ANBL Awards snubs give Breakers more fuel for playoffs

Wed, Feb 8

The Breakers may have been given extra fuel to win the Australian NBL after largely missing out at the annual awards.

Only Barry Brown Jr was recognised at last night’s awards despite the New Zealand side’s remarkable resurrection and a second-place finish in the regular season.

Brown Jr picked up Sixth Man of the Year at the event; a prize for an import who's played a large part in the Breakers' revival.

“I know as a professional I haven't won anything with my team or individually so I think that, just selfishly, I think it's good for me to just see the hard work I put in get shown in the light.”

Brown Jr averaged 19.5 points, nearly three assists and rebounds and a steal per game this season but his prize is as good as it got for the Kiwi club.

Derek Pardon was pipped by three votes for Defensive Player of the Year while Will McDowell-White missed out on Most Improved by just two votes. Mody Maor was also overlooked as best coach.

Jarrell Brantley drives to the basket for the Breakers.

New Zealand Basketball CEO Dillon Boucher said the snubs aren’t an issue though with the Breakers focused on a different trophy.

“They've got the players, they've got the game plan, they're a defensive-minded team and when it comes to playoffs it's about what team can really lock it in on defence and make the big shots when it counts and they've got players that can do both of those things.”

The Breakers could get an extra boost from Brown Jr who is hopeful his injured hand will recover in time for him to suit up for Sunday's first game of their semi-final series.

“We're just taking precautions right now just to make sure it's good and I don't injure it any further so I can be ready for playoffs.”

Their series will be against Cairns or Tasmania.


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