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Chester Jets 106 Thames Valley Tigers 90

JETS made history twice over on Sunday as they reached the National Cup final for the first time and racked up a club record eighth consecutive victory.

JETS made history twice over on Sunday as they reached the National Cup final for the first time and racked up a club record eighth consecutive victory.

They now face Birmingham Bullets at the Sheffield Arena on Sunday, January 13 as they bid to win their second piece of silverware in the space of nine months.

Coach Robbie Peers said: 'I was over the moon that we were level at half-time because we couldn't hit a shot. Once we start clicking then teams had better watch out.

'I've been afraid that we'd win 90% of our games but lose the big ones, and it could still happen, but today we killed the Tigers with our zone defence.'

Both sides started nervously as neither managed to score a single point for almost three minutes.

Even after James Hamilton had broken the deadlock from the free-throw line, Thames Valley did not register a point until three minutes, 43 seconds into the contest.

Tigers were causing Jets all kinds of problems with their outside shooting, and Eric Burks and Barry Bowman both bagged braces from downtown in the opening quarter.

But despite trailing 23-19 after the initial period, Jets held their own before the break and three-pointers from John Thomas and Kurt Samuels (2) helped them draw level, 40-40, at half-time.

An amazing burst out of the blocks after the interval ensured Jets were the side going to Sheffield as they embarked on a spectacular 23-6 run at the start of the third quarter.

Jets maintained their 17-point advantage to lead 75-58 at the three-quarter mark, although tempers flared early in the fourth quarter.

John Thomas and Tigers' Eric Burks collided as the pair fell to the ground with Burks kicking the Jets guard.

As the two players squared up, Thames Valley's Shawn Jamison muscled in but Jets' skipper James Hamilton restored order.

But to the amazement of all, play restarted with Burks taking free-throw shots after an unsportsmanlike foul was called on Thomas.

Despite having Calvin Davis fouled out, Thomas remained focused and helped his side to a comfortable passage to the final, playing some terrific, patient team basketball.

Jets' scorers: Thomas (28); Hamilton & McCord (both 20); Davis (18); Samuels (11); Cameron (9).

* Jets maintained their 100% record in the BBL Trophy with a 98-87 victory at home to DG London Leopards Kool Kats at the Northgate Arena on Friday evening.

The hosts opened the game with a 9-1 tear on the way to a 24-16 first quarter lead, and then bagged another 9-1 run in the second period as they extended their half-time lead to 53-39.

Jets maintained their advantage throughout the third quarter and the closest Leopards got was eight points in the fourth quarter.

John Thomas led Jets' scoring with 24 points, but Leopards' Maurice Robinson topped that with 26 personal points.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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