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NBL - Last Chance to score

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NBL - Last Chance to score

NBL - Last Chance to score

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February 2 - 14 Channel 058

Two future superstars of the NBA, one being the Breakers’ RJ Hampton, are set to clash at Wollongong this month as the Australian NBL heads into its final leg.

Time is running out for Sky Sport Breakers point guard RJ Hampton to improve his NBA draft stock, as the Australian NBL season reaches its climax.

The American, who turns 19 this month, had a disrupted start to his professional career after deciding to forgo university basketball in the USA, with a hip injury sidelining him for a month midway through the season.

Hampton, a top 10 prospect for the NBA draft in June, has only been able to show glimpses of his potential, while fellow American teen LaMelo Ball has grabbed many headlines and attention Stateside with his performances for the Illawarra Hawks.

Ball, whom ESPN believes could even go No 1 in the NBA draft, has also had an injury-hit season, with a bone bruise keeping him in a moon boot and on crutches for more than a month.

It’s hoped Hampton and Ball will go head-to-head in the NBL for the third and final time on the 2nd this month, when the Breakers face the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong. The Breakers have won their three previous meetings with the Hawks this season, with the rising stars playing only the first two before before injuries hit.

Hampton and Ball were relatively quiet in their first match-up in October, scoring eight and 10 points respectively before Ball sensationally broke out for a triple-double (25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) at Spark Arena in November.

NBA scouts are sure to be setting their sights on Wollongong as an opportunity to assess the talented duo head-to-head.

After playing Illawarra, RJ Hampton and the Breakers will again cross the Tasman for their penultimate regular season game against the Brisbane Bullets on the 7th before rounding out their campaign against newcomers the South East Melbourne Phoenix in Christchurch on Valentine’s Day.

It will be South East Melbourne’s second game in the Garden City this season, with the Breakers winning the previous meeting 90-84 shortly before Christmas.

The playoffs will then follow on Sky Sport, with the top four contesting best-of-three game semifinals before the best-of-five grand final series.

By Brenton Vannisselroy - Skywatch, February 2020

Sky Sport 8 LIVE:
Illawarra Hawks v Sky Sport Breakers: Sunday 2nd – 4.30pm
Brisbane Bullets v Sky Sport Breakers: Friday 7th – 9pm
NZ Breakers v SE Melbourne Phoenix: Friday 14th – 7pm
Courtside: Wednesdays – 8.30pm SS8

 


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