Surging Breakers' amazing NBL turnaround

Oliver Caffrey
The in-form New Zealand Breakers recorded a fifth straight NBL win to continue their resurgence

The New Zealand Breakers have endured a NBL season full of drama and tragedy, yet the roster has overcome adversity to become the competition's danger team.

Following a fifth straight win - and fourth on the road - the Breakers are quickly closing in on the top-four.

They edged South East Melbourne 97-92 on Sunday, just days after the death of their manager Fata Letoa to sit fifth.

The Breakers ruined the Phoenix's first game at Melbourne's State Basketball Centre and moved closed to playoff contention as round 14 drew to a close.

They also achieved the result despite losing import Sek Henry to a calf injury.

It's an unfathomable turnaround for a group which was 3-8 a month ago, having just sacked controversial import Glen Rice Jnr for for breaching bail conditions imposed after his arrest on an assault charge.

To do it, the Breakers haven't just relied on one player, with Tom Abercrombie and Scotty Hopson and Finn Delany all being shining lights.

The thrilling game left the slumping Phoenix at 8-11, with just one win from their last five starts.

Sydney and Melbourne United both racked up convincing victories over the weekend, while former easybeats Cairns are fighting it out with New Zealand to be the surprise success story of the season.

The Taipans survived a final-quarter buzzer-beater to edge out Brisbane 91-89 on Friday night.

After leading by 18 points at the final break, the Bullets almost stole the game but Nathan Sobey 3-point attempt with less than a second remaining went astray.

The Bullets made up for that disappointment by upsetting league juggernauts Perth 97-85 on Sunday.

United snapped a two-match losing run when they stormed over the top of Illawarra with a 104-91 win in Wollongong.

It was the first of four straight road games for United while their Melbourne Arena base is out of action during the Australian Open.

Ladder-leaders Sydney scorched Adelaide on Saturday night 91-77 as American import Jae'Sean Tate continued to build his case for an NBA call-up.

The round finishes on Monday night in Adelaide when the 36ers host the Hawks.