The North Canterbury Premier men’s basketball team came extremely close to taking their match with Atami over the weekend. Atami got out to a great start, leading 25-9 after the first quarter, however the North Canterbury men hung in, and had closed the gap to 8 by the end of the second quarter, 43-35. Atami again put the foot down stretching their lead to 72-57 by the three quarter mark. The final period was action packed, with North Canterbury’s Jordyn Kauta scoring all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter, and with several steals from Tall Black Ethan Rusbatch, they came so close, eventually going down 88-86. Rusbatch also topped scored for the North Canterbury side, with 28 points. The league is very tight, with only 3 points separating top from bottom. The North Canterbury Premier women have 3 wins from 3, and are the only unbeaten side, after defeating Lincoln University 79-55. Masumi Yamada top scored with 23 points, and Mary Goulding sinking 22 points.