21 Apr 2011

Breakers one game away from ANBL title

12:52 pm on 21 April 2011

The New Zealand Breakers are one game away from winning the Australian National Basketball League title for the first time after crushing Cairns 85-67 in Auckland in game one of the best of three Grand Finals series.

The minor-premier Breakers trailed by up to six until late in the first quarter but after losing at home to Perth in the first semi-final they didn't want return to Australia having to win on Sunday to keep the series alive.

They made sure of that with a 17-point run in the second quarter and led by up up to 31 in the third as their defence forced error after error from the Taipans.

Guard Kirk Penney led the way again for the Breakers with 25 points and eight rebounds while their American forward Gary Wilkinson had 15 points and centre Alex Pledger 13.

Centre Ian Crosswhite scored 15 points for Cairns while the former Tall Black and Breakers guard Phill Jones had 14, including four of six from outside the three point arc.

Breakers coach Andre Lemanis isn't surprised by the win, which he says was a reflection of their season.