Breakers await Glen Rice Jr NBL decision

Matt Encarnacion
The NBL ordered the standing down of NZ Breakers import Glen Rice Jnr (R) for their Perth clash

New Zealand Breakers coach Dan Shamir is confident there will be a quick decision on the NBL future of controversial import Glen Rice Jnr after this week's arrest.

The NBL dramatically ordered the Breakers to stand down Rice on Sunday just hours before the side lost 88-77 in Perth.

The former NBA player was arrested after an altercation early on Thursday at an Auckland bar, just 10 days after his arrival as an injury replacement.

Breakers CEO Matt Walsh had declared him "innocent until proven guilty" and Rice travelled with the team to Perth for Sunday's match against the Wildcats.

However, the NBL stepped in on Sunday to ensure he did not play.

"The incident has been referred to the Basketball Australia integrity unit to conduct an investigation," the NBL said in a statement.

"Rice Jnr is not prevented from training or other club commitments."

Shamir only found out about Rice's standing down just two hours before they tipped off against the Wildcats at RAC Arena.

But he respected the league's stance on the incident.

"I don't want to blame anybody. First of all, it's not my way. Second of all, I respect everybody who's behind this league and how it's done," Shamir said.

"In other places, I would've been, I think he would've played so I didn't even have it coming. I didn't know something like that can happen."

Shamir is hoping for a hasty resolution to the drama.

"I'm pretty sure right now a quick, swift decision will be made - what is his future with our team," he said.

"Everybody will look at all the details (and) will make a final decision."

The 28-year-old Rice has a chequered past involving off-court incidents, and the Breakers had already been criticised for signing him.

Walsh confirmed Rice's arrest to NZME on Saturday, but was unwilling to admit the club had erred in signing Rice in the first place.

"One of the things we'll do at the Breakers and will do as long as I'm in control is we're going to give guys the benefit of the doubt and try and give guys second chances," Walsh said.

"And I hope that's a positive thing for the club and doesn't turn into a negative.

"The hope from our end is that it's innocent until proven guilty and we can all move on from this but, if that's not the case, then we'll act accordingly."

The saga took the gloss off a round which included a record 17,514 at Qudos Bank Arena to watch LaMelo Ball and Illawarra face Sydney.

Ball erupted in the third quarter to give the Hawks the lead but the Kings fought back to claim a 92-87 victory and maintain top spot on the ladder.

There was a sellout crowd of 10,300 at Melbourne Arena, where Melo Trimble hit a clutch free throw to give United a thrilling 96-95 derby win over the Phoenix.

In other games from round seven, Adelaide dropped their fourth-straight game with a 99-95 defeat to Perth, while Cairns held off Brisbane 94-85.

South East Melbourne face the 36ers on Monday in the final game of the round.