The MK Breakers made history on Sunday evening, being crowned champions of the NBL 3 East after a huge 107-54 victory over the Canterbury Crusaders in their maiden season.
A force to be reckoned with, the Breakers were able to clinch title honours with 3 games remaining in their regular season campaign, a testament to the team’s high standards they have maintained over the last 6 months. The Breakers would lift the league title plaque in front of another sold-out crowd at Bletchley Leisure Centre – a feat not possible without their unwavering support throughout the campaign.
Dante Langley was the standout player for the Breakers, scoring an eye-watering 41 points on a staggering 15/27 shooting night that amounts to 55% FG. The Breakers’ star wing had 29 points at halftime and ended the game with 8 three-pointers: an absolutely scintillating stat line that Breakers fans have become accustomed to over the course of the season. Langley was a constant thorn in the Crusaders’ side, in the first quarter, he would score 16 points alone, helping his side cruise to a 29-16 lead after the first ten minutes.
Breakers’ captain, Jordan Spencer, once again put on a monstrous display: posting a near quadruple-double: 24 points / 8 rebounds / 9 assists / 7 steals. The veteran point guard was the Breakers’ heartbeat on the court, directing the team’s offense with quintessential precision and poise.
Mike New Jr. and Blayne Freckleton were also key contributors for the Breakers, with New Jr. scoring 10 points and Freckleton adding 18 points of his own. The duo provided crucial auxiliary support for Langley and Spencer, helping to extend the Breakers’ lead and keep the Crusaders at bay with starting center, Luke Gregory, missing in action.
The Breakers’ defense was equally impressive, holding the Crusaders to just 54 points and forcing 33 turnovers throughout the game. The team’s suffocating defense has been a hallmark of their championship-winning campaign, with the Breakers conceding an average of just 56 points per game throughout the season.
The effort on the glass is not to go unnoticed: the Breakers outrebounded their opposition by 20 and would pull 24 offensive rebounds: good enough for 25 second chance points. Ethan Ratcliffe would grab 6 of these offensive rebounds, showcasing his acute abilities to win extra possessions for his teammates in what was an impressive showing off the bench for the young Breakers Academy prospect.
The game was dotted with several highlight plays that raised the decibel levels of Bletchley Leisure Centre audaciously, ‘Flight no. 9’ Dante Langley would entertain the crowd with a few signature slam dunks as he found himself alone in the open court on several occasions. Jordan Spencer would also contribute to the highlight reel with a dunk of his own, much to the delight of his fans in attendance.
The Breakers’ league-title triumph is the most impressive accolade achieved by this team in their short history. The title honors of the NBL 3 East now go alongside a hugely impressive National Cup run, where the team would reach the semifinals, beating out multiple teams from the higher divisions. With the playoffs now firmly in sight, the Breakers are presented with the opportunity to win one more piece of silverware before the conclusion of the 22/23 season.
The Breakers have 3 games remaining of the regular season that will be crucial in their preparation for their first playoffs as a team. The team make the short trip to Northampton next Saturday, to take on Northamptonshire Titans at 2pm on the 4th March. Breakers fans can attend the game, which will take place at Northampton School for Boys for free.
The next home game is on Sunday 12th March, 5pm tip off, as the Breakers take on the Northampton Mavericks in what will be their last game before the post-season and, as always, tickets will sell-out quickly – make sure you are following the Breakers’ social media channels to be updated when ticket information is released