Boucher looking for 'fairytale' finish

By Kris Shannon

Sydney will tomorrow become the latest stop on the Dillon Boucher farewell tour, and the veteran hopes it is the last he will see of the Kings. Photo / Getty Images.
Sydney will tomorrow become the latest stop on the Dillon Boucher farewell tour, and the veteran hopes it is the last he will see of the Kings. Photo / Getty Images.

Sydney will tomorrow become the latest stop on the Dillon Boucher farewell tour, and the veteran hopes it is the last he will see of the Kings.

The Breakers will attempt to sweep Sydney in game two of their semifinal series across the Tasman tomorrow afternoon, setting up a grand final showdown with old rivals Perth.

The Wildcats today completed a sweep of their own over Wollongong, though they will be worried about a calf injury sustained by influential guard Damian Martin.

Perth will now be a keen observer as the Breakers attempt to reach their third straight final, a series which would be a rematch of last year's 2-1 victory to the New Zealand side.

The defending champions will fancy their chances of setting a date with the `Cats, and three blood-and-thunder contests against Perth would be a perfect way for Boucher to bow out.

In the meantime, Boucher is busy completing the formalities of the Sydney series. The Kings matched up well with the Breakers during the regular season, especially in home comforts, but the playoff rookies looked overmatched in the series opener in Auckland.

With the Kings in the playoffs for the first time since readmission to the league in 2010, Boucher wondered if Sydney's inexperience cost them and he was looking to exploit that weakness tomorrow.

"A lot of these guys, this is the first time in the playoffs,'' he said. "That was probably their wakeup call into what the playoffs are like, which is what we were like the last two years. We jumped them and they were on the back foot.

"We plan on wrapping it up in game two but they will be tough over there.''

They certainly were during the regular season, handing the Breakers one of their four defeats and barely missing out and repeating the dose in an overtime thriller. Those performances were guided by American point guard Corin Henry, who's missing the playoffs through injury, and Boucher said it was up to the rest of the Kings' roster to step up.

"They didn't get a lot of contributions from their top guys [in game one] so they will go back and look at the video and find out where they can contribute more. We just have to come out and bring the intensity in game two and hopefully that will be enough.

"We're not going just expecting to roll them. They will be tough on their home floor and it will probably be in front of a big crowd as well.''

If the Breakers can overcome that atmosphere, Boucher can expect to play in front of a few more considerable crowds before he draws the curtains on a glittering career. The 12,000 fans who will pack into Perth Arena for the second game in the grand final series will undoubtedly be all too willing to provide a vocal send-off.

The wild west was the scene of Boucher's final regular season game for the Breakers and, as per club tradition, his family were flown out for the occasion. His teammates all paid tribute to the 37-year-old in a pre-game ceremony, scenes Boucher described as "very emotional''.

"That's when it really hit home to me that this is it,'' he said. "But, throughout the playoffs, I don't want it to be about me, I want it to be about the team and I just want everyone to win on their own accord. That will be good enough for me.''

- APNZ

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