Braswell, Tait and Ili shine

41 points from Kevin Braswell helps The Birdmen to a win.

41 points from Kevin Braswell helps The Birdmen to a win.

Round three of the 2015 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam opened with a full strength Breakers Development team carrying out a second half demolition of 68NelsonStreet winning 127-85.

The Breakers welcomed back Jordan Ngatai and Tai Wynyard who were both in Melbourne with the SKYCITY Breakers last week and also Finn Delany who has finished his year at Otago University and now joined the Breakers programme on a full time basis for the rest of the season.

On the other hand 68NelsonStreet had just 7 players suited due to university commitments and also a serious throat injury sustained by Dillon Boucher in the game against the Birdmen last week.

One encounter to savour in the game was the battle between current Tall Blacks point guards Lindsay Tait and Shea Ili. The encounter was a delight to behold as both players, in their differing styles, fought to give their team an advantage – the 68’s holding sway 46-43 at half time – Manny Matambanadzo finishing the half with a six points flourish.

68’s forwards Ana Haku and Johnny Fesolai did well to contain Tai Wynyard, Jordan Ngatai and Sam Waardenburg in the early exchanges but a fourth foul picked up by Fesolai late in the second quarter was to prove costly for the 68’s.

Early in the second half Ngatai rose powerfully to block a shot at the defensive end and completed the next possession with a hook shot to reduce the arrears to a single point. Dan Fotu put his team ahead on the Breakers next attack, 51-50, and from there the hosts dominated the game.

Fesolai, Haku and Matt Freeman all fouled out in the fourth quarter, reducing the 68’s to just four players on court, as a rampant Breakers team won the second half 84-39 to seal their second win in the competition.

The Tait v Ili bout was a close affair with the veteran Tait (30pts) keeping pace with fast improving Ili (32pts).

Final score;

Breakers Development 127 –Ili 32, Wynyard 25, Ngatai 19, Fotu 16.

68NelsonStreet 85 – Tait 30, Haku 16, Matambanadzo 13, Freeman 11

The second game was another free scoring affair that featured some quality guards. The Birdmen boasted a backcourt trio of Kevin Braswell, Josh Bloxham and Carl Buck. The Mai88 Sixers were led by former Tall Black Hayden Allen and Houston O’Riley.

The Sixers forged a 17-13 early lead but the Birdmen eased ahead 28-25 at quarter time, extended to 61-50 at half time. The shoot out between Braswell and Allen was shaded by the American 23pts -21pts. Sixers forward Nick Barrow (14pts)was the only other player in double figures at the break.

The Sixers threatened to narrow the gap in the second half but the experience of the Birdmen guards and forwards Casey Frank and Robson Tavita always ensured the ten points buffer built by the Birdmen was never breached.

Final score;

Mai88 Sixers 110 – Allen 36, Barrow 26, O’Riley 13, Jahlal Ibrahim 10

Birdmen 100 – Braswell 41, Buck 22, Bloxham 20, Frank 16,

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