The New Zealand Breakers have claimed a third straight NBL championship after seeing-off the Perth Wildcats 70-66 in game two of the league’s grand final.
The Breakers, fresh off a 79-67 game one victory in Auckland were simply too strong in the end for the Wildcats who have, once again fallen just short, courtesy of the side from New Zealand, who have beaten Perth in their last two grand finals to cement themselves as one of the best teams ever to grace the NBL, Australia’s premier division.
The Breakers have joined the Sydney Kings [2003-2005] as the only teams to ever three-peat the national title.
CJ Bruton, who won his sixth NBL title led the Breakers with 16 points, which included four three-pointers from five attempted. Cedric Jackson added 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals to win the MVP award for the victors.
The game looked to be as good as over after three quarters, New Zealand were up by 11 points, as a closely fought, yet scrappy first half saw both sides tied at 29-29.
The visitors were up by eight points with three minutes remaining when the Wildcats, cheered on by a sold-out crowd at the Perth Arena made their move, and with 28 seconds to go, Greg Hire pulled the hosts to within a point before Bruton iced the game from the foul line to silence the 13,000 crowd.
Shawn Redhage and Kevin Lisch both scored 14 points each in vain or the Wildcats.