While Tom Abercrombie and Alex Pledger concentrate on fitness and on court training sessions their current and former colleagues are busy in New Zealand and overseas.
Former Sky City Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis steered the Australian Basketball team to successive victories over China last week. Lemanis selected a number of NBL players for the two tests in Perth against the Chinese as the Boomers commenced their build up for the World Cup in August. The following two tests in China were lost, the series split 2-2.
Another coach making the news was Breakers Assistant coach Paul Henare who came out of retirement to help the depleted Southland Sharks. It is well documented that the Sharks stood down three players including Reuben Te Rangi after an altercation at a nightclub in New Plymouth. Henare has played solid minutes but it has been former Breakers guard Kevin Braswell making the difference scoring 45, 27 and 24 points in successive games.
Former Sydney King’s coach Shane Heal is in charge of the Wellington Saints and everyone expected their strong line up to dominate the NBL. However they have lost a number of games recently their latest defeat, 76-74 to Taranaki despite 17 points from Corey Webster.
Having been released from his contract at the SKY City Breakers Darryl Corletto decided to seek release from his James Blond Super City Rangers contract in order to return to Australia. His wish granted the Rangers struggled to contain the table topping Hawks. Duane Bailey continued his outstanding form for the Rangers with 24pts/10 rebounds and former Breakers Academy member Tohi Smith Milner had an NBL career high 18 points.
For the Hawks former Breaker Everard Bartlett was equally impressive producing a stat line reading 20pts/6rebs/10assists.
Casey Frank’s Waikato Pistons had a mixed weekend on the road. They beat the Giants in Nelson but lost to the bottom of the table Rams in Christchurch. Frank produced 9pts/11rebs against the Giants and 13pts/8rebs against the Rams. Mika Vukona, back from his month playing in Lebanon had a quiet night by his standards – 5pts/8rebs for the Giants.
Former Breakers Academy player Rob Loe is temporarily based in Los Angeles. Loe, having recently graduated from the St Louis University has just signed with agency Entersport and is working out ahead of the NBA draft.