Following the Game 5 Grand Final defeat in Sydney the curtain has come down on a hugely entertaining and successful Sky Sport Breakers season. Whilst the ultimate prize eventually eluded them the club can take immense pride in turning the disaster that was the 2021-22 wooden spoon into an almost successful march to the championship in 2022-23.
There were many memorable games during the season but for those present Grand Final Game 4 played in front of 9,742 fans at Spark Arena took the biscuit. Not only was it a record crowd for a basketball game in New Zealand but the atmosphere and passion of the supporters was spine tingling – it will live long in the memory.
Here are the key numbers from the season:
Jarrell Brantley and Derek Pardon were the only two players to play all 36 games, rookie coach Mody Maor guiding the club to an overall record of 22-14.
Brantley, the Breakers Most Valuable Player of the Year Award winner, led the scoring amassing 581 points with Barry Brown Jnr not far behind with 544 points.
The other main scoring contributors were Derek Pardon (424 points), Will McDowell-White (366) and Izayah Le’afa (359).
Tom Abercrombie’s defensive masterclass in Grand Final Game 4 in which he garnered 6 steals set a new career mark for the Breakers skipper. It also equaled the record held by another Breaker’s great Mika Vukona for the most steals by a Breaker in a play-off game.
Abbo has extended his Breakers all-time appearance record to 399 games. He has also further extended the club’s all-time records in the following categories:
Points to 4,319
Blocks to 215
Wins to 226
In addition he is second all time in rebounding behind Mika Vukona and steals behind Dillon Boucher.
Surely Tom will be back in 2023-24 to play his 400th game and take those records to greater heights!
Will McDowell-White’s emergence as an elite point guard was a joy to behold. In addition to his 366 points he dished 200 assists and pulled down 175 rebounds.
He now has 390 career assists in 78 games at exactly 5 per game. That moves the Aussie into heady company as only Cedric Jackson, with 6.4 dimes per game, has a better Breakers career average.
Those 390 assists already place him 8th on the Breakers all-time list which is led by Paul Henare (901).
Derek Pardon led the team in blocked shots (38) and rebounds (290). His 38 blocks in a single season have only been bettered by Ben Pepper, Ekene Ibekwe and Shawn Long.
Rob Loe has moved up the Breakers all-time list on a number of statistical categories during the season:
66 blocks – 7th all-time
145 appearances – 10th all-time
68 wins – 11th all-time
542 rebounds – 12th all-time
Roll on the 2023-24 season only seven months to wait!