25 Apr 2012

Breakers tame Wildcats to take grand final series

2:54 pm on 25 April 2012

The New Zealand Breakers are the Australian National Basketball champions again after beating the Perth Wildcats 79-73 in the decisive third game of the grand final series.

The victory was played out in front of a sellout crowd of more than 9000 at the Vector Arena in Auckland on Tuesday night.

The Breakers and the Wildcats went tit-for-tat in the first half, with both teams' characteristic aggression on defence making life hard at the offensive end.

The visitors led 41-39 at halftime, before the Breakers rallied to lead 58-54 at the end of the third period.

The final quarter was fierce, with the Wildcats upping their intensity and they clawed their way back into the match.

But two crucial three-pointers from C J Bruton with less than one minute to go gave the New Zealanders breathing space, before a block by Tom Abercrombie sealed the team's second successive title.

Coach Andrej Lemanis says the reason the Breakers succeed is because players believe in each other and support each other on the court.

The Breakers are just one of five teams to win back-to-back championships.