New Zealand Breakers veteran Tom Abercrombie says he has a lot to work on personally to help his side achieve their ‘dream’ of having home advantage ain the NBL playoffs.
The New Zealand side arrived back in Auckland on Saturday after falling to Melbourne United on Friday night 89-83 at Hisense Arena.
The Breakers failed to score in the final 6 minutes of play, orchestrating the top-of-the-table side’s victory.
Speaking to Newshub at Auckland Airport, Abercrombie didn’t hold back on critiquing his performances of late.
“I think I’ve got a huge amount of improvement there that I can do," Abercrombie said.
“I’ve been a little inconsistent so hopefully I can string a few good performances here heading into the playoffs and get a bit of momentum going.”
It was no secret that the Breakers’ patience has been tested with the referees in Australia and that was the case in Melbourne. Breakers’ import player Edgar Sosa was notably voicing his frustrations on the lack of foul calls his team received in comparison to the home side.
The Breakers shot just 13 free-throws, while Melbourne’s star-player Casper Ware shot 17 free-throws himself.
“I think there’s a bit of frustration, probably as to how the game was called. Things boiled over at the end but the good thing out of that is that we get to play them tomorrow and try put things right on the court," Abercrombie said.
Abercrombie took an educated guess as to how Melbourne was so successful at getting to the line.
“I think they did a good job of selling contact.
“I thought we were aggressive but maybe we need to do a better job of making sure the refs see that contact and continue to be aggressive, get on the front foot and get into the bonus early.”
Alex Pledger is questionable for Sunday's return game, with Coach Paul Henare saying he has ‘no idea’ about the center’s prognosis.
Guard Kirk Penney will miss yet another game with his calf injury.
Henare isn’t concerned about the loss of key players harming their chances; “Whatever line-up we put on the floor we know we’re confident," he told Newshub.
Both teams have just under 24-hours to prepare for tomorrow’s match at Spark Arena. Sitting in third place in the standings with one game over Adelaide, a win for the Breakers will be crucial for their bid at having home advantage for the finals.