Hugo Besson came up with some massive baskets late in the game, but it still wasn’t enough as the New Zealand Breakers went down in a hard-fought game against the South East Melbourne Phoenix.
They came into the contest coming off a rough 24-point loss against Friday night’s opponents last week. However, this time they showed more promise, going down by only single digits at John Cain Arena.
After a sloppy first quarter, the Breakers gradually found their way back into the game. They were tied at stages throughout, but the Phoenix pulled away late to get their second win of season 2021/22.
Besson was the main man in attack for New Zealand. He started off quietly, scoring only 12 points in the first three quarters of the contest.
However, down the stretch he was as hot as the sun. His final quarter figures: 14 points, 66.7 per cent from the field and 75 per cent from down town, with all his threes coming in the clutch time.
Besson told media post game he was happy to be back playing with the Breakers after being caught with COVID only 10 days prior.
“Feels good to be back at this shape and at this level, hope we gonna continue to build this team and I think we’re going to be good,” he said.
The young French guard was well supported by big man duo Finn Delany and Yannick Wetzell.
Wetzell, who was making his debut against his old side, finished with 18 points, four rebounds and shot 8/13 from the field in 26 minutes of game time.
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Coach Dan Shamir said post-game he was proud of Wetzell’s efforts, particularly given it was against his old side.
“One of the most impressive young men that I’ve met, so professional, so focused, so composed, so serious. He did what we expected him to do and I’m sure he knows he’s an anchor of ours,” Shamir said.
Delany also added 23 points, shooting 5/10 from deep and lighting it up in the second with 13 points on 4/5 shooting.
Unfortunately though international guard Peyton Siva went down after only managing three minutes of game time. Shamir confirmed it was a hamstring injury to the import guard, but didn’t know the full extent of the injury.
Will Mcdowell-White stood up well in his place, acquiring 11 points, five rebounds and six assists as well as this monster jam in the second.
Shamir also thought he had a good performance with so much on his shoulders after Siva went down.
“I think there’s so much in him. He’s playing right and he’s playing humble, but he can also take over games. I want him to bring it more.”
Shamir further commented positively on the performances of Besson, Delany and Wetzell, but was particularly proud of Besson’s performance.
“Hugo’s a great player, he dealt with what he dealt with this week. Happy to see that he came back strong and we’ll build on that for sure.”
The Breakers next fly over to South Australia on Sunday to take on the Adelaide 36ers, tipping off at 3pm AEDT.
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