Monthly Archives: October 2022

Breakers on a high despite Loe low.

NZ Breakers coach Mody Moar and Barry Brown Jr of the Breakers. New Zealand Breakers v Tasmania JackJumpers, Round 2 of the 2022-23 NBL Season at Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand on Friday 7 October 2022. © Mandatory credit: Andrew Cornaga /

The Sky Sport Breakers sit atop the NBL ladder alongside the Sydney Kings – who they face at Spark Arena next Sunday  – after demolishing the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers 94-62 at Spark Arena.

The win was achieved despite the loss of in-form big man Rob Loe who took a head knock in the opening quarter and didn’t return to the fray. 

Without his running mate, Derek Pardon stepped up posting his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds while Tom Vodanovich enjoyed extended minutes to record 10 points and 5 rebounds. Jarrell Brantley got the better of his opposite number Rashard Kelly in recording 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 23 minutes.

Import combo-guard Barry Brown Jr was once again a major spark off the bench – his game high 24 points being his fourth 20+ points haul in just five appearances by the American.

The victory moves the Breakers to 6-2 on the season, already one win more than the club engineered in the whole of the 2021-22 season.

What made the most recent win even more meritorious was the fact that Tasmania had had a week to prepare for the game whereas the Breakers had spent all day Saturday travelling back from Adelaide via Sydney. 

On Friday, the Breakers were equally impressive as they recorded their biggest ever win in Adelaide thumping the much vaunted 36’ers 99-70; the Breakers fourth win from five away games. 

The 4-1 road start has only been bettered twice in Breakers history. In 2008-09, in the second season under the influence of Tony Ronaldson and Kirk Penney, the Breakers started the season with 7 wins in the first 8 away games while in the 2010-11 championship campaign it was a 6-1 start on Australian soil

Here are the latest club records and milestones:

Won 99-70 at Adelaide 36’ers on Friday night

Jarrell Brantley had season highs in points (22), rebounds (9), assists (3) and steals (4). He also became the first Breaker to score 100 points this season.

Izayah Le’afa , with 15 points, passed the 500 career points milestone in his 65th NBL game.

With a season high equalling 7 dimes Will McDowell-White moved past Finn Delany into 11th spot on the Breakers all-time assists list – he now has 231 to his name at 4.4 per game.

Won 94-62 v Tasmanian Jack Jumpers at Spark Arena on Sunday

Rob Loe played his 150th NBL game against the Jack Jumpers (28 of those with Cairns Taipans) while Tom Vodanovich played his 99th game in the League – 67 of those with the Sydney Kings.

With 24 points Barry Brown Jr became the second Breaker to pass the 100-point mark for the season.


The Breakers have a mouth-watering home game against top Sydney Kings on Sunday before the NBL goes into recess for 11 days to accommodate the next FIBA window when both the Tall Blacks and Australian Boomers will play two World Cup Qualifying games apiece.

Will McDowell-White needs 8 more points to reach 400 points for the Breakers.

Cam Gliddon is closing in on a couple of notable milestones. He needs just 6 rebounds to total 1,000 career boards and 23 points to pass 3,000 career points spanning 11 seasons in the NBL.

Overseas Roundup – Former schoolmates go head to head

Former Rangitoto College class mates Olivia Berry and Penina Davidson were on opposing sides for the first time since school days as the Tall Ferns took on the Melbourne Boomers on Saturday – the Boomers beating an inexperienced New Zealand team 85-62. 

Congratulations to Olivia on scoring her first points in the black singlet while Micaela Cocks stretched her record number of appearances for the Tall Ferns to 145.

Another pair of ex-Harbour and Rangitoto teammates were in opposition in Cairns on Sunday. It was Dan Fotu with the smiles as the Sky Sport Breakers beat Sam Waardenburg’s Cairns Taipans in a low scoring contest 68-64, the win taking the Breakers to second on the NBL ladder. 

Earlier in the week fellow Breaker Rob Loe brought up 600 career NBL rebounds with 8 boards against South East Melbourne Phoenix while Waardenburg scored 13 points as the Taipans registered an impressive 83-78 road win against defending champions the Sydney Kings.

Tyrell Harrison has made a return to the Brisbane Bullets ranks after a long spell out with injury. He was outstanding in the one-point loss to South East Melbourne Phoenix (89-88) accumulating 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

Further afield Isaac Fotu scored 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting but Tochigi Brex had their three-game winning streak ended as they dropped their Japanese League double-header at Alvark Tokyo, beaten 77-75 and 60-57. Fotu had 13 points and 7 rebounds in the second loss.

Tai Webster produced 14 points and 5 assists as Socar Petkimspor defeated Darussafaka 94-75 and improve to 2-2 in the Turkish League.

Brother Corey Webster scored 9 points for Perth but the Wildcats were trounced 103-72 by the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers in the Australian NBL.

Another former Harbour and Westlake player Yanni Wetzell enjoyed a couple of midweek outings for ALBA Berlin.

ALBA won a German Cup Round of 16 tie 98-95 against Bonn. Wetzell scored a season high 23 points (9/10FG, 5/7FT) for Berlin while former Breakers teammate Finn Delany notched 12 points for Bonn. Wetzell tied the contest in the closing minute after Bonn had led 93-91. He added two free throws with 20 seconds remaining as the reigning champions advanced to the quarter-finals.

48 hours later he scored 11 points as Berlin thumped Greek side Panathinaikos 94-65 in a EuroLeague fixture.

Bonn put the cup defeat behind them by claiming a 79-72 League win at Braunschweig on Saturday – Delany with 11 points and 7 rebounds. 

Also in Germany Matt Freeman scored 13 points, making 3 from 5 from deep, as Bremerhaven won a thriller on the road against Jena 71-69. The victory improves Bremerhaven to 2-2 on the Pro A League ladder.

Tall Fern Tera Reed registered her third double-double in five games as Tampereen Pyrintö secured an exciting 73-72 Finnish League victory at Vimpelin Veto. Tera finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds as Pyrintö improved to 3-2 for the season.

Also close to a third double-double was Zoe Richards as AB Contern easily defeated Les Sangliers 83-60 in Luxemburg League action. Richards finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds as Contern improved to 5-1 on the season.

Nelsonian Gracie Roberts-Hare is playing her fourth season in the Dutch League. After three seasons with Lekdetec she has moved clubs and scored 13 points on debut for Triple Threat in a 71-61 win against Martini Sparks Haren.

Breakers overcome Cairns and the NBL schedulers

The Sky Sport Breakers celebrated their 600th NBL game with a 68-64 victory in Cairns on Sunday afternoon in the midst of a ridiculous schedule – more on that shortly.

Missing their opening 14 shots the Breakers scored just 5 points in the first quarter yet somehow recovered to force the win. Those handful of points equaled the Sydney Kings unwanted record of the least number of points in the opening period of an NBL game.

However, led by 24 points from Barry Brown Jr, the Breakers recovered to trail 32-23 at half-time and by just five (50-45) at three-quarter time before grinding out the win in the fourth to leap frog the Taipans into second place on the NBL ladder.

Given the Breakers were playing for the fourth time in 10 days, and a fourth away game in their opening six fixtures, a start of 4 wins and 2 losses probably exceeds expectations given also that the club only won 5 from 28 games in the whole of last season.

Now back to the schedule in which the NBL boffins certainly have done the Breakers no favours. Having played all 28 games in Australia last season and 29 of 36 across the ditch the season before you would have thought a little sympathy may have been forthcoming from those in charge of scheduling at NBL HQ.

Not a chance – instead, just three weeks into the season, the Breakers have already visited three Australian states, undertaken five international flights and a couple of domestic hops.

It doesn’t get any easier this week for Round 5. They return from Cairns today (Monday), fly to Adelaide on Thursday (for a game against the 36ers on Friday) then return on Saturday to play the Jack Jumpers – who won’t have played for 7 days – at Spark Arena on Sunday.

Here are the latest club records and milestones:

Lost 99-77 against South East Melbourne Phoenix at Trusts Arena on Thursday

Reuben Te Rangi and South East Melbourne have won two straight at Trusts Arena although the games were played 17 months apart!

You might recall that the Breakers returned to New Zealand after playing 29 consecutive road games in the 2021 season, completing the campaign with seven straight games on home soil. The finale was played at Trusts with SEM claiming an 83-78 win.

Only Tom Abercrombie, Rob Loe and Will McDowell-White remain on the Breakers books from that first Covid affected season.

Loe received a blooded cheek after copping some friendly fire from Tom Vodanovich but returned to snare an eighth rebound in the game and chalk up his 600th NBL career rebound (86 of those during his single season with the Cairns Taipans). 

At Cairns Taipans on Sunday Won 68-64.

Will McDowell-White played his 50th game for the Breakers in Cairns. 

Barry Brown Jr, with 24 points, took his tally to 60 points in his three outings. With Derek Pardon averaging 11.3ppg (and 7.3 rebounds) and Jarrell Brantley 13ppg the three imports have settled in nicely.

Achieving victory scoring 68 points is the lowest total the Breakers have scored to gain a win since the leaky roof victory at Illawarra in February 2020. Breakers won 65-52 after the game was called off with three minutes to play in that one.

Otherwise we have to go back to New Year’s Eve 2012 when the Breakers eked out a 66-61 win, also in Cairns – a certain Cedric Jackson scored 17 points that night.

For the record the Breakers are 301-299 in those 600 games.


Izayah Le’afa is four points shy of 500 career points with Will McDowell-White needing 16 more for 400 career points.

Tom Vodanovich and Rob Loe are closing in on a couple of milestone games. Loe will play NBL career game number 150 next Sunday against the Jack Jumpers while Vodanovich needs to log three more appearances for his 150th.

Breakers Rolling – Numbers Galore

There are a swag of numbers to report after the Sky Sport Breakers impressive round three road double at South East Melbourne (won 85-77) and Illawarra Hawks (won 88-62).

Beginning his tenure as Breakers Head Coach with 3 wins in 4 games Mody Maor has easily bettered the start of his six predecessors at the club.

Inaugural Head Coach Jeff Green went 1-3 with his replacement Frank Arsego replicating that start. Andrej Lemanis tip-toed in with four straight losses before a victory in game number five while Dean Vickerman won his first game and then suffered four consecutive losses.

Paul Henare also won his opener but three straight losses followed with Dan Shamir also claiming just a singled W in his first four matches in charge.

It’s worth noting that Thursday’s home game at Trusts Arena against South East Melbourne Phoenix will be the 599thNational Basketball League (NBL) game the Sky Sport Breakers have played. 

Here are the numbers from those two excellent away victories.

At South East Melbourne

Izayah Le’afa played against his former club South East Melbourne Phoenix for the first time since his off-season move to the Breakers. It couldn’t have gone any better for the point guard as he produced a double-double of 14 points and 10 assist – a career best in dimes.

Development Player Alex McNaught, showing the defensive prowess that he has displayed in the NZNBL with the Nelson Giants, became Breaker number 140 when debuting against SEM. A Schools National Championship winner with St Kentigern College in 2019, the 20-year old came up with 2 steals, a block, a rebound and 2 points in 13 minutes of high energy, high quality action.

At Illawarra Hawks

The victory completed the first sequence of three consecutive wins since the end of the 2019-20 season when the Breakers won 4 straight and 6 of the last 7. It’s probably no coincidence that was the last season of “normality” before the two COVID interrupted campaigns.

Will McDowell-White’s commanding performance produced a striking stats line of 17 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. The Australian Boomer now has 210 assists for the club going past Shea Ili (207) and within striking distance of Finn Delany’s 221 (Delany 11th all-time on the dimes list).

Jamaal Brantley, stepping in for the injured Barry Brown Jr became Breaker #141.

Playing alongside brother Jarrell the siblings became the first brothers to play as imports, on the same team, in NBL history. They are the third set of brothers to play for the Breakers after Tai and Corey Webster and Dan and Isaac Fotu.  

Rob Loe has moved ahead of Cedric Jackson into 10th spot on the club’s all-time offensive rebounding list with 159 ‘O’ boards. He’s now chasing down Finn Delany and Gary Wilkinson with 163 and 167 offensive rebounds respectively.

The Breakers centre also joins Shea Ili as the 10th winningest Breaker. The pair have been on winning Breakers teams on 52 occasions – only 17 players have won 50 games or more in Breakers colours with Tom Abercrombie’s 210 successes clear of Mika Vukona’s 198 at the top of the list. 


Barring injury or illness McDowell-White will play his 50th game for the Breakers in Cairns on Sunday afternoon.

Breakers Alumni

Finn Delany and Yanni Wetzell, teammates at the Breakers last season, are both now playing in Germany.

The pair went head to head for the first time a couple of days ago and it was Wetzell that came away with bragging rights as ALBA Berlin won a German Cup Round of 16 tie 98-95 against Bonn.

Wetzell scored a season high 23 points (9/10FG, 5/7FT) for Berlin while Delany notched 12 points for Bonn. Wetzell tied the contest in the closing minute after Bonn had led 93-91. He added two free throws with 20 seconds remaining as the reigning champions advanced to the semi-finals.

2022 Girls High School Wrap

18 October

The Lacey Lowdown was able to bring you extensive coverage of the Girls 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Basketball season thanks to the tremendous support of Northern Kāhu.

It was a season dominated by Westlake Girls High School. The team of the year claimed the treble of the Secondary National Championship, Zone 1 Premierships (Nationals Qualifying Tournament) and the Auckland Premier Grade title – an unbeaten record of 30-0.

Defeating St Andrew’s College, from Christchurch, 99-66 in the Final they became the first Auckland team to win the Girls Championship since Northcote College were victorious in 2006.

Westlake defeated surprise package Whangarei Girls (74-47) in the Zone I Premiership Final and Mt Albert Grammar (87-54) in the Prems Grand Final.

At Nationals in Palmerston North Westlake and MAGS were joined by Epsom Girls Grammar, St Kentigern College and Takapuna Grammar School – all three schools returning to Nationals after significant breaks.

Takapuna Grammar’s achievement was particularly meritorious given they played in the second division (Senior A) of the Auckland competition this year – a competition they won with a 15-1 record.

Mt Albert finished 10th at Nationals, Epsom were 12th, Takapuna 13th and St Kentigern 21st.

All four teams will return the bulk of their squads in 2023 and will be keen to make a return visit to Palmerston North but with next season’s Auckland Prems League shaping to be super competitive places will be hard to come by. 

A number of Auckland players have gained international selection during the year most notably Amy Pateman (Westlake Girls HS), Waimanu Clarken (Mt Albert Grammar) and Ritorya Tamilo (Baradene College) who played at the FIBA U17 Women’s World Cup in Hungary in July.

The previous month the trio played at the FIBA Asia Cup where the team finished fourth to claim a World Cup berth. 

At the World Cup Tamilo had the distinction of being the leading shot blocker at the 16-team tournament averaging 3.1 per game. The Baradene centre was also New Zealand’s leading rebounder averaging 7.9 boards per game.

Selected for the U18 women’s National team that played at the FIBA U18 Asia Cup in India in September:

Mackenzie Chatfield – Westlake Girls HS 

Allyah Leusogi-Ape – Massey HS

Also in the team were 2021 Auckland high school graduates Lilly Parke (Baradene College) and Flo Dallow (Epsom Girls Grammar). Both players are currently on basketball scholarships in the USA.

Selected for next month’s FIBA U15 Oceania Championships in Guam are:

Bailey Flavell – Takapuna Grammar

Emma Schroeder – Westlake Girls HS

Zenthia Stowers – Takapuna Grammar

Kodee Williams-Sefo – St Mary‘s, Ponsonby

Kiwis overseas – an early season roundup

17 October

With Leagues in Europe and Asia, as well as the Australian NBL, recently underway we take a look at the early season form of our overseas based Kiwis.

Nearest home, in the Australian NBL, Sam Waardenburg scored a season high 13 points as Cairns Taipans registered an impressive 83-78 road win against defending champions the Sydney Kings.

Over in Perth Corey Webster registered a dozen points but the Perth Wildcats were undone 84-81 by Melbourne United. 

Beginning the Japanese League season with six consecutive away games Isaac Fotu and Tochigi Brex dropped their opening three games but are now on a three game win streak after defeating Sendai 89ers twice over the weekend.

Playing a shade under 30 minutes a game the Tall Blacks forward is averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game – second on the team in both categories.

There are four New Zealand players plying their trade in Germany this season.

Finn Delaney has scored between 11 points and 13 points in all four games for Bonn this season. 

Bonn are 2-0 in the German BBL and 1-1 in the European Champions League.

Yanni Wetzell scored 10 points (4/6FG) in just 15 minutes as ALBA Berlin won 80-74 on the road at Milan in EuroLeague action on Friday night. 

ALBA sit top of the BBL with a 3-0 record although the former Breakers forward has only played in one of those games. 

In the German second division (Pro-A League) Taki Fahrensohn and his club Jena have enjoyed a 3-0 start to the season with the Tall Blacks wing averaging 7 points and 5 rebounds per game. In a small sample size he has made 63% (5 from 8) 3-pointers in his three outings.

Also in the Pro-A League Matt Freeman scored 14 points for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven but it was a tough game for the hosts thumped 112-78 by Dusseldorf and currently mid table with a 1-2 record.

Tai Webster has averaged 10.5 points and a brace of assists as Socar Petkimspor have opened the Turkish League with a win and a loss.

Tall Fern Tera Reed followed her 27 points haul last week with 23 points at the weekend but Tampereen Pyrintö slipped to 1-3 in the Finnish League after going down 79-73 to Honka. – all three defeats by six points or less. Reed leads the team in points (19ppg) and rebounds (11.0rpg).

Fellow Tall Fern Zoe Richards is averaging 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds as her club AB Contern sit second on the Luxemburg League ladder with a 4 wins – 1 loss record.

The Southern Hoiho forward recently posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds as Contern won a nail biter against Musel Pikes 56-54.

The Australian WNBL begins on November 2nd with Penina Davidson and Lauryn Hippolite again suiting up for defending champions Melbourne Boomers while Kalani Purcell will again play for Sydney Flames.

Krystal Leger-Walker will make her WNBL debut in Townsville Fire colours with the Fire entertaining UC Capitals in the opening round.

Mary Goulding is named to the Bendigo Spirit roster but her status is unclear given she suffered a serious leg injury playing for Mainland Pouākai during the 2022 Tauihi season.

2022 Boys High School Wrap

October 15th

The Lacey Lowdown was able to bring you unrivalled coverage of the 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Basketball season thanks to the support of Nigel Morgan and the team at Dynamic Sport New Zealand.

With the dust finally settling on the high school basketball season, following the conclusion of the Secondary Schools National Championships, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the successes enjoyed by teams and individuals during 2022.

Representing your country at a World Cup must be a great thrill so let’s begin by acknowledging the following Auckland athletes who played at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Spain in July:

Julius Halaifonua – Rosmini College

Dante Matakatea – Mt Albert Grammar School

William Passi – Manurewa High School

Kalid Petzer – Auckland Grammar School

Brody Perry – Pukekohe High School

Will Shortt – Auckland Grammar School

George Turner – St Kentigern College

All of the above missed a chunk of games for their schools as they also played at the FIBA Asia Cup in June – the team finishing a highly creditable third to claim bronze.

In the local competitions the Boys Premier Grade title was claimed by Rosmini College after they defeated Auckland Grammar 61-54 in an entertaining Final.

The Senior A title was deservedly claimed by St Peter’s College although they needed overtime to see off the challenge of Avondale College before winning a high scoring encounter 104-99.

St Peter’s won all 14 regular season games, and both play-off fixtures, to complete an unbeaten season.

Then it was on to the Nationals Qualifying Tournament (Zone 1 Premierships) which was won by St Kentigern College, comfortably defeating Westlake Boys 96-71 in the Final, ahead of the return to Palmerston North.

Joining St Kent’s and Westlake on the pilgrimage to the first National Champs since 2019 (which St Kent’s won) were Auckland Grammar, Rangitoto College, Rosmini College, Mt Albert Grammar and Sacred Heart College.

At Nationals Rosmini made it all the way to the championship game, for the fourth time in as many years, but were undone by an outstanding Christ’s College (Christchurch) team going down 87-52 in the Grand Final.

Auckland schools took five of the top nine spots in Palmy to re-emphasise that the City of Sails is still the main hub of boys high school hoops in New Zealand.

In other play-off results MAGS were pipped 87-80 by Waimea College (Nelson) 87-80 in the 5th/6th contest while Auckland Grammar edged St Kent’s 91-86 in the 7th/8th play-off.

Rangitoto College finished 9th after defeating Palmerston North Boys High 74-61 on the final day while Westlake had to settle for 13th place and Sacred Heart 20th.

Special mention to Sacred Heart who were competing at their first ever National Championships and congratulations to co-coaches, and cousins, Tayla Robinson and Mike Robinson on a job well done.

Talking of jobs well done Kenny Stone has called time on his coaching career at Rangitoto College after 9 years of service.

During that time he took Rangitoto to numerous titles including two National Championships in 2015 and 2016.

Thanks Kenny!

Back to the playing front and  it’s worth pointing out that Dontae-Russo Nance (St Kent’s), Tautoko Wynyard (Rangitoto) and Kahu Treacher (AGS) departed for high school in the States between the completion of the Nationals Qualifying Tournament and the actual National Champs. 

You imagine their presence would have aided the cause of those schools but it’s a brand new phenomena that more schools will likely have to deal with in the future.

Now back to recognizing our other international players. 

The U18 Men’s National team was selected to compete at the FIBA U18 Asia Cup but travelling to Iran proved to be problematic. However it is fitting to recognize the players selected:

Tom Beattie (Rosmini)

Charlie Dalton (Rosmini) 

Dontae Russo-Nance (St Kentigern)

Tautoko Wynyard (Rangitoto)

Selected for next month’s FIBA U15 Oceania Champs in Guam are:

Gus Dallow (St Peter’s)

Jameer Reed (Rosmini)

Merrick Rillstone (St Kentigern)

Cooper LePou (St Kentigern)

2022 Secondary Schools Nationals Wrap

October 10th

Sixty nine teams set out to win one of four titles up for grabs at the 2022 Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships. Only four could succeed – here is a quick summary of what prevailed.

Westlake Girls High School became the first Auckland team to win the Girls Secondary Schools National Championship since Northcote College were victorious in 2006.

Defeating St Andrew’s College, from Christchurch, 99-66 in the Final they became just the 17th winner of the C.A. Clarke and Stone Trophy – awarded to the Girls ‘AA’ National Champions.

Westlake and Northcote are the only two North Harbour teams to have won the title since it was first played for in 1969.

Runners-up St Andrew’s College, playing in their first Grand Final, were the first South Island finalists since Christchurch Girls High were victorious in 2013.

Christ’s College were excellent in the Boys Grand Final overpowering Rosmini College to win 87-52.

Christ’s, playing in their first Grand Final, became the 24th school to win the Doug Harford Trophy.

They also got a monkey off the back of the Christchurch schools boys teams as it had been almost a quarter of a century since one last appeared in a Grand Final – Aranui High School were winners in 1998. 

Rosmini can take mild satisfaction from the fact that they are only the fourth school, in the 55 year history of the championships, to have contested four consecutive Grand Finals – the others were Westlake Boys (2012-2015), Church College in the 1980’s and Mairehau High School (1972-75).

Opunake High School survived a stirring fourth quarter fight back from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura to win an exciting Boys ‘A’ championship game 82-74.

Both teams were previous winners of the title – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura in 2009 and Opunake at the previous championship in 2019.

Ngā Taiātea Wharekura girls were able to do what the boys couldn’t – the Hamilton school won its first ‘A’ Girls Championship defeating Tauranga’s Aquinas College 75-49.

Ngā Taiātea Wharekura with a roll of barely 200 pupils and only a small hall to practice in deserve great credit for their achievements in the ‘A’ Championships.

I’m still staggered by the shooting performance that Ngatai Pirini-Maika achieved on Day 3 of Nationals. Establishing what must be a new Nationals individual shooting record the Te Aroha College guard made 16 3-pointers in his 50 point haul against Stratford High School!

Good signs for the Breakers despite loss – some numbers of interest.

Mody Maor began his tenure as the 8th Breakers Head Coach, following Jeff Green, Frank Arsego, Andrej Lemanis, Dean Vickerman, Paul Henare, Kevin Braswell and Dan Shamir, with a 101-97 overtime loss at Melbourne United on Sunday.

It’s the second occasion the Breakers have been taken to overtime on the opening game of the season. The last time was two seasons ago when Tai Webster scored 34 points in a 94-91 loss at the Adelaide 36ers.

Despite the loss there was a lot to like about the Breakers performance.

New imports Derek Pardon (23 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks), and Barry Brown Jr (23 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists) both impressed on debut.

Pardon’s double-double is the first on debut for the Breakers since Rick Rickert posted 19 points and 12 rebounds against Cairns Taipans on the opening game of the 2007-08 season.

Will McDowell-White threatened a triple double with 9 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists – those 13 assists a new career high.

Rob Loe continued the good form he displayed with the Auckland Tuatara in the NZNBL recording 12 points and 4 rebounds before retiring to the bench with a, hopefully not serious, ankle injury.

The other player in double figures was Izayah Le’afa, the Wellingtonian guard scoring 13 points on his Breakers debut.

Loe’s 12 points took him to 800 points for the Breakers. In addition with 108 games under his belt he sits 14th on the Breakers all-time appearance list. 

With 7 assists logged against Melbourne United McDowell-White needs just 3 more assists to tally 200 dimes for the club. After just 45 games he is already up to 13th on the Breakers all-time assists list, averaging 4.4 assists per game. 

The next assignment for the Breakers is a home game against the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers at Vector Arena on Friday night – October 7th, tip-off 7.30pm. Get along and support the team as they play the first home game since June 5, 2021.