Breakers coach confident team ready to take on Melbourne United

By Mike Lacey

SKYCITY Breakers head coach Paul Henare is confident his team will be ready to take on Melbourne United at Vector Arena on Friday night and thrilled that the new ANBL season is about to start.

"Excited is the word we have been using around the club this week. Starting with it being the first game of the season and then a small milestone for us is that everyone is healthy now, except Shea Ili (stress fracture in lower back), so we are very excited ahead of the opening fixture.

Playing Melbourne United in the first home game creates added interest with two former SKYCITY Breakers players returning to their former club.

"They are very talented and they have experience and recruiting Ced (Cedric Jackson) and Tai (Tai Wesley) they now bring championship experience with them."

In addition to Jackson and Wesley Melbourne boast Australian internationals Todd Blanchfield, Chris Goulding and David Anderson in their lineup. The later two both played for the Australian team at the Rio Olympics where the Boomers finished fourth.

Henare believes that Melbourne will be one of the teams to watch.

"Looking at the League this year it is hard to pick a favourite, it is going to be a tight battle, but Melbourne are going to be up there for sure."

Asked if he thought Jackson and Wesley may be sharing some inside knowledge of the SKYCITY Breakers with their new team Henare thought it highly likely.

"I wouldnt be surprised, thats what you do when you change teams. Tai has played for me (when Henare was head coach at Southland Sharks) but Ced hasnt so there is a limited amount of inside knowledge that they are going to have. From year to year coaches are subtly changing things so we will be running things a little differently from when I coached Tai."

Henare is unsure what kind of reception the two former players will get on Friday night.

"They were both really popular players during their time at the club - not sure to be honest."

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand

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