Topic: Basketball

Breakers: Mental toughness key to making play-offs

By Ruth Smith, Tamati Tiananga
  • Auckland

As Christmas looms and many begin their holidays, the Breakers are not resting on their laurels, training hard in their pursuit of making the NBL playoffs.

The Breakers will take on the Ilawarra Hawks in their last game this side of Christmas, and Breakers forward Jordan Ngatai says that mental toughness is key.

"It's definitely a big part in this game.  You're going to get exposed real quick if you don't have it."

Christmas holidays have already started for the Junior Breakers, but the seniors are still doing the hard yards on the court.

"It is kind of sad to see everyone having a good time.  We do this for a job and I don't know if many people can say that," says Shea Ili, veteran guard for the team.

It is this very thing that Ngatai says will give them an edge against the Hawks tomorrow night.  However, he does acknowledge that his team still has some work to do.

"We've had two good days of training and the boys have been locked in.  We've shown what we can do against this team and we've got to exploit it."

Ngatai believes that his team can perform against their opponents as long as they stick to their game plan.

"We've got the Hawks coming up tomorrow, they're a good team, they're real scrappy.  I think we've got to push it even more, we've got to be just as scrappy, just as energised to get up and down."

The Hawks and the Breakers are sitting in 5th and 6th places respectively and both gunning for a play-off position.

"We're still learning how to play with each other.  It takes time but we're starting to show glimpses of what we can achieve and I think that we're going to do great things towards the end of the season."

The game tips off at 7.30pm tomorrow night at the Claudelands Arena in Hamilton.