23/04/2024
Yanni Wetzell shoots during the New Zealand Breakers vs Brisbane Bullets match Photo via/Olive92

Yanni Wetzell shoots during the New Zealand Breakers vs Brisbane Bullets match Photo via/Olive92

The New Zealand Breakers have claimed their first NBL win of the season, defeating the Brisbane Bullets 88-83.

The NBL finally returned over the holiday period between the Brisbane Bullets and New Zealand Breakers played out an exciting match, with the Breakers coming out on top.

Finally, for the New Zealand Breakers, they have claimed their first NBL win of the season defeating the Brisbane Bullets 88-83 in Brisbane. The Bullets weren’t active since December 19th while the Breakers hadn’t played since Boxing Day of 2021 and for both sides, it was a hot start in the first quarter.

The Breakers were boosted early on with the youngsters of Ousmane Dieng and Hugo Benson combining for five points while the experienced Yanni Wetzell scored 11 inside the first quarter which put New Zealand in a good spot early on.

The early start was a great sign for New Zealand, who had lost its last six consecutive games and was at the bottom end of the NBL ladder six rounds in.

It was continued dominance for Wetzell as he hit more crucial points inside the opening minutes of the second quarter as the Breakers continued to storm towards their first win of the season.

Speaking to media after the buzzer Wetzell was delighted with his 27-point performance for the Breakers.

“[I] got some good looks, point guards found me in good positions and the ball was dropping which was nice.

“The fact of the matter is that our defence stepped up massively and not only that – our leadership, I think we have had a hole since Tommy Abercrombie went down. Fin [Delaney] was in iso and I kind of took that upon myself to lead by not only example but be a vocal leader.”

Wetzell was able to finish the match with 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists on the evening with only nine of the 27 points scored by the 25-year-old coming from the free-throw line.

“First off I get nervous in games, I said it before these games are important for me and for everybody, I think you need to know how to handle that and do your job,” Breakers coach Dan Shamir said.

“Most players make big plays and our players did them, even just getting the ball inbound and going to the free-throw line and knocking them down – those things are harder than they seem.

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“I think we have to get better in a lot of areas, statistically our defence is the main issue but I don’t think it is the only one and we have played six games when we looked at the stats, and to be honest I am a big data guy, but in the NBL with a limited number of games, the numbers are not the story.

“We want to work on playing together and playing hard, we had a few very good practices, I even enjoyed practice for the first time in a long time and watching it out there, I think some of it showed and build on it to get more wins.”

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