Basketball: Breakers winless in pre-season

Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers looks for a team-mate. Photo / Getty Images
Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers looks for a team-mate. Photo / Getty Images

The New Zealand Breakers have ended a six-match NBL pre-season winless after a 103-89 loss to the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian Basketball Challenge in Brisbane.

It was their third defeat in the tournament, making them the only NBL side in the 10-team event to fail to pick up a victory.

The Breakers, four-time NBL champions and grand finalists last season, were again without injured guards Kirk Penney, Shea Ili and Corey Webster.

The trio's absence was compounded by American import Ben Woodside also being unable to suit up on Monday, which meant new coach Paul Henare having to reshuffle his starting five.

The Breakers produced a strong first half to lead 55-45 at the main break, but Adelaide dominated the third quarter 32-12 to head into the final 10 minutes in front 77-67.

Henare then chose to rest senior players and give extended court time to younger members of his squad.

Isaih Tueta, signed last week as injury replacement while Ili gets over a back problem, led all scorers with 22 points.

Tom Abercrombie (15), Finn Delany (12) and Derone Raukawa (10) also got into double digits.

Assistant coach Judd Flavell says youngster Finn Delany has stepped up in the absence of regulars Kirk Penney and Corey Webster.

Flavell says Delany plays on the front foot and he grew in confidence in both attack and defense which is a great sign.

The Breakers open their NBL season against Melbourne United on October 7.

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