Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Week 1

The 2014 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam tipped off on Tuesday at Auckland University. In the opening game of the competition Save Youthtown proved too strong for the Breakers Academy running out 99-77 winners.

The Breakers did make the early running posting a 21-16 first quarter advantage, Jackson Stent knocking down 8 early points, butby half time Youthtown held established a six point’s advantage 45-39.

The Youthtown trio of Ana Haku (31pts/11 rbs), Derone Raukawa (26 pts) and Lindsay Tait (15/2/5) broke the game open in the third quarter. The Breakers had no answer for Haku and Tait’s penetration or Raukawa’s perimeter shooting.

Tai Wynyard (10pts/7rbs/5assists) and Jordan Ngatai (16pts/5rebs) were the best of the Breakers.

The second game was a much closer affair. The two skippers led the scoring in the first half, Casey Frank (10pts) helping The Birdmen to a 38-31 lead over Team Allen – Hayden Allen (9pts).

The experienced pair of Karl Noyer and Jonathan Southey made some handy outside shots for The Birdmen and Morgan Natanahira was  prominent for Team Allen in the first half. It is good to see the Southland Sharks forward back playing after a two year absence due to knee surgery.

Noyer sunk a long three to open the second half scoring, extending the Birdmen’s advantage to 10 points, Chris Fahrensohn scoring eight points either side of half-time to keep Team Allen in the hunt.

Midway through the third period Team Allen applied some extended defensive pressure which reaped dividends as Matt Lacey, Natanahira and Allen led a scoring surge to take Team Allen into the lead for the first time, seven minutes into the period . A fall away three from Allen over the outstretched hand of Josh Bloxham on the three-quarter time buzzer stretched their lead to 57-53 with10 minutes to play.

The Birdmen’s cause wasn’t helped when Johnny Fesolai fouled out two minutes into the final stanza but when Bloxham tied the scores at 68 apiece with 5:05 to play a grandstand finish looked likely.

However this didn’t quite eventuate as a Lacey triple sandwiched between Allen and Nick Barrow scores eased Team Allen to a win.

Highlights of the game were the classy performances of former and current Tall Blacks Hayden Allen and Casey Frank.

Also, my sources also tell me that Karl Noyer is hoping to knock Frank off the number one beard ranking before the competition finishes!

 

Final score;

Team Allen 77 (H Allen 22, C Fahrensohn 13, N Barrow 12, M Lacey 11, M Natanahira 11).

Birdmen 71 (C Frank 18, K Noyer 15, J Southey 10, J Bloxham 9).

Breakers news ahead of Taipans clash

A crowd of over 6,000 was on hand at Vector Arena last Friday to farewell the ‘old’ (sorry CJ) and usher in the new. The SKY CITY Breakers sent CJ Bruton off in style with a commanding 101-80 victory against Adelaide 36ers. Corey Webster led all scorers with 23 points ably assisted by Tom Abercrombie, Cedric Jackson, Tai Wesley and Ekene Ibekwe who all made double digit contributions.

Congratulations to Jordan Ngatai and Tai Wynyard who made their SKY CITY Breakers debuts against the 36ers. Earlier in the year Wynyard became the youngest player to play for the Tall Blacks. Last Friday he also became the youngest player ever to suit up for the SKY CITY Breakers, aged just 16 years, 168 days. Wynyard may also have set an NBL record swatting away a shot from international team mate BJ Anthony just 27 seconds after appearing on court. Can any player have recorded a block less than 30 seconds into their NBL career?

The team made a poor start against Melbourne United on Sunday shooting just 4 from 22 from the field in the first quarter to trail 28-13 at the first break. Despite 21 points from Corey Webster and an encouraging 13 points from Alex Pledger the team failed to recover from their stumbling opening and slipped to a 95-74 defeat.

Tonight’s visitors, Cairns Taipans have made a superb start to the season; they are the only unbeaten team in the competition, boasting a 4-0 record. In week one they won on the road against both the Adelaide 36ers and Melbourne United and backed that up by snaring Melbourne for the second time last weekend followed by another road win at Wollongong.

Former University of Florida standout Scottie Wilbekin has made a strong start to his professional basketball career, he averaged 25 points per game in his first couple of outings. That effort won him the NBL Player of the Week Award in the opening round, his match up with Cedric Jackson will be fun to watch.

The Taipans boast the most experienced front court in the NBL, Alex Loughton, Matt Burston, Cam Tregardh and Stephen Weigh have amassed almost 1000 NBL games between them. All are playing well and collectively will pose plenty of challenges for the Breakers big men.

Will the Taipans go 5-0 or will the Sky City Breakers get back to winning ways?

Webster to play 100th game for Breakers

Corey Webster plays his 100th game for the SKY CITY Breakers against the Cairns Taipans having debuted against Wollongong Hawks back in 2008.

Since his debut he has gone on to score over 600 points for the club and been part of two championship winning teams.

It is fitting that Corey reaches this milestone at the North Shore Events Centre, the venue where he played most of his junior basketball for Westlake Boys High School and North Harbour age group representative teams.

Webster joins an elite group of players who have reached a century of appearances for the club. The full list is:

250 Paul Henare

239 Mika Vukona

220 Dillon Boucher

179 CJ Bruton

166 Tom Abercrombie

130 Aaron Olson

125 Oscar Forman

123 Alex Pledger

118 Tim Behrendorff

110 Kirk Penney

99  Corey Webster

Tai Wynyard and Mika Vukona set Breakers records

Congratulations to Jordan Ngatai and Tai Wynyard who made their SKY CITY Breakers debuts against the Adelaide 36ers. Earlier in the year Wynyard became the youngest player to play for the Tall Blacks. Last Friday he also became the youngest player ever to suit up for the SKY CITY Breakers, aged just 16 years, 168 days.

Wynyard may also have set an NBL record swatting away a shot from international team mate BJ Anthony, just 27 seconds after appearing on court. Can any player have recorded a block less than 30 seconds into their NBL careers?

With the Breakers securing a 101-80 victory Mika Vukona became the all time ‘winningest’ Breaker. The win was his 132nd in a Breakers singlet, passing the previous record of 131 held by Dillon Boucher.

Corey Webster with 23 points equaled his career best points in the NBL. The shooting guard took his career tally for the Breakers past 600 points in his 98th game for the club.

In Melbourne on Sunday Mika Vukona plays his 131st consecutive game for the club passing the record jointly held by Paul Henare, and Aaron Olson who played every game in the club’s first 4 seasons – a total of 130 appearances without missing a game.

Vukona has displayed remarkable durability having never missed a game for the Breakers since signing as a fully contracted player in 2005. In three seasons between 2005-2008 he played 97 consecutive games before playing a season each at South Dragons and then Gold Coast. He returned in 2010 and has not missed a game in this his fifth season back at the Breakers.

In addition Vukona is only six rebounds shy of 2000 career rebounds collected at the rate of 7.2 per game.

The Breakers will come up against a couple of familiar faces in Melbourne. Darryl Corletto won a couple of championships with the Breakers and Kiwi Marco Alexander, a development player with United, would love to make his NBL debut against familiar faces.

Looking ahead to Breakers v Adelaide 36ers

The win in Perth last week was a great way to start the season, even more meritorious given that the injury gods were once again frowning on the SKY CITY Breakers. Alex Pledger is on light duties due to a toe injury and Tom Abercrombie missed the trip west following a sports hernia operation. To add to that Corey Webster was only able to play just over 11 minutes in Perth after sustaining a back injury. Continue reading

Carter shines against the Wildcats

Rhys-Carter---1200Quite rightly Cedric Jackson received most of the plaudits for orchestrating the Breakers impressive 80-70 victory against the Wildcats in Perth on Friday night. However the efforts of Rhys Carter are worthy of a little more scrutiny. Continue reading

Summer Jam spiced up by addition of the Breakers

Mexicali Summer Jam logoThe Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam gets underway on Tuesday October 21st at Auckland University Sports Centre.

The just released line ups are bursting with NBL talent and look to be a notch above the 2013 squads. A total of nine current or former Tall Blacks have been named across the four squads –  Lindsay Tait, Dillon Boucher, Hayden Allen, Brooke Ruscoe, Casey Frank, Josh Bloxham, Jarrod Kenny, Jordan Ngatai and Tai Wynyard. Continue reading

Mercurial Mika Vukona

Mika Vukona has a string of statistical milestones on the horizon. Continue reading

Cedric Jackson and Corey Webster back in action soon

The back court combination of Corey Webster and Cedric Jackson looks set to blossom this season. The NZ Breakers take on the Perth Wildcats on Friday and much will be expected of the duo. He will be just the 11th  player to make 100 appearances for the club. Continue reading

Abercrombie and Pledger close in on significant milestones

Unfortunately injury has ruled Tom Abercrombie and Alex Pledger out of the first game of the new season. Both have been significant contributors to the Breakers success in recent seasons. They are both in line to tick off a couple of significant statistical milestones when they return. Continue reading

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