The Breakers will have to settle for third place even if they finish off their last two NBL matches with two wins. This Friday, they take on a dangerous Illawarra Hawks side who have nothing to lose, after failing to reach the playoffs.
Today at Breakers HQ, the team were preparing like a Championship team but, believing it is another.
Breakers coach Paul Henare believes the side are capable of winning the NBL title, “I think we're in a good team, we're in the playoffs, we know we don't have home court advantage.”
Their opponents Illawarra should not be taken lightly, despite failing to make the playoffs.
Impact player Derone Raukawa (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Raukawa) says, “They sort of all have a green light to sort of do what they do because there's no pressure slash punishment on them.” [sic]
Henare is unfazed about the Breakers playing their playoff matches in Australia.
“The pressure's on everybody - and it's who performs on the night, regardless of what venue you're in.”
To win the NBL title, they need to beat the top teams Melbourne United and the Adelaide 36ers.
Henare says, “At some stage, you're possibly going to have to beat one of those two teams to win it all anyway or Perth who are defending back to back champions.”
Tip-off is at 7.30pm on Friday night.