Basketball: Players' poll puts Breakers as co-favourites

Australian NBL players' choice poll has declared the defending champion Breakers co-favourites to retain their crown. Photo / Getty Images
Australian NBL players' choice poll has declared the defending champion Breakers co-favourites to retain their crown. Photo / Getty Images

The players have spoken - and the results are music to the ears of the Breakers.

The Australian NBL players' choice poll has declared the defending champion Breakers co-favourites to retain their crown, while several Breakers players have also been shown respect by their peers.

The league has spent the past two months quizzing more than 70 players on a variety of topics and, according to them, this season's championship is firmly a two-horse race.

The Breakers and the Perth Wildcats - joint top of the ANBL standings with 11-5 records - each received 43 per cent of the vote for title favourites, with Melbourne a distant third with 10 per cent.

Acrobatic Breakers swingman Tom Abercrombie took out both the best athlete (44 per cent) and best dunker (49 per cent) awards for the second year running.

Teammate Mika Vukona was also a two-time winner, easily defending his best rebounder title (48 per cent) and narrowly taking out the best hustler award (35 per cent). Vukona was also named third best defender in the league and received votes as the player who improved himself the most every year.

Australian veteran CJ Bruton was another to win two years in a row, being tipped as the best trash talker in the league, while Dillon Boucher took out the title of the league's best sixth man.

American import Cedric Jackson was named the best passer in the league but, perhaps surprisingly, was not among the top four point guards to receive votes for the league's best in the position.

Another upset for the Breakers was their venue only being named the third toughest in the competition, despite the home side posting a formidable six win-one loss record at the North Shore Events Centre heading into tonight's clash with Adelaide.

- APNZ

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