Gold Coast Blaze hammered an undermanned New Zealand Breakers 94-71 in the final regular season match of the season on Sunday night.
With the minor premiership already wrapped up, Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis rested strike weapons Cedric Jackson, Gary Wilkinson, Daryl Corletto and CJ Bruton ahead of the play-offs.
In their place development players Josh Bloxham, Dion Prewster and Morgan Natanahira were called into the side.
Blaze coach Joey Wright ran his full roster to get some form ahead of the play-offs after recent losses to New Zealand and Townsville, and they punished the Breakers with a staggering 12 three-point buckets.
Guard Chris Goulding led the shooting spree with four straight triples in the first quarter on his way to 20 points, while Mark Worthington (13 points) and Adris Deleon (14) also reached double figures.
Tom Abercrombie (15) and Alex Pledger (12) toiled for the visitors, but with the depth of talent rested for the match the Breakers could never truly threaten.
But Leon Henry (11 points, nine rebounds) and Bloxham (10 points, two assists) showed glimpses of the club's future.
The game opened as a three-point shootout with Goulding - promoted to the starting line-up - burying three-consecutive long bombs on his way to 14 points for the quarter.
Worthington added 12 including two triples to hand the Blaze a 31-23 advantage at the first break.
Deleon caught fire in the second term, peeling off 10 quickfire points to set up a commanding 55-34 half-time lead.
The young Breakers showed some pluck in the third quarter as the Blaze took the foot off the pedal, winning the term 22-15, before rallying in the final quarter with a 9-0 run to seal the win.
Gold Coast (third) travels to Perth (second) for its first play-off match on Sunday while New Zealand (first) hosts Townsville (fourth) in Auckland on Friday.
AAPTags: nbl, basketball, sport, broadbeach-4218, qld, australia First posted March 25, 2012 21:48:09