NASSA Neptunes fall at final hurdle
PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 January 2014
NASSA Neptunes fell just short of the National Cup title, losing 93-72 against a strong Reading Rockets side over the weekend in an excellent match.
Rockets were always in control as they led 35-21 after the first quarter.
But despite that slow start Neptunes hung in, managing to cut the gap to single figures during the second half before their opponents pulled clear.
All five of the starting Neptunes players finished with double figures, led by the outstanding Ladi Brown who managed 17 points on the day.
Dave Ajumobi and Papa Demba-Kasse had double-doubles in scoring and rebounding and the teams were statistically pretty even, but Reading’s shooting was better – 45 per cent to 32 per cent.
Only eight of Newham’s points came from the bench compared to 21 for Rockets, who went into the tie at the University of Worcester Arena as clear favourites – second in the league with Newham in eighth. They duly showed their class to clinch a third National Cup.
Neptunes had only won one of their previous six games going into the big final, but this proved the farthest the Newham-based outfit have so far progressed in the national tournament, making it an impressive achievement considering this is their first season in Division One.
They dominated the second tier last season, winning the Patrons Cup, league and play-off titles as their progression continued at a stunning pace. They will now look to improve their placing in the league table.