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BBL Trophy
Brighton on course for sweep as Jets reign ends


Semi-Finals (Newcastle Arena)
Brighton 87 (18,46,61) Deng 21, Alleyne 18, Williams/Huntley 14
London 84 (23,42,63) Brown 25, Williams 17, Arinze/Phillips 14

Brighton Bears remain on course for a potential clean sweep of all four domestic prizes but had to survive a titanic battle with London Towers to keep up their quest.

Nick Nurse's side, victors in the Cup Final six days earlier, held off the Londoners 87-84 at Newcastle Arena to advance into the BBL Trophy final on their home court in March.

The match lived up to its billing as two of the hottest teams in the BBL could barely be split from tip to buzzer. The Bears came out strongest and gained an early lead but Towers pegged them back and finished the first quarter strongly to lead 18-23 at the first break. They continued to look good into the second period but were rocked by back to back threes from Ajou Deng, that gave the Bears the lead, going from 34-38 to 40-38. The Bears kept their noses infront and led at the half 46-42. 

The teams traded baskets throughout the third quarter but Towers regained the lead at 61-63 going into the final period. Again the teams could be barely seperated as things began to get tense down the stretch. With 2 minutes remaining and Bears trailing by two, Deng drained a long three and was fouled, he made the foul shot for 78-76. 

Towers tied the game and then followed up with a Sullivan Phillips three before Tony Holley powered up to the rim to make it.  80-81. Yorick Williams nailed a three before Lynard Stewart went to the top shelf and some with a massive dunk. 

With seven seconds left the Bears held the lead at 85-83 with Rod Brown at the line shooting two to tie the game. After he only made one the Towers resorted to an intentional foul to stop the clock and Ryan Huntley closed out the game making both free-throws for 87-84.

Brown led all scorers with 25 points in vain for London, Deng shot 8/10 from the field to lead Brighton with 21 points. Huntley made 14 points with 9 assists.

Chester 87 (26, 44, 65, 81)
Newcastle 92 (15, 38, 59, 81) 
After 1OT

There's no five-peat Chester Jets. The BBL Trophy winners for the past four years, will not go for an unprecedented fifth against Brighton Bears in March after their reign was ended by Newcastle who won out 92-87 in an enthralling overtime semi.

The Jets stormed out to a 26-15 first quarter lead, after opening the game 8-2. Calvin Davis dunked in Darius Defoe's face to give the Jets the momentum just before the end of the first. Things didn't change in the second period as the teams traded baskets, the lead stayed around nine until Jeremy Hyatt and Charles Smith made a three-pointer each with the last two offences at the half for a score of 44-38 at the intermission.

At the start of the third period the hometown Eagles fought back and a 7-0 run brought them to within 3 at 49-52 before they took their first lead at 54-53 after an Andrew Bridge three, the young englishman was a revelation in the absence of T.J. Walker with 21 points and 5 rebounds. However, Trey Moore scored 9 points in the next two minutes to keep the Jets in control with a lead of 63-57 before the quarter ended 65-59. 

Seven minutes into the final quarter the game came alive, as did Smith, he nailed 12 points and the Jets replied with just 3 as Newcastle took the lead at 77-76. Smith closed the game with another 4 but D.J Harrison responded with 5 and the game was tied at 81 going into overtime.

Chester couldn't score in the first three minutes of overtime as the Eagles took an 83-90 lead. The Jets couldn't get back into it as they bowed out of the competition, 87-92.

Smith led all scorers with 26 points and 6 rebounds.

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