Category Archives: Breakers by Numbers

Alex Pledger logs 200th game for Breakers

 

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On Friday night in Cairns Alex Pledger will turn out for the 200th time in a Breakers uniform. He will become just the fifth Breaker to reach that mark behind Mika Vukona (315), Paul Henare (250), Tom Abercrombie (241) and Dillon Boucher (220).

Pledger says it is quite ironic that he plays his 200th game against the Taipans, “My 100th and 150th games were both against the Taipans, and it’s a bit of a strange coincidence that the 200th is against them as well.”

Now in his eighth season with the club – he debuted as a development player against Melbourne Tigers in October 2009 – Pledger has played on all four SKYCITY Breakers championship winning teams.

He missed the second half of the 2013-2014 season due to injury but either side of that he has been remarkably resilient missing just 5 of the Breakers 178 games in that time.

“I didn’t think I would get to this in the last couple of years but I’m pretty proud to get to that number and the body is feeling pretty good at the moment so hopefully I can go on and get a few more,” said Pledger.

He was the NBL’s leading shot blocker in 2012/13 (46 at 1.5bpg) and rebounder (227 at 7.3rpg). He also had his most productive scoring season, notching 331 points at 10.7 per outing.

This season he leads the NBL in field goal shooting percentages – 64.8% (75/116), is third on the shot blocking list (26 at 1.4pg) and 7th in rebounding (121 at 6.7pg).

Breakers head coach Paul Henare believes there is plenty more to come from his centre.

“He is only 29 and and big guys come into their prime in their late twenties early thirties so I think we will see further improvements in Alex’s game over the coming seasons.”

Pledger by Numbers

2009 – 2017 New Zealand Breakers

Appearances 199 – 5th all-time

Blocks 218 – First all-time

Rebounds 1,080 – 3rd all-time

Points 1,509 – 8th all-time

Double doubles 16 – 4th all-time

Wins 136 – 3rd all-time

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Double delight for Alex Pledger

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It has been a while coming but Breakers centre Alex Pledger is beginning to show the dominant form he displayed three or four seasons ago.

In season 2012/13 Pledger was a colossus as he averaged 10.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 rebounds per game playing a large part in the Breakers completing their third straight NBL championship win.

His numbers were equally good (10.0ppg, 7.4rpg and 1.6 blocks per game) in early 2013/14 but unfortunately his season came to an abrupt end 13 games into that disappointing campaign as injury sidelined the 2.16m defensive anchor.

Pledger has spent the last two seasons carrying various niggling injuries and his numbers have suffered accordingly averaging 6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks across 61 games.

The big man looked in great touch at the weekend, securing a brace of double doubles as the Breakers completed a tough weekend with a brace of W’s.

In Melbourne on Friday Pledger led all scorers with 20 points and snared 10 rebounds as United were beaten in overtime 98-92.

Less than 48 hours later he produced a balanced twelve rebounds and twelve points performance. He also came up with three blocks in addition to influencing the shots (or lack of them) taken by key Brisbane big men Bairstow and Kickert who were a combined 2 from 17.

Executing back to back double doubles for just the fourth time in his NBL career Pledger passed a couple of notable milestones over the weekend.

In Melbourne he took his total career rebound count to exactly 1,000 becoming just the third Breaker to record 1,000 rebounds for club after Vukona (2,054) and Abercrombie (1,061).

Then on Sunday at Vector Arena, with those three swats, he became the first Breaker to record 200 career blocked shots.

188 games into his Breakers career perhaps the best is yet to come from Alex Pledger.

Vukona closes in on 300th Breakers appearance

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Mika Vukona will become the first SKYCITY Breakers player to appear in 300 games for the club when he takes the floor against Sydney Kings at North Shore Events Centre on Thursday night.

In his usual unassuming fashion, come Thursday, he will be on the court before the game announcer has reached the second syllable of his name. There will be no pausing or hand waving to acknowledge the applause – it will be game time and that means business for the club’s talisman.

However he did take time out after team training on Monday to reflect on the milestone and his 12 seasons with the Breakers.

“I’m in a good place. The organization has enabled me to get to the 300 games and it’s been an enjoyable time. When you are in a good environment, a good family situation, you always want to be there. There are times when it’s hard but it is just awesome to come back here. I guess winning makes a massive difference. When you win championships you just want to come back and keep getting more.”

Vukona has a particular attachment to a number of the people he began his journey with. “Dillon (Boucher), Pauli (Henare), Paul Blackwell, the Blackwell family. All those guys have influenced everything that I have done in those 300 games, its pretty massive,” he said.

He remembers his first game fondly, “It was the first game the Breakers ever played, I was a development player and I had the opportunity to come on in garbage time and it was awesome. The first time to come on as a young player and the house was rocking, it was good.”

For the record Vukona, just 21 at the time, scored a couple of points as the Breakers won that inaugural game 111-110 against Adelaide 36ers.

When quizzed on his favourite moment(s) with the club it’s the first championship with the Breakers that comes readily to mind.

“The 2011 championship. Going through the things that we had to get over, the trip to Perth, coming back, we had injuries that we had been going through. We had an amazing time that whole year and to cap it off with Pauli being able to walk away after winning the championship was awesome.”

The 34 year old acknowledges he has to refine his game, as he gets older, “I’m just maturing a little bit better”, he quipped.

“I have to make adjustments because if I don’t you get left behind and with the league going up another couple of levels you have to do that. And even in trainings here the guys are getting younger and it is something that I have had to learn. But it also a thing keeps me going even more. It is another challenge, it is something that excites me and it is something that I want to keep driving for and keep proving myself. The day that I can’t and my body says no will be the time to walk away,” he added.

Fortunately for Breakers fans that time is likely to be some way away, “I’m looking forward to many more appearances,” the 5 times NBL champion declared.

Perhaps not what opposition players want to hear.

Below are the Mika numbers for the Breakers but unfortunately there are no records kept of the loose balls garnered, box outs completed, defensive deflections produced and athletic rebounds he had no right to secure.

299 – Most Games Played

161 -Most consecutive games played (2010-2015)

171 – Most Wins by a Breakers player

2,034 – Most rebounds

36 Double doubles – 2nd all time for Breakers

2239 Points – 3rd a/t

213 steals – 3rd a/t

550 assists – 4th a/t

91 blocks – 4th a/t

Milestones galore against the Kings

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Plenty to smile about for Corey Webster this week

As the SKYCITY Breakers head into the New Years Eve clash with the Cairns Taipans it is worth reflecting on the collective and individual efforts during the 400th NBL game played by the club against Sydney last Sunday.

The season high 90% (19/21) effort at the free throw line is worth celebrating given the woes from the charity stripe in earlier games. It helped that Corey Webster was at the line a lot – 10 visits and nothing but net.

Talking of the ‘Microwave’ his 38 points was his 3rd 30+ haul of the season and 12th 20+ total in his last 20 games stretching back to the tail end of last season.

The 93-83 victory was Webster’s 100th in a Breakers singlet – 100 from 141games at 71% success rate. He becomes the 7th Breaker to register 100 wins.

Alex Pledger had a career high 6 blocks and stretched his Breakers all time shot blocking number to 176. The ‘Chief’ also made 6/6 from the foul line.

With 7 rebounds Tom Abercrombie moved to 2nd on the Breakers all time leading rebound list. Likely he will have to play until he is 40 to have any hope of overhauling Mika who has 1901 and still counting.

Breakers Top 5 Rebounders all time:

1,901 Vukona

947 Abercrombie

941 Boucher

935 Pepper

875 Pledger

Back to the 400 games and if broken down into the four one hundred game blocks it illustrates the growth, continuity and sustained excellence the club has enjoyed.

First 100 games, Won 31 Lost 69 – 3 coaches, no play-off seasons.

Games 101 – 200 Won 48 Lost 52, 1 coach, 2 play-off seasons.

Games 201 – 300 Won 71 Lost 29, 1 coach, 2 play-off seasons, 2 championships.

Games 301 – 400 Won 66 Lost 34, 2 coaches, 2 play-off seasons, 2 championships.

Finally, thinking of popping down to your local TAB to back the Breakers on Thursday night, think again. Their all time December 31st record is not too flash – Played 7 Won 1 Lost 6.

Have a good New Year.

Breakers numbers ahead of Melbourne clash

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Prior to the 86-74 win in Sydney on Thursday night the four consecutive away defeats suffered by the Breakers to commence the season had been the first occasion this has occurred since 2009 when the opening five road games were lost.

Against the Kings Tom Abercrombie recorded a second successive double double – 11 points and 15 rebounds.

The 15 rebounds were a career high tally.

The in form Abercrombie also passed 900 rebounds, fourth all time for the Breakers, behind Vukona (1,848), (Boucher (941) and Pepper (935).

 Cedric Jackson dished his 700th assist for the Breakers becoming just the second player after Paul Henare (902) to reach this mark. He now has 706 assists in 107 games at a mighty impressive 6.6apg.

Corey Webster with 17 points became the 12th Breakers player to pass 1200 points for the club.

A resurgent Alex Pledger’s 3 blocked shots took him one ahead of Tom Abercrombie on the Breakers all time shot blocking list. Pledger has 163 blocks to his name and Abercrombie 162.

Last week v Perth Wildcats

 The fifth consecutive home win is the first time the club have remained unbeaten in the opening five home games of a season.

Cedric Jackson with 4 steals became just the second Breakers player after Dillon Boucher (289) to record 250 steals.

Major milestones for Jackson and Abercrombie

Season high 24 points for Abercrombie in 200th game

Season high 24 points for Abercrombie in 200th game

A couple of outstanding individual efforts by Abbo and Jacko were rather overshadowed by the controversial finish to the Breakers 87-86 loss to Melbourne United on Sunday.

Tom Abercrombie playing his 200th game for the Breakers scored 24 points, his second 20+ haul of the season following 23pts v Perth last month.

Only Vukona (272), Henare (250) and Boucher (220) have played more games for the club than Abercrombie.

Cedric Jackson, playing as only he can, recorded a triple double (16pts/14rebs/10assists) his second triple D of the season and fifth for the Breakers.

The 16 points took Jackson past Ben Pepper (1,451pts) and up to 6th on the Breakers all time scoring list. Next stop Aaron Olson (1,800pts).

His 14 rebounds took him past Rick Rickert (600 rebounds) to 7th on the all time rebounding list. Only another game or two and he will pass Paul Henare’s mark of 623 boards and move up to 6th on the charts.

The 14 rebounds, all defensive rebounds, equals the most DR’s in a single game by a Breakers player – achieved twice before – both times by Mika Vukona.

Alex Pledger’s 7 rebounds against Adelaide moved him past the 800 rebounds mark. Pledge now has 811 boards only bettered by Abercrombie (880), Pepper (935), Boucher (941) and Vukona (1,840).

Harking back to the 36ers game new dad Tai Wesley slotted in 26 points for the second consecutive game and also became the first Breakers player to score a century of points this season. Abbo followed suit easing past the 100 points mark on Sunday against United.

Breakers leading scorers this season:

Wesley 103pts/7gms @ 14.7ppg

Abercrombie 102pts/7gms @ 14.6ppg

Cedric J 96pts /8gms @ 12.0ppg

Webster 92pts/4gms @23.0ppg

Charles J 92pts/8gms @ 11.5ppg

Webster and Wesley work wonders

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It is not often that two players enjoy a personal best scoring night but that is what happened during the Breakers 90-67 victory against Cairns Taipans at Vector Arena on Wednesday night.

Tai Wesley scored 26 points, his previous best being 23 points in Sydney on Boxing Day last year.

Corey Webster scored 35 points easily surpassing his previous best of 27 points against Perth late last season.

The 35 points haul was the highest points haul in an NBL game at Vector Arena and the highest anywhere by a Breakers player since Kirk Penney’s memorable 38 points outburst in the 2011 semi-final win in Perth against the Wildcats.

The victory against Cairns was the 132nd win enjoyed by Tom Abercrombie in a Breakers singlet. Only Mika Vukona has won more games.

Breakers all time ‘winningest’ players:

Wins Games % W’s
Mika Vukona 155 272 57.0
Tom Abercrombie 132 198 66.7
Dillon Boucher 131 220 59.5
CJ Bruton 120 179 67.0
Paul Henare 113 250 45.2
Alex Pledger 112 154 72.7
Corey Webster 92 130 70.8
Cedric Jackson 78 103 75.7
Kirk Penney 68 110 61.8
Daryl Corletto 63 92 68.5

Vukona and Jackson rise up the scoring list

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The good news was that Corey Webster was back the not such good news was that the Breakers turnovers trouble continues. A week after committing a record (in 40 minute games) 25 against Illawarra the Breakers bettered or rather worsened that by two in the 74-62 win against Sydney Kings. Continue reading

Breakers Dozen

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So just who are the SKY CITY Breakers centurions, the men who have played 100 games for the club? There are just a dozen players to have brought up a hundred appearances in a Breakers singlet, most of them, although not quite all, household names in New Zealand hoops land. Continue reading

Jackson’s 100th Breakers game and more

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The 96-75 drubbing at the hands of the Illawarra Hawks on Wednesday did provide a couple of statistical highlights.Development guard Shea Ili seized his opportunity with a Breakers NBL career high 12 points. Continue reading