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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 21:15 GMT
Chester winning on all fronts
Chester coach Robbie Peers
Peers is enjoying an amazing run as Chester coach
Chester Jets' drive to win all four major titles in British basketball in a single season is still alive - but only just.

The National Cup-winners edged Milton Keynes Lions 90-89 to retain the BBL Trophy at the NEC on Saturday night.

The Jets, odds-on favourites to beat first-time finalists Milton Keynes, had to come from six points behind after three quarters to lift their second title of the season.

Their American guard John Thomas was named most valuable player after scoring a game-high 38 points and providing five assists.

Lions' mid-season signing Jermaine Brown hit two three-pointers as the underdogs took an early 10-6 lead in the first quarter.

Robbie Peers (Chester coach) told me to keep going forward, keep attacking
John Thomas
Chester's match MVP
Brown went on to score 18 points in the first half on his way to leading Lions with 26 points in the game.

But the Jets, with Thomas and John McCord always dangerous, recovered to lead 27-20 at the end of the first quarter.

Brown scored 10 points in the second, combining with Barbadian international Andrew Alleyne to give the Lions a 36-34 advantage midway through the second quarter.

A three-pointer by Pero Cameron ignited a 10-3 reply which helped the holders to a 44-43 half-time lead.

The third quarter belonged to Lions' veteran coach Nigel Lloyd, who contributed 10 points towards his team's 20-11 run to lead 67-59 with two minutes remaining of the quarter.

All credit to them, they dictated the tempo, Nigel Lloyd (Milton Keynes' player-coach) ran the game
Robbie Peers
Chester coach
Thomas scored eight of Chester's reply in that period, and but for his 12 points in that quarter Jets would have been further behind than 69-63 at the end of the third.

The final quarter started with nine points from Thomas in a 15-2 Jets tear which gave them an 80-73 lead and seemed to have killed off the Lions' desire to win.

Brown and Alleyne hit baskets to reduce the arrears to three points, but Cameron and Thomas hammered further nails into the Lions' coffin with three-pointers - and McCord and Calvin Davis had a basket each to give Chester a 90-79 lead with 1:23 remaining.

Single point

Still the Lions were not finished.

Alleyne hit a free throw, and Victor Payne twice got away on the break to reduce the arrears to 90-84 with 39 seconds left.

But Milton Keynes were to run out of time.

Brown managed a lay-up with eight seconds left on the clock - and, although Lloyd hit a defiant three-pointer on the buzzer, Milton Keynes were denied their first trophy by a single point.

See also:

14 Feb 02 |  Other Sports
Lions maul Sharks
15 Mar 02 |  Other Sports
Lloyd's last fling
13 Jan 02 |  Other Sports
Jets roar to debut Cup win
24 Mar 01 |  Other Sports
Chester win Uni-ball Trophy
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