Basketball: Dux and Heat melt Rocks' resistance

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The Independent Online

Guildford Heat won their first silverware in their second British Basketball League season by holding off Scottish Rocks 81-78 in the BBL Cup Final at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena last night.

Paul James' team trailed 27-16 before leading 42-36 at half-time through a fightback inspired by Chad McKnight and Brian Dux.

The Great Britain international Julius Joseph highlighted the Rocks' lack of firepower, not scoring his first field basket until the second half. Dux, the MVP, controlled the final minutes, scoring a three-pointer at 74-65 and sealing the win from the free-throw line as the Rocks repeatedly fouled to try to regain possession. Dux led with 21 points, supported by McKnight's 20.

Thorsten Leibenath rose from his sick bed to coach the Rocks and Sterling Davis shook off a knee injury to lead their scorers with 21.

Manchester Magic overcame a 68-59 third-quarter deficit to beat Worthing Thunder 85-80 in the English Basketball League Men's Cup Final.

In the BBL Championship, Guildford's hold on the title tightened thanks to Sheffield Sharks losing 90-79 at home to the defending champions, Newcastle Eagles, on Friday. The defeat leaves Sheffield one win behind the Heat, having played three games more. The Eagles pulled away from a 65-65 third-quarter tie with their much-criticised signing Tony Dorsey scoring nine points in the last 10 minutes. The player-coach Fab Flournoy led from the front with 29 points.

On Saturday, Plymouth Raiders moved into joint-second as 22 points from Gaylon Moore led them to a 92-88 victory at Leicester Riders. The newly promoted Worcester Wolves won their second game of the season, 92-77 against London United, who also stepped up to the BBL this season.