Manchester Magic beat Reading Rockets to secure a second place position in Basketball England’s NBL Division One.
The team worked their magic in a ‘fantastic’ game which ended the regular season with a 75-71 win. Local basketball centre, the Amaechi Basketball Centre held the game.
With Team Northumbria having already taken the number one spot, this game decided who would come second.
Both Manchester Magic and Reading Rockets went into the match both having 20-5 records. The two local teams fought for the runner-up spot.
Reading Rockets’ Christopher Hooper did much ‘damage’ in the early stages. Later, in the first 3 minutes of the second quarter, Hooper was sent off for a foul. Following this, the game opened up for Manchester Magic.
The home-team had a 17 point advantage in the 3rd quarter. This advantage was aided by Simon Anumba, who finished the season with a game-high 21 points.
Despite the advantage, Reading Rockets did not back down. Juan Valerio Rojas scored 8 points in a 13-2 run which closed the gap as the match neared the final quarter. The game became ‘momentous’ as Readings Craig Ponder securing a 54-52 lead in the fourth.
The lead motivated Magic – who thanks to Kayin Darbey – made the score of 70-63 in the last minute. Reading’s Danny Carter then brought the score to 72-71.
Magic’s Lee Goldsbrough grabbed a critical rebound and scored to win the match 75-71 for Magic.
TNT spoke to Phil Gordos, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Community Basketball, who said the club is “very excited”.
Magic has secured the home court for the playoffs. Their next match is against Bradford Dragons. Phil said it is “good to have a home draw”.
The club is “optimistic” but won’t be taking the Bradford Dragons “for granted”.