The final quarter melt down against the Melbourne Tigers last Friday left all associated with the SKY CITY Breakers in a state of shock and bewilderment. The 44-17 score line in favour of the visitors in the final quarter caused a hush to fall in Vector Arena as fans watched in disbelief. Turns out that the 44 points was a NBL high for most points in the final quarter since the league moved to 10 minute quarters.
The defeat was akin to that experienced at the hands of the Perth Wildcats back in 2009 when the Breakers gave up 38 final quarter points. On that occasion Martin Cattalini put on a shooting master class, last week it was the impressive Chris Goulding. Incidentally Goulding put on a stunning show 48 hours later, scoring 50 points against tonight’s opponents the Sydney Kings.
In the gloom of defeat, Reuben Te Rangi’s performance stood out like as? a beacon of light. Operating in both the three and four man spots he contributed 10 points/5 rebounds/3 assists/1 steal.
SKY CITY Breakers coach Dean Vickerman was far from happy with last weeks performance as so expect his charges to come out firing against the Sydney Kings on Thursday night. The last time the teams met, the Kings squeezed home 98-96, this game could be just as close.
The Kings line up is led by the centre Andrew (AJ) Ogilvy, the leading rebounder and shot blocker in the NBL. Ogilvy’s interior game versus Gary Wilkinson’s preference for the perimeter shot will be an interesting dual. Former NBA player Sam Young (averaging 22 points per game) is a powerhouse in the paint and is a difficult match up for the Breakers. Abercrombie has the aerial skills and foot speed to match Young but put into boxing parlance it is like a middle weight taking on a heavy weight. Vukona has the strength and skill to help out on Young but his susceptibility to foul trouble makes that a dangerous proposition. Whoever gets the job will have a tough task. Kings forward Tom Garlepp is enjoying a break out season, therefore there will be plenty of pressure on the Breakers forwards to maintain parity in the paint.
Sydney also have excellent perimeter shooters including veteran James Harvey and Ben Madgen. The Kings have recently welcomed back Jesse Sanders who has replaced fellow American Charles Carmouche in their line up. The match up between the two smallest players on the court, point guards Sanders and Kerron Johnson should be fascinating to watch.
The Breakers are still smarting from their loss last week, the Kings still need a couple of wins to secure a play-off spot and the two teams are 15 wins apiece head to head. Something has to give on Thursday at the NSEC.