Kings rule NBL again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings rule NBL again

07/04/2004 05:34:11 AM Comments (0)

The biggest comeback from halftime in NBL grand final history has propelled the Kings to back to back championships, clinching the title with a thrilling 90-79 game five win over arch rivals West Sydney Razorbacks.

In an epic tug of war, the Kings finally pulled through thanks to a star turn by import Ebi Ere despite trailing 49-37 at halftime and 54-37 in the third quarter, denying their nemesis a maiden NBL title.

It took five rounds but the Kings finally brought their foe to the canvas after Ere went on a final term shooting spree, costing the Pigs the chance to become only the second all-Australian outfit to claim the title in the NBL's 25-year history.

Ere's hot hand inspired an 18-0 fourth quarter run, turning around a 79-72 deficit that brought the 9609-strong crowd at the Sydney Entertainment Centre to its feet.

Statisticians were kept busy with the Kings overcoming the biggest halftime deficit in NBL grand final history, coming back from 12 points at halftime and 17 in the third term.

The previous biggest comeback from halftime in NBL finals was in 2001 when Wollongong turned around a nine-point deficit to down Townsville.

In other milestones, the Kings became only the fifth team to defend their NBL title, joining the likes of St Kilda (1979-80), Canberra (1983-84), Perth (1990-91) and Adelaide (1998, 1998-99).

Kings mentor Brian Goorjian equalled Brian Kerle's record for the most NBL titles for a coach - four.

"I dreamt about this when I arrived here but to do it is special," an ecstatic Goorjian said.

The first best-of-five grand final series also ended a long standing hoodoo for Kings forward Brett Wheeler.

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