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SkyCity Breakers put in whopper performance to stay top of NBL

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The SKYCITY Breakers proved too strong for the Brisbane Bullets at Spark Arena tonight, maintaining top place on the Hungry Jack’s NBL ladder with a 96-89 victory, in the process rounding out a 3-1 series win over the Andrej Lemanis coached Bullets.

On a night when both teams put a premium on offence, it was the inside-outside game of the home side that won over the points in the paint for Brisbane, with the Breakers finding their groove again after a brief two game loss stalled their table topping momentum momentarily.

Fans celebrated a return to the winners’ circle but also the emphasis on offence, with the Breakers earning every one of their fans a Whopper Jnr, courtesy of sponsor Burger King, with the team going beyond 90 points in the game.

Defence was clearly not the last thing either coach said to their players before tip-off, with the first half a 49-46 shoot-out, with big men Tom Jervis and Daniel Kickert leading the way for the visitors while Tom Abercrombie was lighting it up for the Breakers, the swingman was at his best with a game leading 22 points including a perfect 5 from 5 from deep.

Every time the Breakers looked to gap the Bullets, the lead closed up again, more often than not on the inside work of Jervis, Kickert and Young, but it always seemed as though the Breakers had their measure and so it proved down the stretch as multiple players stepped up with big plays under big pressure.

Breakers Head Coach Paul Henare was pleased with the response of his team after a flat round last week.

"We reviewed the game, looked at areas we wanted to focus on against the same opposition and I thought there were good areas of improvement. Over 80% of our defensive boards, it was good to get a response there and the intent with which we played with the ball was great. The effort of Sosa and DJ in the face of their press, those were areas we wanted to improve on and we did tonight."

Abercrombie reflected on a performance that was talked about throughout the week.

"I wasn’t happy with how I played last week, I had good feedback from the coaches and came in with an aggressive mindset, get in the lane and get some free throws and be more active. We talked about moving the ball through the week and I was on the end of a few possessions where we shared the ball around, that got me going."

Bullets Head Coach Andrej Lemanis could not criticize the commitment of his players, but he did question whether it was in the right areas.

"Effort was there yes, but I didn’t think our mindset was there on the defensive end. Over the past 4 or 5 games I thought our defence had been good, but tonight we regressed a little I thought. We tried but did we put it in the right areas, the stats would suggest it was a little misplaced."

The Breakers smashed the boards 44-31, shot 54% from deep and added 8 steals and 4 blocked shots to their defensive hustle.

Next up is a road trip to Adelaide on Sunday, before a final home game of 2017 at Spark Arena on December 15 against the same opposition, with a Christmas theme game offering a gift to every child through the doors.

SKYCITY Breakers 96 (Abercrombie 22, Newbill 17, Loe 12)

Brisbane Bullets 89 (Jervis 20, Kickert 16, Young 11)

Next Home Game

SKYCITY Breakers v Adelaide 36ers

Friday 15th December

Spark Arena

Tip off 7:30

Christmas game, all kids a free gift

For tickets, visit www.nzbreakers.basketball

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