Basketball: Breakers keen to swamp Wildcats

Dillon Boucher of the Breakers. Photo / Getty Images
Dillon Boucher of the Breakers. Photo / Getty Images

Tom Abercrombie calls it a feud. Mika Vukona admits they just don't like them.

The Perth Wildcats say the feeling is mutual.

However it's couched, the New Zealand Breakers and Perth Wildcats are enemies on a basketball court - and the animosity will come to a head over the next fortnight as the two teams decide the Australian National Basketball League title in Auckland and Western Australia.

The Breakers host the first of the best-of-three finals series at a near-to-sold-out Vector Arena tonight before the second game in Perth a week on Friday.

A third game will be played in Auckland if required.

The bad blood started in 2008 when former Breakers import Shawn Redhage was elbowed in the privates by then Breakers guard Phill Jones.

Since then there have been accusations of over-celebrating, over-acting and over-aggressiveness.

In last year's semifinals, when the Breakers recovered from a 101-78 hiding in the first game in Auckland to win 2-1, Perth import Andre Brown was ejected from game three for throwing a punch at Vukona as the teams scuffled.

"We don't like them," Vukona said. "Definitely. Perth is probably one of the teams you love to beat. They would say the same about us." And Perth do say that.

"The feeling is definitely mutual," Perth point guard Kevin Lisch said. "We are all competitors here."

Breakers general manager Richard Clarke said former All Black coach Sir Graham Henry would be attending and reality TV queen Julie Christie had booked a corporate box. Auckland mayor Len Brown will also be sideline.

Tipoff is at 7.30pm.

- APNZ

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