ANBL: NZ Breakers eager to erase bitter Hobart memories by booking final spot with Game Two win against Tasmania JackJumpers

NZ Breakers coach Mody Maor insists his side are paying no attention to the weight of history in their favour heading into Game Two of their Australian NBL semi-final against Tasmania JackJumpers.

On Sunday, the Breakers exploded out of the gate, applying a level of pressure at both ends of the court that their opponents couldn't resist to close out a comfortable 88-68 win at home at Auckland's Spark Arena.

The records state the winners of Game One of the best-of-three semi-final progress to the final almost 86 percent of the time, but Maor shrugs off any suggestion his team will have any sort of leg up, heading into their potential close-out contest at Hobart, pointing to a piece of recent history from the Tasmanians that ensures no hint of complacency from his team.

Playing in their inaugural season, the JackJumpers responded to their Game One defeat against No.1 seeds Melbourne United with consecutive wins to advance to the finals, where they eventually lost to Sydney Kings.

"These numbers don't mean much to me," said Maor. "They go back so far, the league was so different, the way the competition worked was so different.

"If you want to look at any stat, then look at what Tasmania did with Melbourne United last year. First game looked very similar to our first game and then they came out with the series.

"We know the level of the competition we need to play against, we know what's expected from us."

Maor says he knows what to expect from the wounded JackJumpers too - a greater sense of desperation that will only further lift their trademark brand of hustle-heavy basketball.

"We come into any game with the appropriate level of fear," noted Maor. "This is the playoffs, we're playing against a very good team that does things well.

"There's a reason that they're here. There's also a reason that we're here.

"Their style of play is pretty straightforward and clear. I'm sure they're going to double down on the things that make them who they are - their fullcourt press, their intensity, their defence. 

Head coach Mody Maor.
Head coach Mody Maor. Photo credit: Photosport

"The same challenges we needed to meet in Game One are the ones we're going to need to meet in Game Two."

The Breakers will enter Thursday's clash at full strength, with all their players fit and available for selection at MyState Bank Arena, which is a familiar hunting ground for the Breakers, who played most of their home games there during their COVID-enforced Australian relocation.

They're memories Maor is happy to leave in the past - endless losses played out behind closed doors during a pair of miserable campaigns for the Breakers, winning just 17 of 64 games.

"It's the place that was our pseudo-home for the past two seasons, so it's a place that I don't like. It's a place that we don't like to be in."

Maor and the Breakers hope to wipe that slate clean by leaving Hobart on Friday with a finals berth locked up.