ANBL: Emotional night in store for must-win Breakers

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell was tearing up on the morning of a must-win game, but his reason was much less trivial than the thought his first season at the helm could be over soon.

Team manager Fata Letoa had just delivered a message of inspiration before their clash with Adelaide 36ers on Thursday night.

"Our manager Fata, he had an open lung transplant and he just had a hard message about fighting, and why you wake up and why you come in here every day," explained Braswell.

"I know the guys felt it, you could just see the look in their eyes. It's probably the most focused I've seen them this season."

Braswell welcomed the dose of reality, as they searched for ways to bounce back from two heavy losses to Melbourne last weekend.

With only four games left in the regular season, the Breakers must win all of them and have other results go their way to retain any chance of making the Australian NBL playoffs.

"We can talk about the things that happen on the floor, the things we should improve on, but they know that," said Braswell.

"They're basketball players and pro for a reason, but when you hit adversity, this is how you get out of it."

It's perhaps fitting that the man leading the message on court tonight - Tom Abercrombie - will be playing his 300th game for the club.

"I'm proud of what I've done here," said Abercrombie. "There's no shortage of motivation out there tonight - we have so much to play for and so many people to play for.

Maybe none more deserving than Paul and Liz Blackwell, with the Breakers getting ready to honour the club's former long-standing owners. 

"They deserve nothing more than absolute 100% effort out there," said Abercrombie. "That's what they always wanted from us and that's what we'll give them tonight."

Braswell guarantees there'll be emotion - on and off - the court.

"There's gonna be some tears in the locker room."