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Sydney Kings flies NZ Breakers in the NBL Cup | Instant News


The Sydney Kings have piled more woes as the struggling New Zealand Breakers advance to a 96-78 win in the NBL Cup.

The Breakers entered Thursday’s game at John Cain Arena with one win from their opening six games, but hopes of a morale-boosting win vanished following a devastating second-quarter crash.

A promising start saw New Zealand take a 13-point lead but the Kings edged them 26-6 in the second quarter to complete a 23-point turnaround and take a 10-point lead at half-time.

With young guns Jordan Hunter and Dejan Vasiljevic leading the way, the Kings maintained their lead in the second half to celebrate guard Shaun Bruce’s 200th NBL play in fine style.

Hunter made his ninth attempted shot for a career-high 24 points while Vasiljevic (20 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his first NBL double-double.

“Against Perth, we gave up 113 points which is something we didn’t want to do,” said coach Adam Forde after the Kings grabbed their second NBL Cup win and raised their overall streak to 5-5.

“For the most part of the defense, even when other aspects of our game plan are not as clean as we’d like, we can always come back and get a few stops.”

With Lamar Patterson out for four to six weeks with a knee injury, Corey Webster took over the Breakers offense to lead the team with 24 points while brother Tai added 18.

But the nature of their surrender resulted in coach Dan Shamir choosing to avoid commenting on the promising start of the match in his post-match press conference.

“It’s a bit embarrassing for me to talk about the first quarter because it was another game where we weren’t competitive,” said Shamir after New Zealand slipped to a fourth successive loss.

“It really shows that we have some good basketball in us. But it gets harder every day like that but it just means that everyone needs to improve and keep fighting.”

New Zealand opened the game at 12-2 and Corey Webster closed the first quarter with 13 points to give the Breakers a 30-20 lead.

But the momentum shifted as the Sydney defense snatched up during the second period, setting up a 10-0 start, and the Kings pulled out thanks to Hunter’s efficient score under the basket and Vasiljevic’s rebounds and long-range shot.

New Zealand found more chances in the second half but the Kings still managed to extend their lead to 68-55 after three quarters and Casper Ware added 10 points in the final season to finish with 19 points for the game.

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Casper Ware directs the Sydney Kings through the New Zealand Breakers at NBL | Instant News


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.

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NBL sends South East Melbourne Phoenix and New Zealand Breakers to Hobart due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria | Instant News


The NBL South East Melbourne Phoenix club and New Zealand Breakers will temporarily move to Hobart following the new COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.

The Breakers have moved to Victoria in preparation for the season, but they will now move to Hobart to ensure they don’t get stranded in the event of another lockdown in the state.

Melbourne United are in Cairns ahead of two pre-season matches against Taiwan.

Sydney Kings and Illawarra Hawks recently moved to the NSW border town of Albury, but they will also be relocated due to the worsening situation.

The NBL has yet to announce where the two teams will be moved.

The Kings are scheduled to play the Perth Wildcats in a grand final rematch in Perth on January 15.

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But with WA closing its borders to NSW and Victoria, the game will almost certainly be rescheduled, along with a number of other games.

“Given the current situation in Melbourne we decided it would be wise for both clubs [Phoenix and Breakers] to move to Hobart and they will be housed and trained there under the strict COVID protocol, “said NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger:

“This will give us time to assess and work on the next steps needed as we prepare for the upcoming NBL season.

“We hope that current restrictions and the resulting border closings will be reduced as quickly as possible, but we must remain flexible in our approach and we will continue to be guided by the advice of the relevant state health authorities.”

The NBL had planned to host a hub in Melbourne from February 20 for a month-long 36-game attack, but that is now in danger.

The season is scheduled to kick off with Taipans hosting the Adelaide 36ers in Cairns on January 9.

AAP / ABC

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