Two-time defending champions Waikato have won game one of the National Basketball League finals with an 80-74 victory Saints in Hamilton.
Thomas Abercrombie top scored for the homeside with 32 points.
Abercrombie was the star of the night as he also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots.
The Pistons dominated the boards with three of their players grabbing 10 or more rebounds, while out-rebounding Wellington 45-36.
Saints did get back into the game in the second half and took their first lead with under four minutes left, but Waikato went in front again with 43 seconds left.
Game 2 is in Wellington tonight and game 3, if necessary, in Wellington tomorrow night.