Albert Margai scored a sensational 3 in the dying seconds of the match to win the game for Scorchers as they overturned an 11-point deficit from midway through the third quarter.
FT: Scorchers 84-82 Giants
Surrey was looking for revenge over the Giants having lost to them earlier in the season. They started the game well and raced into a 7-3 lead, which was rounded off when Quincy Taylor scored a 3. Giants hit back and levelled the scores at 9-9 with 5 minutes played. The match then became a very even contest as the teams took it in turns scoring. Two 2s from Big Mike Ochereobia and another from Taylor gave Scorchers an element of control before Giants once again got back in the game before taking a slender lead as they ended the first quarter leading 22-21.
Manchester has been struggling of late, but they didn’t show any sign of their recent form in the second quarter as they took a 4-point lead, before some great shooting from Will Neighbour helped Surrey bring the scores level. At this point, it was anyone’s quarter, but a sudden change in momentum saw Giants go on a 12-2 run, which gave them a commanding lead with 2 minutes reaming in the half. This was ended when Taylor went 2 from 2 on a free-throw and Neighbour found a 2, yet another scoring run from Manchester saw them end the half 51-38 in front.
Scorchers knew they couldn’t afford any slip-ups if they wanted to get back in the match, and they started the third quarter strongly when Big Mike and Captain Tayo Ogedengbe scored a couple of 2s to bring the scores within 9. After this, Giants looked to calm the game down, but a strong finish saw Taylor, Neighbour and Tayo all pickup 2s, which gave Surrey belief going into the final stretch of the match. As the quarter ended, Giants were 64-57 in front.
Scorchers have become known as the ‘Comeback Kings’ this season, owning to their fourth quarter performances and this was to prove to be another one of those occasions. Surrey started sharply and brought the scores within 6 when Margai found a 3. Both teams then shared the scoring, before Neighbour and Big Mike found a couple of 2s to bring the scores within 2. With 5 minutes remaining the crowd were on their feet, Neighbour scored a 2 and followed up by going 1/1 on a free-throw to put Scorchers into the lead for the first time since the first-half. Giants, however, weren’t giving up, and took back the lead before a 3 from Tayo brought the game within 1-point and too close to call. Scorchers levelled the match with just over a minute remaining when Margai found a 2, but with 26 second left Giants had a 1-point lead. Then came the turning point; with 14 seconds to go Giants were given two free-throws which would have put them within touching distance of victory, yet with the full Surrey crowd on their back, both throws were missed, and Scorchers still had hope. And then the moment of magic happened, with 3 seconds remaining, the ball came to Margai outside the area, and without a second thought, he found the 3. For the second time in three matches, Surrey had won the game with virtually the last throw of the game. The crowd were on their feet, and the players surrounded match winner Margai.