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Breakers re-sign Abercrombie, waiting on Penney

Published: 8:02PM Tuesday May 24, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

  • Tom Abercrombie (Source: Photosport)
    Tom Abercrombie - Source: Photosport

The Breakers make-up for next season is starting to take shape with all but one of the local players signing on as they attempt to win back-to-back titles, leaving just one player to be confirmed alongside the two allowable import spots on the roster.

Kirk Penney is the only local player yet to sign on as he has until August 1 to decide whether he will pursue more lucrative deals in the European leagues.

Swingman Tom Abercrombie has waived his 'out clause' for the new season, and will suit up for the Breakers for another campaign, for now turning down the lure of Europe.

Abercrombie did have the option to pursue a contract in Europe or indeed the NBA but has decided to stay with the North Shore based club, a decision that has delighted his coach Andrej Lemanis.

"Obviously it is pleasing to get a player of Tom's ability back in a Breakers singlet," said Lemanis. "He is a player that has been with us for some years now and has developed each season. His impact on the league and the club is considerable, as was seen with him being named Grand Finals MVP this season, for him to continue his journey with us for another year is exciting."

Lemanis says Abercrombie will continue to develop physically and mentally as he backs up after a successful season.

"What you will see now is a player that will take his confidence from what he was able to do last season into the New Year with a new belief that he can dominate at this level and influence the outcome of games, this is something I think you will see on a night in night out basis.

"Tom has all the skill attributes and athleticism that are required to be very good at this level. It is just that belief and mental application now and I guess being the MVP of the Grand Finals series would suggest he now has that. Tom always fits in to what suits the team well, he is never going to put himself in front of the team so outwardly it might appear at times he doesn't have that belief in himself but just being around him day in day out you know he does."

Abercrombie is joined by the returning Alex Pledger at centre, feisty defender Dillon Boucher, the irrepressible Mika Vukona, young guard Corey Webster and new signing BJ Anthony, who has signed a two year deal as he graduates from Development Player status last season. Also returning is Australian guard CJ Bruton as he chases his fifth career NBL Championship.

Lemanis said he was wating on the future of Kirk Penney to confirm his American imports for the season.

"Kirk is obviously a crucial part of our group and in the guard rotation. We will wait until we know for sure he is returning and while at the moment we are planning on having Kirk back we have to be flexible if he does decide to head to Europe. If he stays we go get a point guard, if he leaves things change so we are in no rush."

"Also affecting the situation at the moment is the potential NBA lockout and what affect that will have on the quality of imports available. Experience has told us not to rush and to be patient. I have spoken to Gary (Wilkinson) and he is considering his options but our first priority was to sign the core group of local players, it is pleasing to have that group back and confirmed already."

Breakers 2011/12 Roster

BJ Anthony

Corey Webster

Dillon Boucher

Alex Pledger

Mika Vukona

Tom Abercrombie

CJ Bruton

Kirk Penney*

Plus two imports and two development players to be confirmed