KitKing Trophy 2023/24: Semi-finalists decided, draw finalised

Four teams went into the hat for the KitKing Trophy semi-finals after another great weekend of basketball.

Wins for Hemel Storm, Reading Rockets, Derby Trailblazers and Bradford Dragons means the competition is now down to it's final four.

The semis, drawn later in the week, decided that Reading will host Derby, while Hemel travel to Bradford for a place in the final.

We take a look at all four quarter-final games from the past weekend, including a nail-biter between defending champs Hemel and Milton Keynes Breakers.

City of Birmingham Rockets 82-85 Bradford Dragons

Bradford pulled off an impressive road win to beat the previously undefeated Rockets 85-82.

The hosts looked to have the game well within their grasp, leading by 14 midway through the third quarter, before the Dragons then reeled off a 29-6 run over the next 10 minutes to lead by nine with 5:19 remaining.

The visitors would hold onto that advantage the rest of the the way, though the Rockets did pull to within a point with 1:29 remaining.

Jordan Whelan (18pts), Zion Tordoff (17pts, 8reb) and Micah Savery-Richards (14pts, 9reb) shared the load on offence for Bradford, with Martyn Gayle (26pts, 14reb) playing well in defeat for CoB.

Reading Rockets 102-85 Essex Rebels

Reading sealed their spot in the semi-finals following a 102-85 win over Essex Rebels.

A 31-19 opening quarter set the tone for the hosts, who's lead would eventually touch 20 points midway through the third quarter as the Rockets shot 51% from the floor.

Reading captain Lewis Champion played a starring role as he dropped an impressive 32 points, and his battle with Essex's Zain Poorman (32pts, 6reb) was a worthy spectacle.

Derby Trailblazers 94-82 Barking Abbey

Former champs Derby Trailblazers stamped their ticket to another semi-final berth as they saw off Barking Abbey 94-82.

A 28-11 first quarter allowed Derby to lead this one from almost tip to buzzer, with BA scrapping in vain to get back into the contest.

Raheem May-Thompson (24pts, 9reb) was the the standout for DTB, with Corey Johnson (22pts, 10reb) adding a double-double off the bench in 30:11 of action.

Juan Manning (18pts, 7reb) was the main point of resistance for the visitors, with Melchi Egbeyemi adding 17 more off the bench.

Hemel Storm 94-91 Milton Keynes Breakers

Hemel against Milton Keynes lived up to the hype, with the defending champions narrowly edging into the next round following an exciting 94-91 victory.

In a back-and-forth tussle where both teams led by double digits before being pegged back, Hakeem Sylla (17pts, 15reb) added five points and four rebounds in the last four minutes to keep his team ahead, with a last-gasp triple from former Worthing man Andre Arissol (16pts, 3reb) failing to find the mark and force OT for the visitiors.

Brayden Inger (20pts, 3/7 3pt) would top-score for the hosts alongside Sylla, with Jack Burnell and Tez Allen (14pts apiece) also contributing.

MK's upset bid was fuelled by captain Jordan Spencer (25pts, 5ast) and former D1M standout Blayne Freckleton (23pts, 6/11 3pt), with the Breakers once again displaying why they seem destined for a place in the top flight sooner rather than later despite the final score.

This weekend's results - live stats and live streams

Saturday 30 September

7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets 82-85 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM

Sunday 1 October

4pm - Reading Rockets 102-85 Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM

5:30pm - Derby Trailblazers 94-82 Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS

6pm - Hemel Storm 94-91 Milton Keynes Breakers - LIVE STATS