Last week former SKY CITY Breakers forward Dillon Boucher racked up his 350th appearance in the New Zealand National Basketball League, helping the James Blond Super City Rangers defeat the Paul Henare coached Southland Sharks 97-94. Add the 325 games Boucher played in the Australian NBL and that’s a record number of games played across both Leagues by a Kiwi.
This week Boucher and the Rangers visited the Nelson Giants who boast three current or former Breakers in their line up – Mika Vukona, Josh Bloxham and Phill Jones. The Giants won 97-89, Jones contributing 12 points and in so doing moved to second on the NBL all time scoring list having amassed 6,674 points. Vukona (18pts/13 rebounds) and Bloxham (16pts) were also prominent.
Duane Bailey, who is having a terrific season for the Rangers scored 32 points in a losing cause, the small forward doing his best to attract the attention of the Breakers and Tall Blacks selectors.
Corey Webster continues his good scoring form; he is the Bartercard NBL’s leading three-point shooter this season, connecting with 43.5 % of his attempts. He connected with a further 5 from 8 triples on his way to 27 points as the Wellington Saints squeezed past the Waikato Pistons 85-83 last Friday. Casey Frank had a poor shooting night for the Pistons only connecting with 2 from 9 scoring attempts but demonstrated his all round ability contributing 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
Frank was more efficient a couple of days later scoring 11 points but the Pistons lost their second game in 48 hours, going down 85-74 in Palmerston North against the Manawatu Jets. Breakers development player Alonzo Burton had his best game of the season for the Jets dropping 21 points including 4 from 5 threes.
The Tab Baldwin coached Hawke’s Bay Hawks have secured the regular season title. Captain Jarrod Kenny has had a very consistent season and on Sunday led an under strength Hawks to a comfortable 81-64 victory over the Taranaki Mountain Airs. Kenny scored 13 points and added 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
The NBL Final Four weekend will be held in Wellington on July 4th and 5th; the games hopefully screened live on Sky TV. In addition to the Hawks, Wellington Saints, Southland Sharks and Nelson Giants make up the four semi-finalists. With Breakers representation on all four teams it should be worth watching for Breakers fans.