Basketball: Chester edge Brighton to collect fourth BBL Trophy

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The BBL Trophy final defied the form book and went the way of history at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, when Chester Jets defeated the BBL Championship leaders, Brighton Bears, 68-66 in a tense encounter with a controversial ending.

The BBL Trophy final defied the form book and went the way of history at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, when Chester Jets defeated the BBL Championship leaders, Brighton Bears, 68-66 in a tense encounter with a controversial ending.

Chester's fourth consecutive Trophy win stood only after the officials disallowed Rico Alderson's attempt to force overtime, ruling that he had launched his game-tying shot after the clock ran out.

While Alderson, his team-mates and the coach, Nick Nurse, raged at the table officials, Jets players leapt into the crowd to join their fans in celebrating a remarkable sequence of success. Not only have Chester equalled the Bracknell-Thames Valley franchise in winning the Trophy four times, they have all come in consecutive seasons.

Robbie Peers coached them to the first three - their victory in 2001 earning the club's first ever piece of silverware - and now his successor, Paul Smith, has built on that heritage.

Smith said: "I am so proud of my players, particularly for the way they played with injuries. They showed great character. To set a record with four straight wins means a lot to this club and to me personally." John McCord, one of several Jets playing with injuries, won the Most Valuable Player award to become the first player to take the accolade in every major BBL competition.

In English Basketball Division One, the leaders, Plymouth Raiders, maintained a two-point lead over the chasing pack with a 108-74 win at the bottom club, Bath Romans, on Saturday night.

Second-placed Reading Rockets had all 10 players on the scoresheet in a 115-72 win over Kingston Wildcats, but third-placed Teesside Mohawks lost 88-78 at Worthing Thunder.

The former NBA player John Amaechi, with 23 points, led the scorers for fourth-placed Manchester Magic as they defeated Ware Rebels 99-82.

Comments