- National Teams
Hemel Storm completed a perfect season sweep in the NBL with a 69-63 win over Worthing Thunder to claim the 2023 NBL Division 1 Playoffs title on Sunday at the NBPC in Manchester.
Taylor Johnson and Aaryn Rai picked up co-MVPs, as Johnson finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists, and Rai had 12 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists.
“A lot has gone into it,” Johnson said after the game. “We played 41 games, we practiced twice a week, we’ve worked for this all year, so it feels good, it feels good for it to come to an end like this.”
Hemel used a 13-2 run early in the fourth to take control before holding off a late rally from Thunder, as they got it to a one possession game in the final minute.
The Storm finish the season an incredible 41-0 and become just the second team to ever do the perfect sweep in the NBL of the Cup, Trophy, League and Playoffs – joining Reading Rockets in 2009.
Hakeem Sylla had 19 points for the victors.
Worthing Thunder were led by 18 points and 14 rebounds from Orlan Jackman, with Ronald Blain joining him in double figures with 10 points. Andre Arissol added nine points and eight assists.