Basketball: Breakers chase Euro-based Issac Fotu, Tai Webster for next ANBL season

NZ Breakers owner Matt Walsh admits his Aussie NBL roster may look more like the Tall Blacks in a post-coronavirus landscape next summer.

Like all sports organisations, the Auckland-based franchise has had to cease most of its off-season activities during the Government-mandated lockdown, cancelling community events, but stopping short of staff cuts.

But Walsh told Newshub recruiting would continue relatively uninterrupted, although complicated by the pandemic's impact on other basketball leagues around the world.

One by-product of that mayhem may see the Breakers chase European-based Tall Blacks Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster hard for a more homegrown roster in 2020/21.

"We're preparing for a scenario that imports are very late to get here, so we're working really hard to recruit some of these Kiwi guys who have come back from Europe - high level guys like Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster," says Walsh.

"There is a scenario where our team looks more like a Tall Blacks team than a Breakers team than ever before next year, which is exciting in its own right."

If anything, since taking over the Breakers, Walsh and his ownership group have moved away from that nationalistic influence, cutting ties with then-NZ coach Paul Henare and captain Mika Vukona, along with several other key members of the NZ team.

But those remaining - forwards Tom Abercrombie and Finn Delany, centre Rob Loe - played key roles in the club's late run at ANBL playoffs this year, with an 11-win three-loss finish. 

Forward Fotu spent last season with Universo Treviso in Italy, after earlier stints in Spain and Germany. Guard Webster played for Turkish club Galatasaray and in Germany before that.

Both served as Breakers development players, before embarking on US college careers, and while their overseas contracts may have been more lucrative than staying home, Europe may not seem so hospitable in the wake of coronavirus.

Last month, Fotu told Newshub of his life in the virus red zone: "It's a weird, surreal feeling."

After finishing 19th at last year's Basketball World Cup in China, the Tall Blacks still have an outside chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, but must overcome world No.5 Serbia - among others - in Serbia next year.