Breakers Defeat The Turnover Tigers
The New Zealand Breakers have added to both Chris Anstey’s and the Melbourne Tiger’s woes, scoring a 75-64 victory at Hisense Arena on Friday night.
The first year coach Anstey was just as frustrated with his team as he was confused as to why his team has started the season so inconsistently.
“It’s a broken record,” said Anstey. “It’s too tough [of] a league.”
“You give a small excuse week one, the first game and it’s a new group. It gets tiring walking into these things. I can’t walk into one and say we’ve lost to a team we couldn’t beat.”
“I don’t want to sit in here and say we are getting closer, that was no closer than what we were last week.”
Off season arrival Seth Scott was also at a loss to how the Tigers can get their season started.
“We’ll be playing well, everything smart. All the gameplan that he [Anstey] has provided for us and everything will be working well. I don’t know what the reason is, at any given moment we can just fall apart.”
“We’ve all been asked these questions. It’s easy to answer these questions. But we’ve got to back it up with our actions.”
Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis on the other hand was proud of his team’s consistent defensive effort and his import point guard, Cedric Jackson.
“I think tonight we kept our lapses to a minimum. I think our defence has been driving our wins and that’s what happened tonight,” said Lemanis.
“Cedric’s not only a great player, he’s a smart player. Being able to play with four fouls and get some critical steals down the end…the ability he has is definitely advantageous for our group.”
Both teams shot a high percentage in the mid 60’s in the first period. Breakers import point guard Cedric Jackson began to show his class in the first quarter with two steals, seven points and two assists.
Early baskets from Abercrombie and a three pointer from Corey Webster opened the game up early for the Breakers and they had extended an 13 point lead by the five minute mark of the second quarter.
The Tigers got into foul trouble with 3:25 left to play in the second. After trailing by 17 points at one point of the second quarter, Melbourne were able to cut the lead back to 10 points at the main break.
The Tigers were hampered by turnovers all game. New Zealand’s full court pressure was outstanding and had forced Melbourne into 13 turnover by the half.
The Breakers turned on the cruise control in the third period scoring against the Tigers zone defense easily.
Melbourne looked to threaten midway through the third quarter after New Zealand import Cedric Jackson disagreed with a foul assessed on him. Following confusion after the wrong player took the technical foul free throws, Tomlinson stepped up to the line.
Soon after, a slicing Tomlinson caught the Breakers transition defense unaware and scored a layup while a Seth Scott three pointer brought the Tigers back to seven points before a basket from Abercrombie and Webster in the last seconds pushed the lead back out to 11 at the final change.
The Tigers looked to start the final quarter positively however following a technical foul on Lucas Walker, the Breakers regained composure and were not challenged for the remainder, running out 11 point victors.
A free throw percentage of 40% didn’t help the Tigers who also struggled from the field as the night wore on.
Hard truths are going to be addressed in the Tigers camp over the next week as they have begun their season 0-4 and meet the Townsville Crocodiles next week at home.
The Breakers are back home next week where they will meet with the Sydney Kings.
New Zealand Breakers 75 (Abercrombie 20, Jackson 19, Vukona 8)
Melbourne Tigers 64 (Scott 25, Goulding 15, Ballinger 15)