The MK Breakers completed a perfect debut season in the Senior National Basketball League, demolishing the UEL London Lions 113-67 in the NBL Division 3 Playoff Final, capping off an undefeated maiden season that saw the already promoted Breakers finish 18-0 in the league and 4-0 in the playoffs, with an average winning margin of 47 points.
Over 200 Breakers fans donning their red shirts made the trip north to the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester to cheer the Breakers to victory. Blayne Freckleton was named MVP of the game, finishing with a whopping 39 points, thanks in large part to scoring 10 3-point shots.
The UEL London Lions entered the game with a lot of confidence, having defeated Teesside Lions and Cobham Cobras, the #2 and #3 seeds in previous rounds, but the #1 seeded Breakers would be too much for the London side.
A slow start for the Breakers saw them trail 9-12 with 3:41 left in the first quarter, prompting a timeout from NBL3 East Coach of the Year Billy Beddow-Patel. The Coach’s words obviously had some effect, with the MK side closing out the quarter 13-5 to lead 22-17 after 10 minutes. Mike New Jr would score 10 of his 21 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers to help settle a nervy start.
With the nerves well and truly settled, the Breakers stepped up their defensive intensity in the second quarter, limiting UEL to just 9 points, whilst pouring in 28 of their own. Stellar inside play from the ever-reliable Luke Gregory saw him score 9 first half points, and draw crucial fouls on his opposing number, Lions big man Michael Wolfe. Game MVP Freckleton would hit a pair of 3-pointers right before half time to put the Breakers up 50-26, a sign of things to come.
With the first few minutes of the third quarter crucial to UEL’s chances of launching any sort of comeback, the young London side went at the Breakers, but with MK full of confidence, the game never looked in doubt. Dante Langley had one of his customary scoring outbursts to end the third and the Breakers fans were already celebrating as their team led 81-46 heading in to the final quarter.
A quiet scoring game by his standards, Breakers Captain and NBL3 East Player of the Year Jordan Spencer stuffed the stat sheet with 16 rebounds and 12 assists. Knowing he was a few points away from achieving yet another triple double this season, Spencer pulled up on consecutive possessions to nail two jump-shots, taking his tally to 11 points to complete his triple-double.
With the Breakers fans already in party mode, Freckleton would send the crowd in to a frenzy, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers, the last one from 30 feet away!
The win was a fitting end to the debut season for the Breakers, and 11 years after the MK Lions left for London, it’s safe to say basketball is well and truly back in Milton Keynes!
The club would like to say a huge thank you to all the Breakers fans, sponsors, and partners, without whom this season’s success would not have been possible. We will now be working tirelessly behind the scenes over the summer as we prepare for our first season in NBL Division 2. Keep your eyes on our social media channels as we announce exciting updates over the summer.