Despite a 40 points barrage from Kevin Braswell 68a Nelson Street were able to edge Mai FM 88 Sixers in the last regular season round of the 2016 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam.
Both teams had a host of current NBL players but it was the former Breaker and now Saints head coach that stole the show as he constantly threatened the Nelson defence.
The scores were locked at 50 apiece at half-time but a dominant third quarter led by Liam Thornton and Lindsay Tait took table topping Nelson Street out to a 79-71 lead.
Hayden Allen and Thornton extended the lead further but the Sixers weren’t finished. Ana Haku and Johnny Fesolai combined for 14 points in the fourth and with Brook Ruscoe and Braswell landing threes the game was forced into overtime with the scores locked at 100 each after regulation.
Braswell twice and Haku landed triples in the additional period but it was Nelson Street that prevailed as the veteran trio of Dillon Boucher, Tait and Allen locked in the win and a place in next Saturday’s final.
68a Nelson St 119 – Tait 26, Allen 25, Thornton 16, Hyrum Harris 11, Boucher 10 Mai FM 88 Sixers 114 – Braswell 40, Haku 19, Fesolai 19, Ruscoe 12, Will Heather 12
Nelson St will face Breakers Development in the final after Breakers beat The Birdmen 108-95 in the second game of the day.
The Breakers edged the first quarter 34-32 then fuelled by 10 second quarter points from Derone Raukawa moved to a 65-50 advantage by half-time. Jordan Ngatai, with a game high 32 points, and Ethan Rusbatch increased the lead in the third to 20 points.
The Birdmen trio of Jaylen Gerrand, Brandon Lucas and Justin Bailey mounted something of a comeback in the final period but Auckland Grammar guard Tom Whyte had the final say as the Breakers closed out a comfortable win.
Breakers Development 108 – Ngatai 32, Rusbatch 20, Raukawa 19, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 16 Birdmen 95 – Lucas 25, Gerrand 20, Bailey 15, Sam Aruwa 10
The final between Nelson Street and Breakers development will be held at 5pm on Saturday December 17th, at the Breakers HQ, Atlas Place