13 Apr 2013

Breakers win three titles in a row

10:22 am on 13 April 2013

The New Zealand Breakers have won their third straight national basketball league championship, beating the Perth Wildcats 70-66 in a tense game two of the grand final series.

The Breakers are just the second club after the Sydney Kings to win three straight NBL championships.

The Wildcats hung in to just trail by a point at quarter-time and to level at half-time at Perth Arena.

The Breakers took control early in the third quarter, holding the Wildcats scoreless for five minutes and opening up an 11-point lead.

The lead was still 11 by three quarter-time but the home side got back to within a point with 28 seconds to go following two free-throws from Greg Hire.

Daryl Corletto then went to the line and hit one.

Perth's Shawn Redhage missed a desperation shot and then CJ Bruton calmly hit two free throws of his own and the Breakers won by four to claim the championship.

Bruton was the star once again for the Breakers as he claimed his sixth NBL championship made up of two with the Sydney Kings, one with the Brisbane Bullets and now the three with the New Zealanders.

Each time they faced the Wildcats in the grand final series and this was the first to be decided in two games.

Bruton top-scored with 16 points and regular season and grand final MVP Cedric Jackson finished with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Three-time championship-winning coach Andrej Lemanis says all three titles are special but it's satisfying getting his first win on the road.