LISTEN ABOVE AS BREAKERS CEO MATT WALSH SPEAKS TO RADIO SPORT BREAKFAST
The New Zealand Breakers' playoff aspirations are finally dead.
The Breakers had clung to a mathematical change of turning around their disappointing season, but a 114-107 defeat to the Adelaide 36ers at Spark Arena last night has ended their hopes of making the top four.
They fittingly went out with a poor defensive performance, as Adelaide shot 50 per cent from the field and hit 13 of their 25 three-point attempts. Nathan Sobey led the way with 27 points and nine assists for the 36ers, who moved to 14 wins with the victory, sitting in the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Breakers have just 10 wins, and with three games remaining have run out of possibilities to sneak in at the last minute. They are likely to finish in second-to-last on the table, ahead of only the hapless 4-21 Cairns Taipans.
The loss epitomised their season in some respects. Shawn Long put up gaudy offensive numbers (28 points on 11/13 shooting, with 12 rebounds), and got help from various role players, tonight's chosen two being Patrick Richard (24 points) and Finn Delany (16 points, six rebounds, five assists).
However, import Armani Moore was scoreless, Tom Abercrombie merely okay in his 300th game, and Corey Webster and Shea Ili's disappointing campaigns saw them combine for just seven points, one rebound and three assists.
There are still three - now utterly meaningless - games to go, but for a season which promised plenty with new ownership, new players and a new coach, the Breakers will now have to determine where they go from here.