The Cheshire Jets became the first team to make it through to the BBL Cup Final in January 2010 thanks to an 83-71 victory over the Marshall MK Lions at the Northgate Arena on Sunday evening.
The result gave the Jets a 167-159 aggregate victory over the Lions and the Jets will now face the winners of the other semi-final between the Sheffield Sharks and Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders who play their two-legged semi-final over the next weekend with the winners heading onto meet the Jets at the NIA, Birmingham on Sunday 17 January 2010.
The game was tight throughout the opening two periods with both teams being very cagey in the opening exchanges and there were only three points separating the sides at the half with the Jets on top 42- 39 at the half. The third period saw the Jets break the game open however thanks to a 22-10 burst to give the home side the lead at 64-49, but a 7-2 Lions burst to end the period trimmed the deficit back to ten points at 66-56.
The final quarter saw the Lions trim the deficit still further back to six points at 77-71 thanks to a pair of free-throws from Frank Holmes with 45 seconds remaining. The Jets tried to run the clock down as much as possible and as time expired on the shot clock, Colin O'Reilly bagged a three-pointer to give the home side an 80-71 lead with 20 seconds left.
The Lions tried valiantly to get the score back once again, but a Chez Marks steal and basket for the Jets as time expired sent the home crowd into raptures as they qualified for their first BBL Cup Final since 2003.
In the BBL Championship, the Glasgow Rocks leapfrogged over the Everton Tigers and Worthing Thunder into seventh position in the Championship table thanks to a comfortable 88-54 victory over the Essex Pirates at Kelvin Hall on Sunday evening.
After a tight opening quarter which ended in deadlock at 22-22, the Rocks broke the game open with a 15-0 burst to take the score out to 37-24. The home side continued to extend their lead throughout the remainder of the game and lead by as many 37 points at 86-49 heading into the closing stages and they held on for the comfortable victory.
Glasgow Rocks 88-54 Essex Pirates
Glasgow Rocks 88 (22,43,70) (Yanders 19, Copeland 18 Crowell 14)
Essex Pirates 54 (22,29,42) (Rodrigo 17, Adu 9, Metcalfe 8)
The Glasgow Rocks leapfrogged over the Everton Tigers and Worthing Thunder up into seventh position in the BBL Championship table thanks to a comfortable 88-54 victory over the Essex Pirates at Kelvin Hall on Sunday evening. Both sides traded baskets throughout the early exchanges with neither side able to put their mark onto the game and this was shown in the scoreline as the teams could not be separated at the end of the first quarter as the score was level at 22-22. The second quarter saw a Dean Williams basket for the Pirates open the scoring to give the Pirates a 22 -24 lead, but this only sparked the Rocks into action as a Mike Copeland free-throw instigated a 15-0 run to take the score out to 37-24 midway through the second period. A further 6-0 run, including four points from Rob Yanders, for the Rocks took the score out further to 43-26 and despite a three-pointer from Pablo Rodrigo for the visitors to end the scoring in the first half the Rocks headed into the locker room 43- 29 up at the half. The second half saw the Pirates attempt to trim the deficit and a Taner Adu three-pointer saw them take the score back to 50- 36, but the Rocks extended the lead once again thanks to a 18-4 burst to take the score out to 68-40. The Rocks maintained their 28-point advantage heading into the final stanza as they led 70-42 at the end of the third period. In the final period the Rocks continued to extend their advantage with a 12-5 burst to take the score out to 85-47 midway through the quarter. Four more points from Copeland as the game drew to a close handed the home side their biggest lead of the game at 86-49 and the Rocks held on for the comfortable victory. Yanders led all scorers in the game with 19 points for the Rocks, while Rodrigo led the scoring for the Pirates with 17 points personal.
Cheshire Jets 83-71 Marshall MK Lions (BBL Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg)
Cheshire Jets 83 (21,42,66) (Hamilton 22, Myers 17, Peterson 15)
Marshall MK Lions 71 (19,39,56) (Holmes/New 14, Harrison 13)
(Cheshire Jets win 167-159 on aggregate)
The Cheshire Jets became the first team through to the Final of the BBL Cup thanks to an 83-71 victory over the Marshall MK Lions in the second leg of the semi-final at the Northgate Arena on Sunday evening.
The result was enough to give them an 167-159 aggregate victory over the two legs.
The Jets will face either the Sheffield Sharks or the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders in the Final at the NIA, Birmingham on Sunday 17 January 2010.
The Lions bought an 88-84 lead into the game after the first leg and both teams started tentatively in the early exchanges as they traded baskets throughout the majority of the opening period. The lead changed hands on a number of different occasions throughout the quarter, but it was the home side who put themselves in front at the end of the period leading 21-19.
In the second quarter the sides continued to trade baskets throughout the quarter and the Lions got themselves into a good position as they took the lead at 38-39 heading into the closing stages of the first half.
A Chez Marks basket and a pair of free-throws from Paul Peterson on the half-time buzzer gave the lead back to the Jets as the teams headed into the locker rooms with the home side ahead by three points at 42-39 at the half.
In the second half, the Jets broke the game open, thanks in no small to James Hamilton as he bagged seven points, with a 14-5 burst to take the score out to 56-44. A further 8-5 run for the Jets took the lead out to fifteen points at 64-49, but a 7-2 finish to the third period for the Lions trimmed the deficit back to ten points at 66-56 as the teams headed into the final stanza.
In the final period, a pair of three-pointers from EJ Harrison and Dru Spinks bought the Lions right back into the game as they trimmed the deficit to six points at 68- 62. The game remained in the balance as neither team could establish a command on the game and a pair of free-throws from Frank Holmes for the Lions kept the deficit at six points at 77-71 with 45 seconds left in the game.
The Jets tried to run the clock down as much as possible as they were in the driving seat and as time expired on the shot clock, Colin O'Reilly drained a three-pointer to give the Jets a nine- point lead on the night at 80-71 and a five-point lead on aggregate with 20 seconds left.
The Lions tried valiantly to get themselves back into the game, but Harrison had the ball stolen away by Marks and the Jets man ran the length of the floor to score and send the home supporters into raptures as the Jets made it through to their first BBL Cup Final since 2003.
Hamilton led all scorers in the game with 22 points for the Jets, while a combination of Holmes and Mike New led the scoring for the Lions with 14 points a- piece.
At the end of the game, Jets' Head Coach Paul Smith was overjoyed to have come through in the end.
"These were 2 really tough games and I am so proud of the way that my team have come through it. This is finally some sort of payback for the supporters and volunteers who have stood by the club when it looked like we were going to fold a couple of years ago."
BBL Championship Table
P W L Pts
1 Sheffield Sharks 16 13 3 26
2 Newcastle Eagles 14 10 4 20
3 Marshall MK Lions 13 9 4 18
4 Cheshire Jets 12 8 4 16
5 Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 14 8 6 16
6 Guildford Heat 12 7 5 14
7 Glasgow Rocks 10 6 4 12
8 Everton Tigers 12 6 6 12
9 Worthing Thunder 14 6 8 12
10 Worcester Wolves 11 3 8 6
11 PAWS London Capital 13 3 10 6
12 Essex Pirates 12 2 10 4
13 Airwaves Plymouth Raiders 11 1 10 2
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