- National Teams
Northants Tauras claimed the 2017 Division 4 Men’s Playoff title with a 96-91 win over Swindon Shock on Saturday afternoon at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.
Deividas Butkevicius picked up MVP honours with a 14 point, 10 rebound double double for Northants, who overcame a 38 point outing from Swindon’s Spencer Wells.
“Our guys were a little bit nervous, but it’s a final,” said Northants Head Coach Darijus Maldutis. “During the game, they came down, tried to slow down the game, control the game and play our game. In the third quarter we wanted to speed it up a bit, we got up and kept that distance.
“…Our boys did a great job, I’m very pleased, everybody – those on the bench, those on the court, those supporters, and even those who weren’t here today. Very pleased with the boys, I’m very happy for them.”
Tauras put in a balanced team effort that saw six players reach double digits, led by 15 points and 8 assists from Giedrius Pakalniskis.
A huge three pointer from Matt North with 23 seconds left saw Swindon pull within three and appear to be in with a chance to pull off the comeback, but Northants’ Tomas Vladicka kept his cool to convert at the line to build the cushion back to five and the Shock were unable to connect on their next two attempts to seal the result.