The Breakers' 2016-17 Australian NBL campaign was more than a little bittersweet but club MVP Kirk Penney intends to focus on the sweet stuff.

The 36-year-old stalwart earned the club's highest honour at their awards night on Thursday, capping an exceptional return to the black singlet.

Transferring from Illawarra in the off-season, Penney played all 28 games as the late-surging Breakers fell inches short of a play-off berth.

Only Melbourne United's failure to defeat Perth in their final-round ANBL fixture prevented the Breakers from fourth place.

Penney, for his part, notched an average of more than 30 on-court minutes and 17 points per game, hitting nearly half of all field goal attempts.

But a season ravaged by injuries to swingmen Tom Abercrombie and Corey Webster, skipper Mika Vukona and three separate imports simply couldn't be salvaged.

"The first couple days after we saw the result of Perth and Melbourne, we were all a bit hungover with the result," Penney told reporters.

"We went through so many speed bumps and at times weren't a great team because we were all over the place, but at the end we were back."

A 19-year hoops veteran, the Auckland-born forward has won every trophy on offer in the Australian game, including a championship and league MVP award.

He's also played basketball in countries including the United States, Spain, Israel, Lithuania and Germany.

Yet despite his years in the game, Penney insisted his body was ready for the demands of 2016-17 play-off basketball.

He'd done all he could to keep healthy and nip injuries in the bud throughout the past two years, and would use the long ANBL off-season wisely.

"Paul (Henare) asked me routinely how I felt and to be fair, I felt sweet, I really felt fine," Penney said.

"It's just experience, having played for this long, you learn your body well."

Penney was also named the fans' player of the year, while Abercrombie was named defensive player of the year for his average of five rebounds per game.

Young gun Sam Waardenburg, meanwhile, won young player of the year for his exploits before heading to the University of Miami in early 2017.

Penney said Waardenburg's fellow young guns Finn Delany and Shea Ili were capable of leading the side towards 2017-18 success.

"I'm excited for them, hopefully my minutes become less and less because they're playing really well," Penney said.