the half time interval.
The second half proved much of the same for TSK, with a number of guys getting in on the scoring act, as Ash Briggs and Brandon added to their individual totals. Again a number of positive defensive possessions leading to fast break points for the visitors who had stretched their advantage to 36 with just ten minutes to play.
Naturally the pace of the game slowed in the 4th quarter with both teams rotating through their squads, which enabled Coach Guymon to take a look at a number of combinations with his new look team.
Kestrel captain Elliot Dadds weighed in the win also; “It was a great game for us, we came out with the right intent on both ends of the floor and that really set the tone for the performance. We showed some positive glimpses of what we can be capable of this year, for us we need to work now to be as consistent as possible through-out the season.”
Kestrels will travel to MK Breakers this coming Saturday (5pm) before returning home to take on Plymouth Marion Patriots on Sunday (1.30pm) in the National Cup at the SSC.
Tickets are now on sale for this game and upcoming home games here;