For a club that have been around for a decade and who have
won the past two ANBL titles, the Breakers hold a dubious
record that stands out like the lanky Alex Pledger in a
crowded shopping mall.
The Breakers have never won on New Year's Eve in their
history. It hasn't helped that they don't traditionally play
the fixture at home - and they also haven't played on that
date every year - but for a team that is almost as successful
on the road as they are in Auckland, it is an anomaly.
It's not like they are still in holiday mode because they
were back training on Boxing Day and Monday night's match
against Cairns will be the second of a tricky road trip that
opens with the 36ers in Adelaide on Friday night.
"I don't know why [we haven't won before]," Breakers forward
Tom Abercrombie said. "We always play away from home at this
time of year and there are always plenty of distractions.
Hopefully we have learned from the last 10 years and we can
do something a little differently this year.
"We usually play in smaller places on New Year's Eve - Cairns
and Townsville, places like that. I guess it's a bit of a
party atmosphere for the crowds and they seem to enjoy it but
hopefully we can go out and be party poopers."
They have done that by winning the last two ANBL titles, and
they are on course for a third as the top of the ladder
halfway through the regular season.
They hold a one-game advantage over Perth in second after
nine wins from their 12 games and have the chance to
consolidate their position as they enter a busy period of
four games in two weeks.
"It's a difficult period but for us it's a good challenge,"
Abercrombie said. "We have to try to make the most of this
period. It's a very important time for us - a bit of a
make-or-break period for the season. We want to get
everything we can out of this.
"It's a very tough trip, from Adelaide to Cairns, and we are
away for a little bit. It's probably our longest trip of the
year but any time you are away that long you try to make it
worth your while. You have a lot more fun when get a couple
Adelaide made a good start to their season, winning five of
their first eight including an impressive 69-65 defeat of the
Wildcats in Perth, but have lost their last four and will
also be without impressive import Mitch Creek who ruptured
his Achilles recently and is out for the season.
This came on the back of their axing of the club's second
import CJ Massingale who "wasn't physically capable" of
performing in the league, according to Sixers coach Marty
The Breakers don't really know what team they will come up
against but they will be at full strength, with import Will
Hudson having recovered fully from concussion, and they are
also getting a little twitchy after not playing for two
Abercrombie and Cedric Jackson were involved in last
weekend's All Stars game played in Adelaide - Breakers coach
Andrej Lemanis was also coach of the winning Souths team -
but it was little more than a dunk-fest as the league's best
players tried to outdo each other and ignored one of the
tenets of the game, defence.
The Breakers have beaten Adelaide in their past 12 games
dating back to 2009. Win tomorrow night and they can then get
onto the business of sorting out and unwanted anomaly.
- Michael Brown of APNZ