Basketball: Tom Abercrombie rewarded for Breakers' season turnaround

As far as coach Dan Shamir was concerned, Tom Abercrombie's selection as NZ Breakers Most Valuable Player for this season was a no-brainer.  

Shamir has credited the club captain as the driving force behind his side's unlikely turnaround, that has the Breakers on the verge of the playoffs.

The Australian NBL club needs to win their final regular-season game against South East Melbourne on Friday, and then hope one or two results go in their favour. 

But regardless of where they finish, Shamir is full of superlatives for his vetaran forward.

"When we think about an MVP, we think about the total package, and Tom has been there for us in every single game and every single moment, with his professionalism and with his willingness to do everything you ask him to do," Shamir says.

"He has incredible discipline, is great defensively, rebounds and when we need him to score, he was also there scoring."

Abercrombie's contribution has been stellar in the second half of the season, averaging a touch under 12 points a game, with four rebounds and two assists.

With the Tall Blacks international and American small forward Scotty Hopson (19 points, six rebounds and four assists) leading the way, the club has turned a 4-10 start into a 10-3 run that leaves them a win and a Melbourne United loss away from playoff basketball. 

Remarkably, this season is the first the long-serving Breakers skipper has picked up club MVP honours, despite a glittering career that has yielded four championship rings and a finals MVP award in 2011.

Abercrombie acknowledges the role Shamir played in his upswing in form.

"I think this year has been successful for me, first and foremost, because of playing under Dan Shamir and the system he's put in place," he said. "It's suited my game really well.

"I've got a good understanding of how he runs things and then the system he likes to run, and I think it just suited my game."