7 Mar 2016

Breakers win thriller to keep title defence alive

8:25 am on 7 March 2016

The Breakers basketballers have beaten the Wildcats 72-68 in Auckland to send their best-of-three grand final series to a deciding game three in Perth.

(L to R) Breakers stars Tom Abercrombie, Cedric Jackson, Corey Webster and Mika Vukona in their NBL game vs Townsville Crocodiles, Vector Arena, Auckland, 29 January 2016. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz

The Breakers players (L to R) Tom Abercrombie, Cedric Jackson, Corey Webster and Mika Vukona. Photo: Photosport

The defending champions raced out to a 9-nil lead at the start of the contest but Perth fought their way back into the game with the New Zealanders only sealing the win in the final seconds of the physical encounter.

A couple of crucial three pointers and some stiff defence in the final few minutes gave the Breakers the edge with captain Mika Vukona scoring a free-throw with less than a second remaining to give the hosts an unassailable four point lead.

Vukona said dogged defence was the key to the Breakers victory.

"We just had to keep moving the ball, the ball got a little bit stagnant towards those areas in which they were able to capitalise.

"But the boys dug in deep really well tonight and they did a great job defensively that's what got us across the line tonight."

Guard Cedric Jackson top scored for the Breakers with 13 points with Tom Abercrombie adding 12 and Alex Pledger 11 points.

The deciding game three is in Perth on Sunday, where the defending champion Breakers will be chasing their fifth title in six seasons.