Milton Keynes Breakers crowned NBL Division 2 Champions

    Milton Keynes Breakers secured promotion into NBL Division 1 on Saturday afternoon as Jordan Spencer secured victory in the final 8-seconds to secure a 104-96 win over Team Solent Kestrels.

    It was Spencer who led the scoring for the Breakers as he rose to the occasion to net 39 points and 13 assists in his 37-minutes on the court. There were also big scoring performances from Chris Tawiah (20), Blayne Freckleton (18) and Nate Robinson (14).

    Heading into the clash it was Solent Kestrels who held the advantage as they were the winners in the reverse fixture running out 87-80 winners. That meant Billy Beddows’ side had to win by seven or more points in order to be crowned Champions and earn promotion in the process.

    It was a nightmare start for the Breakers as the hosts darted out to a 36-23 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was more of the same to start the second quarter, the Kestrels lead ballooned to 17 points (24 on aggregate) at 53-36 with 4:05 remaining in the half. Enter Buai Luak, the 19 year-old forward checked in for his first action and helped shift the tide in the favour of the Breakers. The youngster played outstanding defence on Solent’s leading scorer Isa Brandon and contributed 4 points to close the half, including a fast break dunk to the delight of the travelling Breakers fans.

    As they have done all season, the Breakers showed resilience and cut into Solent’s lead and at the break reducing the deficit to 55-48.

    The words of Billy Beddow at half-time certainly lit a fire inside the Breakers dressing room as they outscored their opposition 32-19 in the third period. The Breakers closed out the third with the lead with the likes of Jordan Spencer, Chris Tawiah, Blayne Freckleton and Nate Robinson all scoring important buckets at crucial moments of the game. The high-level of scoring meant the Breakers entered the final quarter with a 80-74 lead.

    What followed in the closing stages of the game perfectly captured the sport of basketball and the roller coaster emotions the sport produces. The Breakers were up by six points with just 18-seconds remaining, meaning Solent would take the crown and earn promotion. Always the man for the big occasion though, Jordan Spencer produced a moment of magic as his jump shot was effortlessly made to give Breakers an eight-point lead with 7.5 seconds left in the game.

    Team Solent would be handed one final possession and a chance to break the hearts of the traveling Breakers and those watching back in Milton Keynes. A solid defensive stand from Chris Tawiah forced a difficult shot, and despite Solent converting the offensive rebound, the final buzzer had already gone, meaning the Breakers secured the crucial win and were promoted.

    The success means Billy Beddow’s have now earned successive promotions in their opening two seasons – as well as winning a National Cup this season. The season doesn’t end there, the Breakers now face Teesside Lions in the Quarter-Final of the Play-Offs at home on Sunday 14 April

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