Basketball: NZ Breakers heading back to New Zealand for final seven ANBL regular season games

NZ Breakers will make their long-awaited return home to play their final seven matches of the Australian NBL regular season in New Zealand.

Breakers chief executive Matt Walsh has confirmed to Newshub the team will return to play out the bulk of their May and June schedule in Aotearoa, likely at Auckland's Spark Arena.

Their final scheduled match takes place on April 26 in Tasmania, but they still have a few  pencilled-in games to complete in Australia after that, before they can head back across the Tasman.

"We committed to playing six [games] in Tasmania," Walsh tells Newshub. "That deal was signed obviously before the trans-Tasman bubble announcement, so we're going to honour those games and after that, we'll be home for the final seven games of the season, which is very exciting.

"I would've liked for the guys to get home earlier, but it is what it is - we pushed as hard as we could."

The side has had a less-than-ideal stay over the ditch, moving from city to city amid COVID-19 outbreaks, as well as injuries to key players throughout the campaign. 

The mental and physical toll has been near immeasurable for the players and staff, who haven’t been home since just after Christmas.

"We’ve made it very clear that it’s really important that our guys get home as soon as possible," says Walsh.

After Tuesday's agonising overtime loss to Perth Wildcats, the Breakers’ record stands at five wins/14 losses. 

A ticket to the playoffs is all but gone, meaning it’s highly unlikely the side would have to travel back to Australia, once they return home.

"The important thing is we’ll get seven home games," says Walsh. "Guys will get to finish the season in front of their home fans and see their families, most importantly, and we'll start building momentum for next year.

"We’re really looking forward to getting the support that we’ve needed from the fans, for sure."

The full schedule confirming the news will be released by the NBL on Thursday.