Breakers successful in their first home appearance of 2019

By James Perry

The NZ-based NBL team beat the top of the table Perth Wildcats 97-84 at Spark Arena.

The win puts the Breakers season at eight wins, nine losses this season. It was the Breakers' first win against the Wildcats this season, in what is also their final clash. 

The Breakers returned home last night after spending the previous 10 days in Adelaide. As today's result showed, there is no place like home.

Speaking to Te Kāea ahead of their first game at home for 2019, Shea Ili and Jordan Ngatai both have experience of short turnaround times, with Ili saying "we've been here before, you know, come off road trips and then straight into another game. You've just got to do all those one percenters - just hydrate, and stuff like that,"

While Ngatai believes it's a part of life as an athlete, "You've always got to prepare your body, doesn't matter what situation you're in."

Today's victory means they have won four of their past five games, Ili is confident they have turned a corner, "It's great for us. before that we were in a slump and you know we just kind of getting out of that and we just got to focus on ourselves." 

Back to back games in Adelaide either side of New Year's Eve saw the Breakers stay in the South Australian capital. New father Ili, whose wife Morgan gave birth to a daughter in November, welcomed the chance for some relative peace, "Yeah, I got a lot of sleep. No distractions. But it was hard you know to be away from my wife and daughter, you know I just couldn't wait to get back." 

Ngatai feels the extended stay in Australia has helped the side gel further, saying "All we saw was each other's faces basically for that whole 10-day period. We were in the hotel together, we were at the beaches together. Definitely built a lot of good chemistry and got to know each other better."

The loss sees the Wildcats drop from 1st to third on the NBL table. The Breakers will only get to enjoy a short break at home, they take on the new league leaders Sydney Kings in Sydney on Friday.