24 Apr 2011

Breakers fall short in bid to clinch Australian title

9:56 pm on 24 April 2011

The Breakers have fallen agonisingly short on Sunday in their bid to clinch the Australian National Basketball League title.

They lost 85-81 to the Cairns Taipans in Cairns in a tense and thrilling match.

For much of the game both sides struggled with their shooting touch and at half-time the Taipans held a 33-30 advantage.

The arm-wrestle continued in the second half and late in the fourth quarter the Breakers found themselves down by four.

But late game heroics by guard Kevin Braswell kept the New Zealand side in it, and CJ Bruton was able to send the game into over-time with a late three point shot.

With the over-time period winding down, the Breakers led by three points with three seconds on the clock.

With momentum on their side, the Taipans built a four point lead in the second over-time period and held on for the win.

The dramatic finish was the first time in NBL history a playoff match had been decided in double over-time.

The series heads to Auckland for the decider on Friday.

A Breakers victory in that game would make them the first New Zealand team to win an Australian club title.