The New Zealand Breakers will play a home game outside Launceston later this season as their nomads NBL existence continues.
The Breakers have been in Australia since late last year. They were first based in Melbourne before moving to Hobart, and then returned to Melbourne for the ongoing NBL Cup.
It is hoped the COVID-19 restrictions will ease and they will be able to return to play in New Zealand later this season, but in the meantime Launceston’s Silverdome will be home to up to six games from next month.
The Tasmanian government will invest $ 750,000 to cover operational costs and game days, as well as invest in new permanent infrastructure prior to the arrival of the NBL Tasmanian JackJumpers in 2022.
The Breakers will be involved in clinical and development programs with Basketball Tasmania during their stay in Launceston, in a timely initiative as the state’s push for its own AFL team remains in the headlines.
“Australia recognizes Tasmania’s potential as a player in the national sporting scene and this is another important marker in our plans to secure an elite sport that provides multiple economic and social benefits,” said Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein.
NBL boss Larry Kestelman thanked the Breakers for their continued efforts to ensure the season continues and celebrates its step forward into the league’s newest market.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase NBL in Tasmania ahead of the arrival of the JackJumpers next season,” he said.
“We have always said we want basketball to be the number one sport in Tasmania and we thank the prime minister and the Tasmanian government for bringing NBL games to Tasmania this season.”
The Illawarra Hawks have made their first NBL Cup win after overcoming the disappointing New Zealand Breakers to record a 102-88 win.
The Hawks dominated the opening game of Monday’s double header at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena thanks to a strong defensive effort and hot shots from long range, Brian Goorjian’s side finishing with 16 three-pointers on the night.
Tyler Harvey (22 points) and Justinian Jessup (20) each made four triples while Cam Bairstow scored 3-for-3 from outside the line en route to 17 points.
The Hawks led 54-40 at half-time then answered New Zealand’s every challenge to ensure there would be no repeat of their second-half defeat against Cairns in Saturday’s NBL Cup opener.
“The big thing I like about this group is going through adversity – we went through a lot of losing styles … disappointments – but individually and as a team these guys carry on with it the next day and keep trying to move forward during these challenging times. , “said the Goorjian.
New Zealand are hoping to use their maiden NBL Cup appearance as a turning point for their season, having lost four of their opening five games to sit two wins adrift at bottom.
But the Breakers exposed a series of mishaps in the second quarter, resulting in a 33-19 surge from Illawarra and a 14-point lead in the first half.
“The second quarter hurt us terribly,” said Breakers coach Dan Shamir after his squad gave up 12 turnovers which resulted in an immediate 18 points for the Hawks in that period.
“We came with the right mentality and attitude, but we broke serve very easily in the second quarter … another tough day.”
The Breakers closed the margin to nine points towards the end of the third stanza but luck was in the Hawks’ favor when Jessup’s three goals tallyed despite appearing to be let go after shot time.
Bairstow and Harvey quickly added three points as the lead ended at 81-64.
Corey Webster led the Breakers with 22 points and Tai Webster added 20, while American Colton Iverson had the most rebounds (17) of any player this season.
New Zealand took a hit in the third quarter when Lamar Patterson limped off with a knee injury, leaving the All-NBL First Teamer twice in the race to be fit in Thursday’s clash with the Sydney Kings.
A boom in the fourth quarter from Casper Ware helped Sydney Kings celebrate their return with an 84-74 NBL win over the New Zealand Breakers.
With the Kings forced to spend their first six matches in Queensland due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ware appeared rusted on his home pitch when he missed seven of his eight opening shots on Friday night.
Breakers star Corey Webster, who has a game-high 25 points, looks set to ruin the Kings welcoming party by directing his team to a five-point lead midway through the final quarter.
But Ware shows why he’s still considered one of the league’s stoppers, racking up eight points and helping another key bucket to power the Kings on the stretch.
The American guard finished with 22 points on a 6-16 shot, with fellow importer Jarrell Martin and rookie sniper Dejan Vasiljevic adding 20 and 17 points, respectively.
Key Breaker striker Lamar Patterson contributed only six points with a 1-8 shot.
“That’s what the winner does. He is a champion in that aspect,” Kings coach Adam Forde said of Ware’s performance.
We look forward to a lot of his guidance and experience on the pitch, especially in big moments.
It definitely made my job as a coach easier knowing that Casper was helping lead the attack. “
In what is also the port city ‘s first NBL contest since the third game of the series’ finals that ended abruptly last year, the teams were almost inseparable until Ware’s final heroic game.
No fouls got into rhythm in the first half, with Martin battling foul issues and Ware unable to connect to his first field goal until the last minute of the first half.
Webster replaced Patterson’s disappointing display with 12 points in the second period to keep his team in the contest, before Ware and Martin began to find their way in the third.
Breakers coach Dan Shamir admits his team have struggled to live away from home, but refuses to use their temporary relocation to Australia and ongoing uncertainty as an excuse for their 1-4 start to the campaign.
“I really want to speak openly to share my thoughts, but I don’t want it to sound like there’s an excuse,” he said.
“From what I can see, they don’t really have a moment in life. They are either with their team-mates or alone in a hotel room, so it’s not easy. But no one will feel sorry for us.”
The Kings host Illawarra Hawks at home on Sunday, while the Breakers await permission to travel to Melbourne for next week’s NBL Cup.
Tall Black Tom Abercrombie with his wife Monique-Raquel. Photo / Getty
New Zealand Breakers and Tall Blacks basketball player Tom Abercrombie has criticized his family for being given a special MIQ and quarantine treatment based on his status as a sports star.
Abercrombie’s wife, Monique-Raquel and their three children are granted exemptions for completing their 14 days of mandatory home quarantine after traveling back from Australia.
Monique-Raquel tagged Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on social media, complaining about the state of the hotel room they were housed in, which is believed to be in a facility near Auckland International Airport.
Abercrombie, who is in Australia with other members of the Breakers team, told Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan that two of their three children have high needs, prompting them to apply for medical exemptions.
“[They] have significant behavioral and medical problems, I don’t want to go into detail about what they are, “he said.” The evidence we put forth in our app is sufficient for the power to decide it’s the best thing for them, so they’re obviously significant enough for those people to make that decision.
The fact that I am a basketball player or where I live has absolutely nothing to do with that decision and I would be very disappointed if that happened.
“I am very disappointed and frustrated.”
Abercrombie said he and his family were well aware their application might be rejected – they were likely satisfied.
“We submitted an exemption on the assumption that we might not get it, obviously very hard to get and not everyone gets it and we are very grateful.
“Otherwise, they will have to isolate themselves in the facility.”
He added they would be happy to cover the additional costs if needed.
The 33-year-old’s family traveled with him to Melbourne before the start of the Australian NBL season, where the team will be based. However, due to the Covid-19 outbreak in early January in Victoria, the club was forced to move again, this time to Hobart.
Abercrombie’s wife and son then chose to go home. They were greeted by isolation facilities which he said were “concerning”.
He admits that looking back, complaining on social media was not the right first step.
“Given the situation again, I don’t think it’s the right way to do things. But it was an emotional and stressful time for my wife, we literally had two hours to pack our bags in Tasmania, catch the plane the next two hours and she flew all the way back to New Zealand from Melbourne with little sleep.
“If he had more time, we would not publicize the complaint, but also the situation he faced in managed isolation which I think is not suitable for families or individuals who come in with mold and objects on the windowsill where a potential virus can live. “
Last month, Abercrombie told NZME – after moving to Hobart – he worries that the task of looking after three children could become tough work for his wife when away from her usual home.
The quarantine issue is just another fire Abercrombie has to put out, which turns out to be a trying start for the NBL season.
He and his Breakers teammates have had to battle the ongoing Covid-related issues since arriving in Australia.
The club were forced to remain in Adelaide last week following their first two games of the season due to players feeling unwell, leading to preventive testing and staying in South Australia.
They have been allowed to return to training, and will next play Cairns Taipans on Saturday.
Corey Webster’s shooting prowess will be missed by the NZ Breakers when they open for the NBL 2021 season on January 13. Photos / Photosport
New Zealand Breakers star Corey Webster will miss at least the first two weeks of the Australian National Basketball League season after slicing a nerve in his hand with a knife in his kitchen.
Webster, who has been wracked with chaos in 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic, will now start the season on the sidelines after breaking a hand in an unsuccessful attempt to cut avocado.
“Corey tried, maybe without success, to prepare dinner for himself and when he was trying to play one on one with the avocado, the avocado hit him and he got a pretty serious cut on the palm of his hand,” Breakers coach Dan Shamir told Newstalk ZB.
Webster, a guard shooting specialist for Breakers, has had surgery for a wound affecting the non-firing hand and will be limited to training for the next month.
“Actually, he needed surgery because one of the nerves in his palm was damaged.
“At first we didn’t know how badly and how long it would take, but yesterday, when he visited the surgeons again, they were very happy that everything was fine and he would be able to play; but it would take another four weeks for him to recover. completely so he would have missed the first [two] week of the season.
“He’s not going to be able to play basketball too much because of the danger of these cuts and stitches having to heal properly. Therefore he won’t be able to bounce the ball or catch or anything like that.
“We will do everything to keep him fit as much as possible and I am just happy that it is his left hand and not his shooting hand and hopefully over time he will come back to himself.”
This latest setback for Webster comes after 2020 which saw his career stalled by a worldwide health crisis. He left the Breakers mid-season to take up a lucrative contract in China’s basketball league, but returned home soon after the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan province.
Unable to join the Breakers late match in the playoffs, he opted to play in Italy – one of Europe’s top basketball leagues – just at a time when the country was becoming the epicenter of the continent’s disease.
However, after just one game for Virtus Roma’s team, the league was postponed and he was once again back on the coast of New Zealand.
For Breakers coach Dan Shamir, this latest setback is one of many trials the club faces ahead of the 2021 NBL season.
“My reaction is that there are so many things that have happened to me for the first time in recent months and this is another one. Even so, it is annoying enough, this is out of court, but these things can happen and I am happy that the timing will not too long.
“I’m sure he will be back soon, healthy and will help us a lot.”
The NBL Breaker campaign is expected to kick off on January 13th with a match against Melbourne United, although doubts remain as Australia battles several Covid-19 outbreaks.