The SKYCITY Breakers are underway at the NBL Blitz in Traralgon, just outside of Melbourne, with a nail-biting 77-75 win over Cairns last night.

With just eight practice sessions under their belts, the Blitz was never about results for the Breakers, but about gelling as a team and finding their identity as a new group of players, and there were understandable signs of rustiness from a team that has been together for just over a week.

But winning is a good habit to get into, at any time of the year, and the Breakers found a way to get the job done despite a foul count heavily in favour of the Taipans and taking time for their offence to click into gear.

Tom Abercrombie led the SKYCITY Breakers effort with 21 points, including 4 of 9 crucial three pointers, one with just over two minutes to play to gap the Taipans. Alex Pledger was big in the paint with 11 rebounds while Kirk Penney contributed 12 and Mika Vukona 10 points on a collective 10 of 13 shooting night for the two veterans, while Shea Ili provided good energy off the bench with four assists.

Abercrombie said his side did well and his own game had benefitted from extra rest during the offseason.

"It was a pretty messy game for the most part so it was good we could show a little poise in the fourth quarter and scrape out a win," Abercrombie said.

"Ive had the longest offseason Ive ever had so I could work on some things and get in the gym and get stronger.

"My body is feeling good right now and Im enjoying getting out there after such a long break. Im re-energised, enthused and ready to go."

As is often the case, new imports Edgar Sosa and DJ Newbill took some time to find a rhythm, with Sosa ending the game with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist after getting into early foul trouble, while Newbill played a game high 29 minutes and delivered 8 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in an all-round effort, albeit both Sosa and Newbill struggled to find their shooting range.

There were plenty of areas to work on for Paul Henares team, with the team shooting a rusty 21 of 33 from the line and being out rebounded 42-40 by the Taipans. The foul count was incredibly lopsided, with the Taipans going to the line 25 times in the first quarter alone (making 18 of those shots), ending with 31 of 40 from the charity stripe.

But so early in the campaign and with so many players clearly not match fit at this point in the pre-season, there was plenty more to like about this effort from the Breakers and a result that might have fans heading to sign up to Breaker Nation in anticipation of the start to the season proper on October 8 at Spark Arena.

Next up for the SKYCITY Breakers is Perth on Saturday night NZT, then Adelaide on Sunday.

New Zealand Breakers 77 (T Abercrombie 21, K Penney 12, M Vukona 10) d Cairns Taipans 75 (M McCarron 21, N Egwu 12, A Loughton 10) at Traralgon on Thursday.


NBL Blitz

Traralgon Basketball Centre

-Breakers game times NZT

- Melbourne United v Illawarra Hawks, September 7, 5.30pm

- Cairns Taipans v New Zealand, September 7, 10pm

- Perth Wildcats v Adelaide 36ers, September 8, 5.30pm

- Sydney Kings v Brisbane Bullets, September 8, 8pm

- Cairns Taipans v Illawarra Hawks, September 9, 11.30am

- Brisbane Bullets v Adelaide 36ers, September 9 2pm

- Melbourne United v Sydney Kings, September 9, 5pm

- Perth Wildcats v New Zealand Breakers, September 9, 9.30pm

There will also be four games in Melbourne on Sunday, September 10.

- Melbourne United v Perth Wildcats, State Basketball Centre

- Sydney Kings v Illawarra Hawks, Kilsyth

- Cairns Taipans v Brisbane Bullets, Werribee

- New Zealand Breakers v Adelaide 36ers, Whittlesea, 4pm

For more on the Blitz, including live stats and game reports, visit
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand