Myerscough College 71 v 57 East London All Stars
NBL Division Three Men Playoff Final
Myerscough College are your Division Three Men Playoff champions! Coach Neal Hopkins' side added the playoff title to their Division Three North league and Men's National Shield successes to cap a truly memorable season. A close game early on was decided in the third quarter as Myerscough went on a run to control the score-line and the All Stars wouldn't really challenge the rest of the way. Rayon Brown was awarded the Division Three Men Playoff Final MVP as he led Myerscough with a double-double performance of 19 points and 11 rebounds, while adding two assists and one steal.
“The playoff title, that’s just amazing,” said an elated Brown. “It was crazy, I’ve been putting in so much work and the coaches and players have believed in me. For it all to come together on this big stage, that’s so good.”
After flying out to a 10-2 lead early, Myerscough looked like they might run away with proceedings but East London regrouped and slowly began to get going. Feeding forward Seun Bashua-Olaofe (16 points, 11 rebounds) down low provided success for the All-Stars as he accounted for six of London’s eight points in the quarter. With Brown already flying though, hitting 2/3 from range for 10 points in the frame, Myerscough went up 17-8 after one.
Determined to start the second quarter better than they had the first, East London began to find some offensive consistency and reduce the deficit. A big dunk from Loving Olanrewaju provided a much needed spark early and with 3:46 to go in the quarter, the All-Stars had their first lead of the game at 24-23. Back to back baskets from Mate Okros (24 points, nine rebounds, six assists) plus a triple from David Walsh (14 points, six rebounds) quickly reversed the momentum though and the North West side would lead once again going into the main change.
N B L S E N I O R F I N A L S 🏆🏀 @My_bball with the great fast break ball movement as they find Mate Okros in for the transition lay-up! #NBL1718 #NBLfinals 🏀 #TogetherWeAreBasketbALL pic.twitter.com/nLsmGHNXAz— NBL (@NBLengland) April 28, 2018
“We dried up offensively and let London capitalise on some lacklustre mistakes,” said Myerscough Head Coach Neal Hopkins when discussing his side’s shaky second quarter. “We knew they had a run in them and that they’d come at us hard. Fortunately, we managed to stop the bleeding and go on a run from there.”
To open the second half, East London once against came out brightly. A triple from Stephen Hemmings got the All-Stars on the board before a highlight dunk from Bashua-Olaofe brought the difference down to four. A 13-2 Myerscough run halted that momentum and with three minutes left in the frame, the difference was now hovering in the mid-teens. Brown was making highlight reel plays in the lane though, time and again finding a way to get to the basket on the drive, making any potential comeback that much harder Coach Tackie’s side.
As the final quarter wore on, Myerscough maintained a comfortable advantage with the difference only briefly dropping below 15. Brown and Okros continued to impress and the lack of inroads into the Myerscough lead began to frustrate their opponents. A very long three pointer from Daniel Delgado (seven points, six rebounds, five steals) was a highlight late on, but time gradually ran out on the Southern side. All that was left in the game was for Brown to crown his MVP performance, grabbing a late rebound to seal his double-double before he and his team mates burst into celebration moments later.