Breakers re-energised after international break

By James Perry

The Breakers return to the court this Sunday at Auckland's Spark Arena following the recent international window.

They are preparing for the rest of the ANBL season in the hopes of getting back to the top.

This weekend they take on the Sydney Kings who boast NBA champion Andrew Bogut.  The Kings demolished the Breakers the last time they faced off in November.

Coach Kevin Braswell used the weekend break to analyse the Kings' game in more detail than usual.  Point guard Shea Ili is hopeful the drills the team were put through pay off on Sunday,

"Their four man kind of killed us on a few plays and we drilled that in today and I think we'll drill it in on Friday as well.  We just got to keep on drilling that and focus on those areas where they killed us and hopefully we will be better. We will be better."

Auckland thunderstorms on Tuesday prevented the team training.  However, Braswell says that didn't diminish the enthusiasm among the playing squad. 

"The energy was there but we couldn't really do much so we got through a little bit of light stuff that we wanted to do and today they came back just looking fresh."

Having come off a two-game international program against Jordan and Syria that saw the Tall Blacks qualify for the Basketball World Cup in China next year, it is important that the Breakers' Tall Blacks contingent put their Breakers caps back on and leave the World Cup to next year. 

"We'll focus on that when it comes but for now we gotta get back on track and get a few dubs [wins]," Ili says.

Tai Wesley is another player who was busy during the international window, helping his national side, Guam, advance to the qualifiers for the Asian Cup in 2021.  The hope is that their respective successes can inspire the Breakers to find some consistency this season. 

"The Tall Blacks did awesome and won both their games by a lot of points, as did we, so hopefully we could take that confidence and go in there with confidence that we can blow teams out," Wesley says. 

The Breakers tip off against the Kings at 2.30pm on Sunday at Spark Arena.