Basketball: Breakers centre Alex Pledger shrugs off suggestions of boring NBL grand final against Wildcats

Breakers centre Alex Pledger goes to the basket against the Perth Wildcats. Photo/Getty.
Breakers centre Alex Pledger goes to the basket against the Perth Wildcats. Photo/Getty.

Breakers centre Alex Pledger has shrugged off suggestions their upcoming NBL grand final series against the Perth Wildcats is boring and says they are used to grinding out matches on their way to collecting four previous Championships.

Sections of Australian NBL fans have reacted negatively to both teams - who have shared the NBL title over each of the past six years (Breakers 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, Wildcats 2010 and 2014) - again advancing through to the grand final.

Ahead of Wednesday's opening clash at Perth Arena, Pledger acknowledged both teams rely on their strong defence rather than blistering attack to win games, but makes no apologies for the fact they were both good enough to again advance through to the deciding series.

"We've been the two best teams in the competition over the last six or seven years with the championship going to one of us over that period and we might not have the scoring power of teams like Illawarra and Melbourne had but we're the two best defensive teams in the league," said Pledger.

"We're the two best rebounding teams in the league and we're the last two teams standing.

"You know that old saying, that defence wins championships, and it's going to probably be a lower-ish scoring, kind of grind-it-out series, rather than a free-flowing high-scoring one.

"But over the years we've proven that that's how we win and we're just looking forward to getting the series under way."

Ahead of their trip to Western Australia, the Breakers contacted sports scientists to help them formulate the best strategy to cope with the intense travel schedule involved in the three-game series.

With the return clash at the North Shore Events Centre following on Friday, Pledger explained the Breakers have arranged to fly home to Auckland as quickly as possible after the game to assist their recovery and preparation for game two.

"We're actually leaving the night of the game," he said. "We are taking the midnight flight out of Perth to get home about 3pm on Thursday for the game on Friday, rather than landing at midnight and having to go to bed straight away.

"We've got recovery sessions and massage sessions in place to try and recover as quickly as possible.

"It's probably not an ideal schedule, having to go back and forth to Perth potentially that many times in a five-day span but the Perth guys are going to have to deal with that as well.

"It's not just a one-way thing. But we're definitely doing as much as possible to be as fresh as we possibly can for the game."

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