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Mangok Mathiang signs with the Breakers on a 1-year-deal

13 Jun
3 mins read
Mody Maor has signed his starting Centre for the New Zealand Breakers’ NBL24 campaign.

Defensive Demon Better than Dererk Pardon Confirmed at NZ Breakers for NBL24

Mody Maor has signed his starting Centre for the New Zealand Breakers’ NBL24 campaign from the same league where he recruited Dererk Pardon, the man who was a revelation in that position last season.

But unlike Pardon, 30-year-old Mangok Mathiang can call on NBA experience when he arrives in Auckland, having played four games for the Charlotte Hornets in 2017-18.

He also has previous NBL experience, having played 25 games for the Illawarra Hawks in 2022/23, averaging 7.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in a losing team before parting ways to take up an opportunity in Israel.

“In my opinion, Mangok will be the most underrated player coming into the NBL this season”, says Head Coach Mody Maor.

“Mangok has completely healed from the leg injury that hampered him for two seasons.

“It was clear that playing last season for Illawarra, he was rounding into form before heading to the Middle East. In the last couple of months, Mangok has dominated the Israeli League.

“If he produces the type of numbers for us that he’s been posting in Israel, then we are talking about a strong candidate for NBL Defensive Player of the Year.”

Playing for Hapoel Eilat, the South Sudanese-Australian has been an intimidating presence under the rim averaging 11.1 points and 13.9 rebounds over 11 games.

Those rebounding numbers are better than what Pardon posted in Israel, who caught the eye of Maor last year when he was averaging 9.2 boards a game.

History shows Pardon came to the Breakers as an unknown last season but quickly developed admiration across the NBL for his toughness.

The American Import left Auckland with All NBL 2nd Team honours and was named the Breakers Defensive Player of the Year.

Based on the statistics coming out of Israel, Mathiang can be better than Pardon at the Breakers.

“Mangok has impacted winning in every contract of his professional career,” enthuses Maor. 

“In his first year overseas, he led Cremona to 2nd place in the Italian league and its first Italian Cup. After some roster instability in Turkey, Mangok’s presence turned the team’s season around. 

“In Israel, Mangok’s dominance completely changed his team’s defence which was the critical factor in them avoiding relegation.

“This and Mangok’s competitive fire are what lead me to expect him to produce a ‘Defensive Player of the Year Season’ for the Breakers.”

Mangok is the seventh player confirmed on Mody Maor’s roster for NBL24 joining Tom Abercrombie, Will McDowell-White, Izayah Le’afa, Cam Gliddon, Dan Fotu, and Tom Vodanovich.

There are 11 players in an NBL roster, with each team allowed a maximum of three imports.

An NBL Next Star has a special exemption to sit outside the 11 senior professionals.

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