Last- sec­ond New­bill bas­ket gives Break­ers first win

Weekend Herald - - RUGBY - Bas­ket­ball Niall An­der­son

A last- sec­ond DJ New­bill game- win­ner has put the New Zealand Break­ers on the board in the Aus­tralian Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League.

With the game tied and three sec­onds re­main­ing, New­bill drove to the lane, con­vert­ing an and- one layup to de­throne the Syd­ney Kings and give the Break­ers an 87- 85 vic­tory for their first win of the sea­son.

New­bill’s hero­ics con­tin­ued Syd­ney’s hor­ror run in New Zealand — there’s some­thing about the transtas­man jour­ney which trans­forms the Kings into pau­pers.

They’ve now won just two of their last 15 games in New Zealand, a record fur­ther di­min­ished, de­spite a storm­ing sec­ond half come­back.

The Kings came from 14 down to level the scores, but New­bill’s bucket — part of a 22- point dis­play — was sup­ple­mented by Kirk Penney and Shea Ili to get the Break­ers over the line. Penney hit six threes in a 25- point out­ing, while Ili’s all- around pro­duc­tion helped the Break­ers over­came a slug­gish first quar­ter to — even­tu­ally — clinch the win.

Such a bal­anced of­fence is likely what the Break­ers will re­quire this year to be suc­cess­ful. Paul Henare’s side doesn’t have a player who can be con­sis­tently counted on for of­fen­sive out­bursts, in­stead re­ly­ing on a ros­ter which goes at least nine deep with solid con­trib­u­tors.

Af­ter Tom Aber­crom­bie and Edgar Sosa were the main of­fen­sive op­tions in their opener against the Cairns Taipans, this time, it was a new trio to boost the Break­ers.

Af­ter a week where he was felled by ill­ness, Penney’s quick, con­sis­tent re­lease from three- point land was the ini­tial spark for the hosts.

“I felt pretty light — every­thing had been squeezed out of me all week,” he laughed.

His con­tri­bu­tions gave the Break­ers their first lead of the game, and Ili came off the bench to ex­tend it, with his ca­reer- high scor­ing night help­ing stretch the Break­ers’ ad­van­tage to 13 by half­time.

Henare was pleased his side had mul­ti­ple play­ers who could step up to shoul­der the of­fen­sive load.

“We can be multi- di­men­sional in terms of teams scouting us. I do think we have guys on any dif­fer­ent night who can put points on the board. It gives con­fi­dence to any­one who steps on the floor.”

The Kings slowly chipped away at the Break­ers’ lead, but Penney’s con­tin­u­ing pro­duc­tion and New­bill’s im­pres­sive iso­la­tion scor­ing kept the Break­ers in front. That was, how­ever, un­til the fi­nal sec­onds, when a Perry El­lis tip- in cre­ated the pos­si­bil­ity of over­time. How­ever, New­bill ghosted past his de­fender, went to the rim, and made sure he’d make a me­morable early mark in his Break­ers ca­reer.

Henare talked up the com­po­sure of his squad to grind out the win.

“Syd­ney are a good team — they did a good job at putting pres­sure on us to­wards the end, but I was proud of the guys for hang­ing tough. To have that com­po­sure at the end, I’m re­ally proud of the guys.”

The Break­ers can quickly build on their suc­cess, with their next clash on Thurs­day, at the same venue, against the same team. They will be hop­ing for the same re­sult. New Zealand Break­ers 87 ( Penney 25, New­bill 22, Ili 15). Syd­ney Kings 85 ( El­lis 19, Lisch 17, Les­lie 15). Half­time: 54- 41.

Pic­ture / Photosport

DJ New­bill scored a handy 22 points last night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.