Rolan roberts had his best game in Crocs colours, but it was not enough to help his team get over the NZ Breakers.
The New Zealand Breakers were clinical in their 102-91 win on Friday night against the Townsville Crocodiles in the Top End Challenge as they advanced through to tomorrow night’s final.
The Crocodiles had the better of the Breakers on the scoreboard in the first half (51-49), but you could feel the Breakers starting to wrest this game away from the North Queensland franchise as they went to the main break.
Knotted at 66 halfway through the third quarter, the Breakers’ offense became efficient and the Crocs could not buy a basket from long range.
Kirk Penney (23 points on 9-of-21 FGs) came up with some timely baskets but Tom Abercombie showed me some of the talent people are talking about. He finished with 18 for the game but 12 of them came after halftime. He had the play of the day as he tip jammed a missed free throw home. His wing three, followed by a baseline jumper in consecutive possessions late in the fourth, created an eight-point buffer that put this one to bed.
Corey Williams (27 points, 19 in the second half) kept the Crocs in striking distance but they could not dial in from long range tonight going just 5-of-19.
Last night’s hero Russell Hinder had a reality check with his 0-of-3 performance from deep while Michael Cedar, Peter Crawford, Kelvin Robertson and Brad Williamson went a combined 3-of-12.
Former Sydney King Rolan Roberts (20 points and 13 rebounds, including eight offensive) had his best game in Crocs colours as he registered a double-double.
For me the Breakers just look like a team that has been together for a while.
CJ Bruton and Boomer Oscar Forman are still to come back into the lineup and, by all reports, import Awvee Storey will be a handful once he gets a better feel for the Breakers’ system.
I’m thinking the Breakers will start the season as favorites for the 2009/10 title.
Tomorrow the Breakers will face the Wollongong Hawks in the final, while the Crocs take on the Gold Coast Blaze for third place.
Random Thoughts From The Game
- Kelvin Robertson needs to get back to 100% ASAP. The Crocs miss his speed and three-point shooting.
- Dillon Boucher makes plays just because he wants it more than the guy he is competing against.
- Corey Webster has skills but he will hit the pine when CJ Bruton decides his offseason is done.
- Kirk Penney was not his usual best tonight. Although he manufactured 23 points, he went 0-of-6 from three and 5-of-9 from the charity stripe. I guess the scoreline could have been worse if he was on fire.
- Recent Australian Boomer killer Alex Pleager is here but not suiting up because he is hurt.