31 Mar 2012

Breakers to bounce back from NBL semi loss

7:08 am on 31 March 2012

The New Zealand Breakers forward Gary Wilkinson says the team will respond well to the sudden-death situation they find themselves in, in the Australian National basketball league, after being outgunned 99-82 by the Townsville Crocodiles in Auckland last night.

The loss in game one of the best-of-three semi-final series means the top-seeded Breakers will have to repeat last year's effort against Perth in winning their second semi away from home to retain their title.

The Crocodiles led by three at halftime but a 30-18 third quarter by the visitors forced the hosts into catch-up mode in the final quarter and they were unable to respond.

Wilkinson, who scored 19 points, says the team is not happy but still believes they can make the finals after the experience of beating the Wildcats in a similar situation last year.

Wilkinson says they realise they let an opportunity slip away but says they're a team that thrive on a challenge.

The Crocodiles outplayed the Breakers in most areas of the game, shooting at 57 per cent compared to 45 per cent for the Breakers, and out-rebounding the Breakers 35-27.

The Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis says it wasn't a Breakers-style performance and believes they'll play better on Thursday.