WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club coach Daniel Hildreth said he was proud of his players after a heartbreaking 97-84 defeat to Manchester Magic in the National Cup final on Sunday.
Thunder led by 20 points in the second quarter but Magic hit back to claim the victory – scoring 70 points in the second half – and Hildreth said: “The 20 point lead was probably glorified, I think we were aware of that. Basketball is a game of runs, we knew they were going to have their run but, unfortunately for us, they had two runs in the second half which blew the game to the margin it did.
“However, I’m so proud of these guys and the effort levels they put in.
“Our game plan was working how we wanted it. We knew that the score wasn’t going to stay that way and we knew that the half-time break came at the wrong time for us.
“We went into the second half as you do in that situation saying 0-0, let’s start again and, unfortunately, everything that could have gone wrong in the first three minutes went wrong, with a couple of turnovers and a couple of cheap fouls.
“Credit to the guys, though, we didn’t lay down and die.
“We know we could have won and feel we should have done, so it’s bitterly disappointing but our fans were incredible. I was so grateful to them for being here today and I’m just sorry that we couldn’t bring home the cup.”
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