Manchester end drought with Trophy success
Manchester Giants have ended a decade's wait for silverware success, overcoming a brave Derby Storm by 90-69 in the final of the 1999 Uniball Trophy at the NEC.
In the end, the predictions of an overwhelming margin of victory in favour of the Mancunians came true but their eventual result came only after a spirited showing from the short handed East Midlands side.
Storm started the game the better with the opening nine points of the night before the Giants hit back with seven of their own, trailing by one point entering the second stanza. Giants took their first lead of the evening early in that period and with Ronnie Baker (right) quickly adding up four of his record equalling five scores from three point range, Derby's short rotation looked to hold on.
Until the half-time, they succeeded with a single point lead but it did not last, a 13-2 third quarter run giving the favourites an eight point lead and once it was complemented by a 17-4 burst in the closing quarter, the massive travelling support from the north west of England knew the night was theirs.
Leading all scorers was Tony Dorsey with 28 points but MVP went to Baker, his 21 point haul lauded by victorious coach Nick Nurse.
"He deserved it. If he had not made some of those three pointers early on, it could have been a lot uglier in the first half. He really carried us in that first quarter. Dorsey did a hell of a job too."
Derby, in their first major final, were led by Joel Burns who notched up 20 points ahead of Nate Reinking who had 16. Their coach Bob Donewald was magnanimous in defeat.
"We gave it a shot - the best shot we could," he commented. "You can't fault them. Maybe we could have been a little tougher-minded and stayed in the game for longer in the third quarter."
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