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Henare: 2016 final loss an afterthought

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/10/2016 Angelo Risso
Breakers coach Paul Henare © Getty Images Breakers coach Paul Henare

New team, new beginnings and new challenges.

That's the message from Breakers coach Paul Henare as his side looks to take on their 2015/16 Australian NBL grand final opponents Perth on Friday.

The Wildcats trumped their distant foes 2-1 in the three-game ANBL final last year, with two wins at their Perth Arena home.

However for Henare, who has taken over the Breakers reins this year from Dean Vickerman, the 2015/16 final hasn't been given much thought.

Both sides had made major squad changes for the 2016/17 campaign, with the Breakers losing star point guard Cedric Jackson in particular.

Perth, meanwhile, had looked a more athletic side than last year in their seven-point round one loss to Brisbane Bullets.

They lost guns Nathan Jawai and Jermaine Beal in the off-season but would be no less dangerous, according to Henare.

"Whether some of the guys use that as extra motivation or not, I'm not sure, but certainly as a team we don't see it that way," Henare said.

"I haven't really put much brain power into the fact it's a rematch of last year's final."

The Breakers surprised Jackson's much-fancied Melbourne United outfit 76-71 last weekend, with new imports Ben Woodside and Akil Mitchell impressing.

The side's fourth quarter was particularly strong as they laid on 28 points, including a 15-point streak, to leave United in their wake.

Henare said his side had overcome their interrupted pre-season, in which they lost six matches, and were looking to establish consistency.

"Continuing to improve the on-court chemistry, that's the biggest one, just continue to build and build with healthy bodies," Henare said.

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