25 Apr 2011

Taipans force NBL finals decider

8:28 am on 25 April 2011

The Cairns Taipans have forced a third game in the Australian National Basketball League grand finals, levelling the series with the Breakers with an 85-81 double-overtime win in Cairns.

The Taipans had looked set for a three-point win in normal time before a three pointer from Breakers guard CJ Bruton in the dying seconds sent the match into overtime.

Taipans star Ron Dorsey returned the favour with his own last ditch three point shot to force the game into double-overtime and with momentum on their side, the Taipans were able to finish the match with a four-point lead.

It's the first time in the history of the Australian league that a playoff game's gone to double overtime.

The Breakers started cold and were 0 from 8 beyond the arc before Kevin Braswell broke that duck and while neither side were very productive on the shooting end, it was still a tense and thrilling match.

Dorsey was the match's top scorer with 22 points. Braswell topscored for the Breakers with 18 points, Thomas Abercrombie had 17 and Kirk Penney was unusally quiet with just 12.

Breakers swingman Thomas Abercrombie says the players now have to pick themselves up and focus on Friday's game, when the championship will now be decided in Auckland.

The Breakers are aiming to make history as the first New Zealand team to secure a senior Australian sporting championship.