Basketball: Jets only just hold on

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The Independent Online

The record books will show that Chester Jets' 90-89 victory over Milton Keynes Lions at Birmingham's NEC on Saturday to win the BBL Trophy, was only the second one-point final in the competition's 14-year history.

But 90 seconds is a long time in basketball and that time remained after the Jets opened an 11-point comfort zone before the Lions scored the game's last 10 points, ending with a three-pointer from 40 year-old player-coach, Nigel Lloyd.

Lloyd, whose team slipped in the play-off qualification stakes by losing 83-79 at home to Newcastle Eagles last night, said: "Chester deserved it. But we played as hard as we could." The Jets' successful defence of the title follows victory in the National Cup final in January. The coach, Robbie Peers, has now lifted the only three pieces of silverware in the club's history and remains on course for a clean sweep.

They beat Derby Storm 106-82 last night and will win the Northern Conference by beating Sheffield on Thursday.

In the South, the leaders, London Towers, qualified for the play-offs by beating Edinburgh Rocks 111-80 and Brighton Bears qualified, without playing, as neither Milton Keynes nor Thames Valley Tigers can catch them. The Leopards took a grip on third by beating Birmingham Bullets, fourth, 90-82.

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