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.
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.