Thrilled Everton Tigers coach Tony Garbelotto admitted his side saved their best for last after his side mauled Glasgow Rocks in the BBL play-off final.
Trey Moore hit a game-high 22 points, with Kevin Bell picking up the MVP trophy as the Merseymen stole the honours after a dramatic 80-72 win in Birmingham.
In a stunning finish, the Scots simply ran out of gas after a heroic fightback that saw them come from 22 down before falling at the last.
“We really had to dig deep for this,” said Garbelotto. “We were comfortable, they came back and then it was suddenly all to play for. But guys like Kevin, Trey and James Jones hit big shots when it counted at the end.”
Sterling Davis’ men nearly pulled off mission improbable after missing their first 17 three-point attempts as Everton piled on the pressure. When rookie guard Jessie Sapp netted from long range in the third period, it began a storming fightback that saw the Rocks edge 59-58 ahead with 7 minutes to go.
But Everton made one last push to steal the last piece of silverware to break the Rocks hearts.
“It’s just so disappointing because we came out so flat,” said Rocks captain Rob Yanders, who hit 15 points before fouling out on what is likely to be his last appearance for the Kelvin Hall outfit.
“We needed so much energy to come back and there just wasn’t enough there in the end. It’s probably the worst 20 minutes of basketball we’ve played this season and it came at the wrong time. But credit to Everton for the way they played.”
Earlier, Sheffield Sharks guard Mike Cook took MVP honours in the BBL All Star Game as the Rest of the World line-up beat Great Britain 110-94.