- National Teams
Islington Panthers won their first ever Under-18 Men’s National Cup with a 80-68 defeat of Derby Trailblazers in the final on Saturday evening at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.
Jaidan Dawes could not miss in the opening quarter, going 5-of-5 including three triples on his way to 15 points as Islington pounced early to take a 27-15 lead which they would never look back from.
However, it was Tyreese Poku-Mensah who picked up MVP honours after exploding for 34 points, six rebounds and seven steals for a Panthers side that won despite only four players scoring.
“It feels great. Knowing that we were the underdogs and we came out here to play and we achieved what we wanted to do,” said Poku Mensah.
“We’re quite a small team so we had to box out and rebound that helped us win today.
“On our mind we had someone who passed away, Jonah, so we wanted to play hard and for him, knowing he’d be here to support us today.”
Dawes finished with 19, while Lemar Clarke had 17.
Derby were led by 19 from Elias Norman and 17 from Zac Atkin.