Login Register

Chester Jets win National Cup for first time

CHESTER Jets won their first ever National basketball Cup when they beat Birmingham Bullets 112-105 at Sheffield Arena.

Chester Jets won their first ever National Cup when they beat Birmingham Bullets 112-105 at Sheffield Arena.

Calvin Davis, Chester's American centre, was named the game's most valuable player after scoring 30 points and taking 11 rebounds.

But the award could easily have gone to his team-mates John McCord or Pero Cameron, who scored 26 and 19 points respectively.

Even Birmingham's Grant Bailey (34) or Rashod Johnson (39) could have a justifiable claim to the award.

The early exchanges gave little hint of the high-scoring epic to come, with New Zealand international Cameron netting two three-pointers for Chester and Johnson and Bailey replying for Birmingham. With two minutes and seven seconds remaining of the first quarter, Chester emerged from a time-out to score 10 unanswered points and take a 25-19 lead.

In the first four minutes of the second quarter, the Jets extended their lead to 42-27 with the aid of seven points each for Davis and McCord. Only Bailey, with 10 successive Birmingham points, kept the Bullets in touch.

Chester raced into half-time on a 7-2 run to lead 57-42. In the third quarter, another big shot from Cameron and a two basket from McCord established a 20-point Chester cushion - but the Jets were about to lose one of their main engines. American guard John Thomas had shrugged off a fourth foul with seven minutes remaining of the quarter by hitting two threes to give Chester a 71-50 lead.

When he collided with Johnson, however, he was assessed for his fifth - and disqualifying - foul. Chester lost a lot of their poise with the departure of their playmaker - and Birmingham, roared on by the neutrals in the 5,000-plus crowd, were quick to capitalise.

Johnson and Rob Paternostro each hit two three-pointers in scoring 10 and eight points respectively in a 22-10 Bullets charge which brought them to within six points of the Jets.

Starting the final quarter 83-72 ahead, Chester extended the lead to 13 points when Davis hit a three with six minutes remaining. But Bailey (twice) Johnson and Paternostro hit threes in a stunning 20-10 run for Birmingham to leave them trailing 104-101 with 90 seconds still left to play.

At that point the Bullets seemed to lose their momentum and they began to fire blanks as Davis, McCord and James Hamilton secured Chester's victory from the free-throw line.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details