June 20, 2018 by admin
THE South East Australian Basketball League east men’s conference title came down to one shot at Dandenong Stadium on Saturday night.
One contested, uncertain three-point shot from Dandenong Rangers import Daequon Montreal, a centre whose three-point shooting percentage ranked eighth on the team coming into the conference final against Geelong Supercats.
But with the Supercats leading 72-70 with 18 seconds remaining and the shot clock winding down, Montreal was left with a potential game-winner from in front of the visitor’s bench and had to take it.
It went in, sending a near capacity stadium into raptures.
In Montreal’s own words, it “felt good all the way” as the Rangers took a 73-72 lead, leaving the Supercats with the last play of the game to take the win.
After a Supercats’ miss, centre Sebastian Loader pulled in the offensive rebound but before he could do anything with the ball, Rangers guard Lucas Barker stole it from his hands, then avoided the Supercats’ desperate attempts to foul before being unceremoniously shouldered to the ground by Supercats forward Dominic Friend with 0.2 seconds remaining.
Barker missed his second shot deliberately, only for Rangers forward Tony Lewis to tip in the miss on the buzzer to give the Rangers a 75-72 win and the SEABL east conference title.
The Rangers will face south conference winners Albury-Wodonga Bandits for the SEABL championship at the State Basketball Centre, Wantirna South, this Saturday at 3pm. Montreal, who was in doubt for the game after spending the past two weeks recovering from an ankle injury, said he was proud to make the title-winning shot.
“I knew we needed someone to get a shot,” he said. “The shot clock was low and I had to take it.”
■ Dandenong Rangers women want to seal their place as the most successful team in South East Australian Basketball League women’s history when they play for a third straight championship this Saturday.
The Rangers won their third straight east conference title on Saturday night with an 86-47 win over Geelong Supercats at Dandenong Stadium. They will face Knox Raiders, the team they beat in last year’s decider, at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South on Saturday at 1pm.
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