21 Apr 2011

Breakers one game away from Australian title

6:01 am on 21 April 2011

New Zealand's Breakers are one game away from winning the Australian national basketball league title for the first time after crushing Cairns 85-67.

The first of three games in the grand final series was played in Auckland on Wednesday night.

The minor premiers trailed for most of the first quarter but took control early in the second at the North Shore Events Centre and never looked like losing after that.

The Breakers' inspirational inside defence shut out the Taipans for most of the match, forcing them to take long-range shots that seldom dropped until it was too late.

Kirk Penney led the way for the home side with a game-high 25 points and eight rebounds, while American forward Gary Wilkinson scored 15 points and centre Alex Pledger made 13.

The Breakers will travel to Cairns for game 2 on Sunday. A victory there would make them the first New Zealand team to win an Australian club title.

If the New Zealanders do not win, they will have to return to Auckland and play a third game on 29 April.