After two games in as many days MK Breakers progressed out of their group and into the knockout stages of the KitKing Trophy, setting up a rematch with Hemel Storm, the only team to defeat them in the 2022/23 season.
The Trophy involves all 13 NBL Division 1 sides, plus three invited NBL Division 2 teams. The Breakers were pitted against three NBL Division 1 sides and headed into the weekend with a win over Nottingham Hoods.
First up was Saturday clash with City of Birmingham Rockets, who enjoyed two wins in the opening weekend of the competition, defeating the Hoods and Loughborough Riders.
It was a physical clash with Birmingham who were clinical with their shooting and defended well – leaving Breakers with a lot of work to do at the half-way stage.
The Rockets boasted a 66-39 lead at the break, but a spirited second-half performance did put some pressure on the hosts.
Dante Langley (20), Jordan Spencer (18), and Andre Arissol (13) all shot well to give Billy Beddow’s side hope in the final stages.
Birmingham, however, managed to keep their noses ahead to come out with a 97-86 victory.
The defeat for the Breakers meant Sunday’s clash with Loughborough Riders was now a must win – with the victor progressing out of the Group Stages.
Not to be disheartened from the previous night’s result, MK Breakers bounced back with real intensity and drive.
Andre Arissol led the scoring with 29, with Jordan Spencer closely behind with 25 points. Luke Gregory, who has handed his first competitive start of the season, was impressive in the paint as he totalled an impressive 14 rebounds and 11 points.
Head Coach Beddow would no doubt have been pleased with his sides resilience to stay ahead despite constant pressure from the Loughborough Riders.
His side defended well throughout and scored crucial points to maintain the momentum in the final stages of Sunday’s outing, leading to an 87-75 victory.
The KitKing Trophy continues this Sunday as MK Breakers travel to Hemel Storm at Hemel Leisure Centre at 6pm.
The night prior, however, Breakers will host Knights Men Basketball in their NBL Division 1 League opener. The game is heading towards another sell out, so if you’re on the fence about attending, grab your tickets whilst you still can.