New Zealand win historic third consecutive NBL Championship - Apr 12, 2013
The New Zealand Breakers have claimed a third consecutive NBL Championship, producing a gutsy road performance to win Game Two of the 2012/13 iiNet National Basketball League Grand Final Series tonight at Perth Arena. Coming off a strong Game One performance, the Breakers proved why they are the best road team in the competition, wrapping up the game and series 2-0 with a 70-66 win over the Perth Wildcats. In a game worthy of deciding any NBL Championship, it was a tight opening half with the Wildcats feeding off the capacity 12,500 crowd crammed into Perth Arena. In a performance indicative of their ability to grind out a result, the Breakers silenced the fanatical home support with a 25-14 third quarter that saw the lead stretch beyond double figures. With their season on the line, Perth mounted an almighty comeback, getting within one point with less than 30 seconds remaining on the back of two clutch free throws from Greg Hire. As the Perth crowd pushed the Wildcats towards a remarkable come-from-behind victory it was none other than CJ Bruton who would have the final say. The man who led the Breakers to the 2012 NBL title was again on hand to close out the season, draining two late free throws to ice the win. Capping off a remarkable 2012/13 NBL season, New Zealands star import Cedric Jackson (191-G-86, college: Cleveland St.) was named NBL Grand Final MVP. The Breakers historic three-peat puts them in the conversation of all-time best NBL teams, becoming just the second team to achieve the feat joining the Sydney Kings of 2003 to 2005. Coach Andrej Lemanis also joins elite company, with the legendary Brian Goorjian as the only coach to oversee three consecutive NBL titles. After tipping off the season with a loss to the Wildcats at home, the Breakers were quickly back to their dominant best, 24 of their next 27 games including a 16-game winning streak to secure a third-straight minor premiership. Consecutive series sweeps of Sydney and Perth, including two massive road wins, ensured Auckland would again be the home of the NBL Championship trophy. Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally congratulated the Breakers on another outstanding season. What we have witnessed from the New Zealand Breakers not only this season, but over the past three seasons has been nothing short of remarkable, Ms Keneally said. To win an NBL Championship takes an amazing amount of effort, dedication and desire to win three consecutive NBL Championships is testament to the hunger for success of all involved at the New Zealand Breakers. Congratulations to Andrej Lemanis, his coaching staff and players, owner Paul Blackwell and the Breakers organisation on another brilliant season. Courtesy of: nbl.com.au
All-Star Game: Fast-starting South claim All-Star crown - Dec 25, 2012
South started with a bang and finished with a flourish to record a 134-114 victory over the North in an entertaining All Star Game at Adelaide Arena on Saturday.
After Melbourne star Jonny Flynn (183-G-89, college: Syracuse) provided the foundation, fellow Tiger Chris Goulding (192-G-88) applied the finishing touches to be crowned NBL All Star MVP.
The athletic Goulding had 14 fourth-quarter points to finish with a game-high 24, along with five boards and four assists to cap a memorable day for Melbourne with Bennie Lewis winning the slam dunk contest.
Adelaide hometown favourite Daniel Johnson (212-C-88, college: Pepperdine) (21 points) and Tigers import Seth Scott (19) routinely got the end of the superb work of Flynn (seven points, 10 assists) and New Zealand Breaker Cedric Jackson (12, 10).
North's brave charge was led by Sydney import Darnell Lazare (203-F-85, agency: Priority Sports, college: LSU) (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Wollongong pair Adris Deleon (18 points, nine assists) and Lance Hurdle (18 points).
Running and gunning the South made a barnstorming start, leading 38-13 at the end of lop-side opening term.
Melbourne's ex-NBA guard Flynn wowed the crowd with some dazzling ball-handling skills, at one stage bringing the ball all the way down the floor with nothing but between-the-legs crossovers.
He had five assists for the term, including sensational alley-oop lobs to Jackson and Johnson to lead South's sizzling transition game.
Jackson had a crack at turning crowd-pleaser in the second period but narrowly missed two audacious windmill alley-oops from his own lob passes.
North fought back through the exploits of Deleon, who had 10 points at 100 per cent and four assists for the term, but Flynn had the final say of the half.
Isolated one-on-one against Townsville's Gary Ervin, Flynn faked a pass before drilling a second-chance buzzer-beating trey to make it 69-51 at the main interval.
Ervin caught fire in the third stanza with eight points at 100 per cent to slice the gap back to 82-79, and then Deleon continued the charge with five quickfire points of his own.
Three-point shootout winner Stephen Weight duly responded with back-to-back triples to keep the South clear 96-84 at three-quarter-time.
Ervin fired again in the fourth but the Southerners drew further clear with Scott, Jackson and Johnson prolific and Goulding delighting the crowd with a couple of stirring double-handed jams.
The thrill-a-minute contest ended with Deleon alley-oop passes to Hurdle and Lazare, but the day would belong to the South.
South All Stars 134 (Goulding 24, Johnson 21, Scott 19) North All Stars 114 (Deleon 18, Hurdle 18, Lazare 18) Courtesy of: http://www.nbl.com.au
All-Star Game: Lewis claims perfect Slam Dunk final - Dec 25, 2012
Melbourne Tigers high-flyer Benny Lewis (203-G/F-87, college: Benedict) soared to a memorable win in the NBL All-Star slam dunk competition at Adelaide Arena, edging past jet-heeled Wollongong Hawk Lance Hurdle on a thrilling countback.
Benny Lewis and Hurdle were the top qualifiers for the final, which an under-pressure Benny Lewis claimed after missing his first two attempts and having to match Hurdle's perfect 30/30 score.
The lanky Tiger claimed victory with a perfect score of his own when he conjured a magnificent jam from a stand-still back-to-the-basket bounce pass from the three-point line.
With some flourish, Benny Lewis threw it down and hung on the rim, pulling his whole body up like a kid on the monkeybars to notch three 10s from the judges, former 36er greats Mark Davis and Al Green and local politician Kate Ellis.
He needed something special to dethrone Hurdle, who had just pulled off a show-stealer, climbing upstairs with a reverse bounce pass alley-oop from Hawks team-mate Adris Deleon, who threw it from a dozen rows back in the bleachers.
Earlier, Melbourne's Lucas Walker looked a strong contender, starting with an audacious windmill from his own high bounce pass before following up with a fine one-hander from a lob pass, while donning the retro singlet of former dunk champ Brett Rainbow.
New Zealand's Thomas Abercrombie got upstairs with a wrist-locked one-hander before teaming up with Breaker teammate and All-Star Cedric Jackson for a creative power dunk.
Sydney All-Star Darnell Lazare had a few false starts before completing an effortless bounce-passed, two-handed dunk around the rim and a lob-passed double-fister.
Hurdle started superbly with a "Dee Brown" reverse pump and then upped the ante with his second dunk.
He stationed a young lad wearing an over-sized Zac Delaney guernsey in front of the bucket and proceeded to soar over his head and finished with a powerful two-hander after throwing it off the board.
Benny Lewis qualified highest courtesy of a double-pump two-handed windmill which scored 23 and a 360-degree spinning double clutcher which was given a 27, which was enough to get him over the line following the deadlocked finale. Courtesy of: http://www.nbl.com.au
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