30 Jan 2017

Henare laments an underlying 'quit' in the Breakers

7:12 am on 30 January 2017

New Zealand Breakers coach Paul Henare is disappointed with the nature of his side's loss to the Kings in Sydney yesterday.

The Breakers were thrashed by the Kings 84-57 in their Australian Basketball league match.

Paul Henare

Paul Henare Photo: Photosport

With both teams on 12 win and 13 loss records and running out of games, a win was vital to not only maintain pace with the top four, but to effectively go a long way towards eliminating the other from contention at the same time.

But Sydney coach Andrew Gaze said his side responded better to the do or die clash.

"The guys knew the urgency of the situation and they stepped up. But we can't enjoy this win for very long because we're in the same situation next week and the week after that. We're in a dogfight.

The Kings are now in third spot, while the Breakers (12-14) drop one place to sixth, their playoff hopes hanging in the balance.

Breakers coach Paul Henare basically said his team gave up.

"There's an underlying 'quit' in us when things get tough and that's concerning," Henare said.

"If we go to Adelaide next week and play like that, we'll get beat by 50."

New Zealand were playing their first game since losing American forward Akil Mitchell to a shocking eye injury in Thursday's home loss to Cairns.

Kirk Penney and Tom Abercrombie scored 13 apiece for the Breakers, who finished with an expensive 25 turnovers and made just 31 percent of their shot attempts at Qudos Bank Arena.

Sydney started tentatively, but took control with a dominant second period.

The Breakers cut a 20-point lead to 45-32 at halftime, only to be overrun in the third period.