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Henare proud despite Kings loss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/12/2016
Paul Henare © NZ Breakers/ Facebook Paul Henare

Breakers boss Paul Henare admits a raft of injuries have left his Australian NBL side "creating something on the fly" for their finals tilt.

With regulars Tom Abercrombie, Corey Webster and Ben Woodside already crocked, import point guard David Stockton injured his back on Friday against Sydney.

The loss of Stockton forced the recently returned Shea Ili to play almost half an hour against the Kings, with new recruit Paul Carter running the point.

Yet despite the shuffled line-up, the Breakers kept themselves alive against a profligate Kings outfit until the fourth quarter, losing 85-80.

American import Carter snared 14 points and five rebounds in his first ANBL game, while stalwart Kirk Penney racked up 20 points.

"I was disappointed with the loss but a part of me is just so extremely proud of the guys," Henare said post-game.

"Proud of Shea for holding the fort as long as he did, and we get Paul Carter in on Monday to run swingman and he ends up running the point."

The loss keeps the Breakers in fifth place on the tightly-contested ANBL table with 10 matches remaining, while the Kings sit in third.

Henare said his side were still on track for a finals berth if they could tidy up their defensive game and improve their rebound stats.

They would also need to urgently improve their form from the free-throw line, having scored just 16 from 31 one-pointers against Sydney.

"It seems like week after week, we're having to adjust our offence to try and make it fit with the guys we have on the floor," Henare said.

"But I think the guys should take a lot out of this one."

The Breakers will next play in Cairns against the Taipans on Friday, before backing up for a clash with the first-place Adelaide 36ers on Sunday.

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