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Gaze riding Lisch's hot hand to NBL finals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/01/2017 Wayne Heming

Former Melbourne Tigers superstar Andrew Gaze was always in control of his destiny as a player.

But in his NBL rookie season as coach of the Sydney Kings he admits he is riding on the back of his star player and league MVP Kevin Lisch.

Lisch rebounded from a poor first half (1-6) performance to get Sydney across the line 80-77 in a tense clash that Gaze conceded was not "championship basketball".

"I am living and dying on what he (Lisch) does," said Gaze who rode every play on the sidelines in the closing minutes of the desperate win.

"You saw the MVP Kevin (Lisch) in the second half.

"He hit the big shots, took control, wanted the ball and made the big plays."

Gaze confirmed the Kings would have to back up against the New Zealand Breakers in Sydney on Sunday without Olympic star Brad Newley, still battling a hamstring injury.

"Brad is desperate to play but unfortunately he is not right yet," Gaze said.

"It's a big, big blow because it's like 17 or 18 points a game we're missing.

"It's not just his points, he leads our team in assists, he's a great rebounder and he can put it to the floor and take it to the rack better than anyone else in our team.

"He's a massive part of what we do and not having him on the floor is a big blow to us."

The Breakers arrive coming off a loss to Cairns to end a four-match winning streak.

Gaze, whose team share the same 12-13 record as the Breakers, said three more wins would get Sydney into the playoffs.

"If we win the next three, 15-13 is probably going to get you there, isn't it?

"Fourteen and fourteen you've probably got a chance and anything worse than that and you are whistling Dixie."

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