Everton Tigers 80 Jets 103
IN front of the biggest BBL attendance for years, the BiG Storage Cheshire Jets turned back the clock and proved they can still deliver on the major stage.
Making their debut appearance at Liverpool’s spectacular ECHO Arena on Wednesday, Paul Smith’s men launched themselves right back into the BBL Championship play-off race with a derby win over the Everton Tigers in front of a noisy and enthusiastic crowd of 5,800.
It may have been only a league game, but the occasion was reminiscent of the glory days when Jets were regularly winning trophies and playing to packed crowds in major finals.
The visitors produced a performance every bit as impressive as the venue in which the game was played.
Although Jayson Obazuaye top-scored with 25 points, it was captain James Hamilton who pulled the strings, giving no quarter in defence and proving devastating in attack, scoring 21 points.
The Tigers trailed 26-24 at the end of the first quarter, but it was in the second where the Jets started to move through the gears, putting on an 18-4 run to build a 59-37 half-time lead.
An even third quarter followed, with the showboating Trey Moore hitting back-to-back threes to keep Jets on top.
Everton rarely threatened to eat into the Jets’ lead for the remainder of the match and with Sheffield Sharks – the team occupying the last play-off place – losing 92-83 to Guildford Heat on the same night, the Jets have now closed the gap to four points.
The Tigers are certain to be out for revenge on Sunday when they go to the Northgate Arena to take on Jets. Tip-off is 5.30pm.
Jets played twice last weekend. They followed up Saturday’s 117-97 win away to Birmingham Panthers with a 97-82 home loss to Newcastle Eagles.