The Breakers may have lost last night's do-or-die Game 5 Championship game against the Kings but coach Mody Maor has still come away a winner with a heart-warming moment that shows how far the team has come in their first season under him.
A collapse in the fourth quarter in Sydney last night saw the Breakers denied their fifth NBL crown as Sydney roared back for a 77-69 win, leaving the Kiwi franchise heartbroken despite their incredible turnaround this year after being the competition's wooden spooners last season.
"This hurts deeply," Maor said in the post-match press conference.
"I really felt that this team could have done it, crossed the line. We didn't play well enough in the last quarter in order to do that."
A dejected Maor fronted media with club owner Matt Walsh at his side last night when midway through he was reminded of all the good he had done this season.
While answering a question, Maor was interrupted by American import and former NBA player Jarrell Brantley, who wanted everyone in the room to know what his coach meant to the team.
"That's a good coach right there, man. That's a special coach right there," Brantley interjected.
"If he recruit you, man, he's special. That's a special coach, one of kind. I love you Mo."
Brantley then apologised to Maor for the result before leaving the room but not before Maor told him he loved him too.
Walsh then reiterated the message with a hand on Maor's shoulder, repeating the kind words from Brantley before letting Maor continue.
When asked what it meant to him to see the culture he's built in his first season shining off the court, Maor paused before giving another heartfelt answer.
"One of the things we did great was put great people in this building," he said.
"We were able to create an environment where everyone feels appreciated and everyone feels a part of it and that unity as a team carried us through a lot of challenges.
"It's definitely something I take pride in."