Sydney Kings vs NZ Breakers preview, begin time, fixtures, key matchups, who’s the favorite

It has been 12 days since they certified for the NBL Championship Collection and now on Friday night time (7.30pm AEDT) the Sydney Kings and New Zealand Breakers start what looms as an interesting best-of-five battle for the NBL23 title.

The close to two-week break from the tip of the semi-final sequence to the Championship Collection was a bit unlucky albeit unavoidable because of the final FIBA window forward of this 12 months’s World Cup however now the wait is over, and it’s set to be an amazing contest.

Watch the NBL23 Championship Collection between Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers LIVE and FREE on ESPN on Kayo Freebies. Collection begins March 3. Be part of now and begin streaming immediately >

Kings and Breakers to determine NBL champs | 02:08

The Kings and Breakers have been the perfect two groups all season within the NBL, they completed the common season in first and second place, after which booked of their spots for the Championship Collection by successful their respective semi-final Sport 3’s on their residence flooring two Sundays in the past.

It’s now all set as much as be fairly the tantalising Championship Collection match up with Sport 1 on Friday night time at Qudos Financial institution Area. Sport 2 is already offered out on Sunday at Auckland’s Spark Area.

Sport 3 can be in Sydney subsequent Friday, Sport 4 in Auckland the next Sunday and if required, the deciding Sport 5 can be in Sydney on Wednesday March 15.


The Sydney Kings are the reigning NBL champions they usually backed it up by claiming the common season championship this season to come back into the Championship Collection because the favourites to make it back-to-back titles.

Whereas the Kings are the reigning champions, that they had important turnover from final season and it began with the departure of their three imports. That included reigning MVP Jaylen Adams together with NBL and NBA champion Ian Clark, and standout huge man Jarrell Martin.

Coming in and the Kings should be recommended for locating a brand new level guard in Derrick Walton Jr who was named to the All-First Workforce. Justin Simon has been the standout NBL defender this season and a bundle of power at each ends with Tim Soares holding his personal within the centre place.

You then have Kings captain Xavier Cooks who has gone to a different degree this season to be named the league’s MVP whereas they’re the deepest group within the competitors with DJ Vasiljevic, Jordan Hunter, Jaylin Galloway, Kouat Noi, Shaun Bruce and Angus Glover all key contributors.

The Kings are coached by American Chase Buford who’s making an attempt to win a second championship in his two seasons teaching within the NBL whereas the Kings are in search of a fifth title general to go along with their triumphs in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2022.

It’s been fairly the experience for the New Zealand Breakers since they have been the benchmark franchise of the competitors between 2011 and 2016. In that interval they not solely gained 4 of the 5 NBL championships however have been additionally extremely profitable off the court docket.

Nevertheless, since then they’ve had a change in possession and administration, and that hasn’t all the time been easy crusing. Throw within the final two years the place they have been ravaged and homeless because of COVID, and it was very a lot a begin once more course of coming into NBL23.

That started with a brand new coach with assistant Mody Maor taking up from Dan Shamir and it was nearly an entire overhaul of the enjoying roster with solely Tom Abercrombie, Will McDowell-White and Rob Loe again.

The Breakers have gotten all their selections proper and that begins with coach Maor who ended up being runner-up in Coach of the Yr voting.

Nailing their import signings has been essential for the Breakers with Dererk Pardon making the All-Second Workforce because the centre, Jarrell Brantley a standout energy ahead and Barry Brown Jr because the main scorer throughout the 2 groups within the Championship Collection.

It’s been all about constructing a group defensively minded and placing tradition first, which is the place bringing again Kiwis Tom Vodanovich and Izayah Le’afa was essential together with including veteran Cam Gliddon after which topping it off with thrilling 18-year-old French Subsequent Star Rayan Rupert.

With Will McDowell-White operating the ship and turning himself into the standout level guard he’s all the time promised to be, and it’s fairly the spectacular Breakers outfit who are actually of their first Championship Collection since 2016, and making an attempt to win a primary title since 2015, and fifth general.


The Sydney Kings wrapped up the common season championship a few weeks out from the tip of the season itself and proved themselves the standout group within the competitors on the again of successful final season’s championship.

The Kings completed a recreation clear in first place on the again of a 19-9 report which noticed them successful 10 of 14 matches at Qudos Financial institution Area, and successful 9 of the 14 on the highway together with a seven-game successful streak earlier than shedding 4 of the final six matches of the common season.

That earned the Kings the correct to sit down again to attend to seek out out who they’d meet within the semi finals which ultimately was the Cairns Taipans. Sydney prevailed in Sport 1 at residence 95-87 however it was a distinct story in Sport 2 in Cairns with the Taipans successful 93-82.

Kings coach Chase Buford was ejected, centre Tim Soares ended up fined for a late shoulder cost and MVP Xavier Cooks harm his ankle. Nevertheless, Sydney bounced again in Sport 3 with their depth and freshness shining within the 79-64 residence win to ebook of their Championship Collection berth.

The New Zealand Breakers hadn’t participate in an NBL finals sequence since 2018 however it rapidly emerged they’d be a pressure to be reckoned with in NBL23. They ended up locking away second place on the again of successful the final 5 matches of the common season.

Curiously, New Zealand gained simply seven of the 14 matches at residence all through the season however have been excellent all through Australia successful 11 of 14 highway video games.

That meant the Breakers have been ready to tackle the Tasmania JackJumpers within the semi finals after they defeated the Cairns Taipans to get there.

New Zealand dominated Sport 1 at Spark Area 88-68 to place the stress again on the JackJumpers, however Tasmania was terrific at MyState Financial institution Area successful 89-78 to pressure a Sport 3.

The Breakers proved too robust in that decider on their residence ground to win 92-77 with Barry Brown Jr the star placing up his highest rating of the season with 32 factors.

Coach ejected after dodgy flop name | 01:45


Tim Soares v Dererk Pardon – Each import centres are new to the league this season and have had a substantial impression. Soares has been a strong performer for the Kings teaming up with Xavier Cooks up entrance and being a sound defender, strong rebounder and a very good offensive menace with a pleasant exterior shot. Then you’ve gotten Pardon on the Breakers and he deserves to be known as the perfect real centre within the NBL. He does the issues of a standard centre by rebounding at each ends, ending across the rim, setting heavy screens and being a shot blocking presence. He gives loads greater than that too and his capacity to set the tone bodily can be key to this sequence and what impression Soares can should quell his affect can be pivotal.

Xavier Cooks v Jarrell Brantley – This energy ahead match up above all others might very nicely decide the NBL championship. Cooks is the MVP of the league on the again of captaining Sydney to final season’s championship and being Grand Last MVP. Brantley is in his first season on the Breakers however has been excellent. He can play with physicality, with athleticism and is a terrific defensive presence and a terrific all-round offensive menace with strikes across the basket and capturing capacity. They’re comparable bodily presences too so it’s going to be a very fascinating match up and the numbers again that up. Cooks averages 16.0 factors, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists on 58.9 per cent area objective capturing with Brantley placing up 16.1 factors, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 46.8 per cent capturing.

Justin Simon v Tom Abercrombie – Neither man goes to leap off the web page and rating numerous factors or put up enormous numbers that seize the headlines, and nor will they match up on each other an excessive amount of. However that doesn’t imply their position isn’t going to be pivotal on who finally ends up successful the sequence. Each can contribute offensively, however it’s on the defensive finish the place their true significance lies and who they get despatched to for almost all of time goes to be equally curious. Simon is a earlier Greatest Defensive Participant and maybe ought to have been this season. He delivered the perfect particular person defensive efficiency of the season in Sport 3 in opposition to Cairns on DJ Hogg and now it appears doubtless his coach Chase Buford will ship him to attempt to quell the affect of New Zealand’s sizzling scorer Barry Brown Jr. Abercrombie is the Breakers captain and already an all-time nice main his franchise in most classes together with video games performed and factors scored. He stays a standout defender and he doubtless can be set to attempt to make life troublesome for Kings level guard Derrick Walton Jr. Who’s most profitable of their defensive job can be important in who finally ends up getting a hoop.

Watch the NBL23 Championship Collection between Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers LIVE and FREE on ESPN on Kayo Freebies. Collection begins March 3. Be part of now and begin streaming immediately >

DJ Vasiljevic v Barry Brown Jr – Once more these two may not spend an excessive amount of time on each other with the Kings doubtless to make use of Justin Simon on Brown Jr and Rayan Rupert might spend important time on Vasiljevic. However both means they’re the go-to shooters and scorers for his or her respective group. When the Kings want an enormous time basket and somebody to dig them out of a gap, it’s the skin capturing of Vasiljevic they appear to. And he’s a confirmed huge time performer. Then there’s Brown and this Breakers group is constructed for his or her defence however it’s him who’s their true offensive weapon highlighted by 32 factors in Sport 3 in opposition to Tasmania. Vasiljevic has had an up and down season however is averaging 14.0 factors on 41.2 per cent capturing and 36.9 from downtown, however he did have 42 factors and 10 threes in opposition to the Phoenix. Brown is averaging 19.7 factors on capturing 46.8 per cent general and 35.7 from three-point vary. Who can get sizzling all through the sequence may have an enormous say within the ultimate outcome.

Derrick Walton Jr v Will McDowell-White – Effectively what a battle of two high-class level guards we’re going to have. Each are terrific playmakers and ground generals for his or her group, each are great at organising their group and discovering pictures for his or her teammates, and each can rating themselves when wanted. In spite of everything, Walton Jr did put up 45 factors in opposition to the South East Melbourne Phoenix and McDowell-White has a season-high of 29 in opposition to Cairns. Walton has been great changing MVP Jaylen Adams as Sydney’s level guard. He was named to the All-First Workforce averaging 16.5 factors and 6.3 assists a recreation on 47.3 per cent area objective capturing and 36.4 per cent from deep. McDowell-White has had the perfect season of his NBL profession reaching the promise he’s all the time had averaging 10.3 factors, 6.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds on capturing 40.6 per cent general and 29.1 per cent from long-range.

Jordan Hunter/Kouat Noi/Jaylin Galloway/Angus Glover/Shaun Bruce v Rob Loe/Tom Vodanovich/Cam Gliddon/Rayan Rupert/Izayah Le’afa – An enormous cause why these two groups are within the Championship Collection is due to their depth and the very fact they don’t lose something going into their bench, and certainly obtain a punch. The Kings have Jordan Hunter to again up Tim Soares whereas Kouat Noi and Jaylin Galloway are versatile sufficient to present a chop out in both ahead spots after which there’s the expertise and high quality of Angus Glover an Shaun Bruce within the guard spots. The Breakers bench is robust too and technically Rayan Rupert can be a starter, however Barry Brown Jr will play extra minutes in that two spot. Rupert will nonetheless be essential together with his size and impression he can have defensively. Rob Loe can be essential backing up Dererk Pardon whereas Tom Vodanovich and Cam Gliddon supply hardness and expertise, after which Izayah Le’afa is one other weapon they’ve as a guard who can rating, run the offence and defend.


Sydney Kings captain and reigning league MVP and final season’s Grand Last MVP Xavier Cooks may be feeling nervous coming into the Championship Collection, however on the identical time is assured of getting these three wins.

“Not many gamers get the possibility to go for a championship so to have the possibility to go back-to-back is fairly particular, however proper now it’s about this group and attempting to recover from the road,” Cooks mentioned.

“I really feel like we’ve had stress on us all season lengthy. Because the season began, we’ve had a goal on our again being the reigning champs and everybody’s tried to come back at us. We’ve stood our floor thus far.

“Personally I’m simply as nervous in contrast with final 12 months, however I really feel extra ready. I do know what it takes to recover from the road and I understand how a lot effort it takes to recover from the road. Hopefully I can attempt to convey that for the brand new guys coming in, however I’m kinda nervous.

“I’m very nervous and I throw up earlier than most video games and I’m a nervous wreck, however that’s what basketball is about and all of it comes right down to this. It’s three extra wins and also you win a championship.”

Xavier Cooks of the Kings and Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers pose with the NBL Championship trophy.Supply: Getty Photographs

Breakers captain and four-time NBL champion and 2011 Grand Last MVP Tom Abercrombie by no means thought he’d be again on this place to compete for an additional championship, however is worked up for the chance forward.

“It feels prefer it’s been an eternity ready these final couple of weeks however we’re pumped to get Sport 1 underway and get this sequence began,” Abercrombie mentioned.

“Clearly Sport 1 is de facto essential and also you wish to come out and set the tone for the sequence, and play the correct means. We’re underneath no illusions concerning the problem in entrance of us in opposition to the perfect group all season lengthy, and the defending champs. We’ll should convey our best possible to beat them.

“The time for reflection will come however you do assume again a bit bit on what we’ve been by the final couple of years and all of the adversity.

“It’s great to be again on this place and to be enjoying with a group and a gaggle of people who find themselves about the correct issues, and gone about issues the correct means. It’s superior that we’ve been rewarded for our onerous work with an opportunity to go for an additional championship.

“Everybody has a bit little bit of a chip on their shoulder with one thing to show and that’s made us a really robust, and resilient group.”

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