Breakers confident of ending losing streak

Zylan Cheatham Sidelined for Up to 8 Weeks with Broken Foot in Australian NBL Season
Photo: Alan Lee /

The New Zealand Breakers emerged victorious in their season opener against the Cairns Taipans in Auckland, marking their first win in the Australian NBL in a month.

However, following the 11-point triumph, the team encountered a series of setbacks including several player injuries and four consecutive losses.

Nonetheless, with an upcoming rematch against the Taipans in Christchurch, Coach Mody Maor exuded confidence in a change of fortunes.

“We’ve been just one possession away from winning every game we’ve played. From a process standpoint, we believe we are close to turning the corner and securing victories. Overcoming our circumstances and being in good health will undoubtedly assist us in seizing every game as an opportunity,” Maor expressed prior to the Taipans clash.

Following their most recent defeat against the South East Melbourne Phoenix, Maor deviated from his traditional approach by outlining the challenges his team faced at the start of the season.

“We were well aware that this season would present a tough stretch for us. We had the greatest number of players participating in the World Cup, which disrupted our pre-season significantly. It’s hard to build team cohesion when not everyone is present. Throughout the pre-season, as we regained some players, we encountered incessant injuries, most of which were unfortunate,” he explained.

“We lost Will for six weeks, then Finn, Mantas, and Jessup faced similar fates. And now we have lost Zylan. These circumstances are not excuses; they are the hurdles we have faced. Our players are wholeheartedly dedicated and adhering to everything I ask of them. They are giving their all every day,” Maor emphasized in Melbourne.

Maor, as the team prepared to transfer their home game to the South Island for the first time this season, assured that the Breakers’ current bottom standings position was not a cause for extreme concern.

NZ Breakers Parker Jackson-Cartwright

NZ Breakers Parker Jackson-Cartwright
Photo: Brett Phibbs/ Photosport

However, Maor acknowledged that there had been more frequent changes than expected early on in the season.

“When you replace an individual and introduce someone new, many aspects change, including the style of play, connectivity, and overall team dynamics. It’s a normal process for any basketball team. However, these changes occurred more frequently and on a larger scale than we would have preferred early on. With time, all these elements will improve,” Maor reassured.

Cheatham’s broken foot will keep the American import sidelined for up to eight weeks. Despite this setback, Maor maintained that the team possesses the right blend of players to reverse their fortunes during his absence.

“There is no replacement for Zylan. His unique ability to make threes and catch lobs in a single play, along with his defensive contributions, offensive skills, rebounding, and leadership in the locker room, were all significant aspects of our team identity. No one can fill his shoes. Roles will differ, responsibilities will shift, and play calls will be adjusted, but nobody needs to be Zylan. They simply need to be themselves,” Maor remarked.

Forward Finn Delany remained optimistic about the team’s fortunes, believing that their second victory of the season is within reach if they adhere to their core principles.

“There are noticeable flaws in our defense that we need to address, and we will certainly do so. However, if you were to visit our training facility on any given day, you would not sense the predicament we are in. The team spirit and energy have remained positive,” Delany conveyed.

Delany expressed his belief that the team is on the cusp of a turning point in the season, stating, “Throughout this challenging stretch, we have been competitive in every game, even when we were trailing by 26 points. We only require a few missing puzzle pieces to achieve something truly great. We are winners, with many individuals in our locker room having experienced successful seasons and overcoming adversity in various situations.”

Import guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright shared the same sentiment, emphasizing the importance of staying positive and persevering despite the current adversity.

“Every team faces some adversity during a season; it’s normal in professional sports. After just five games, we cannot waver or become disheartened. We will maintain our positive mindset and continue working hard,” Jackson-Cartwright affirmed.

The Breakers’ schedule includes the upcoming Christchurch clash with the Taipans, followed by a confrontation with the Sydney Kings in Sydney, a rematch of last season’s finals series.


Denial of responsibility! Being Sportsfan is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
DMCA compliant image

Leave a Comment