NBL D4 Playoff Quarter Finals

Picture courtesy of Julia Summers (JS Sport Photography)

 

Swindon Shock 76 Wolverhampton 75Swindon Shock survived a nail-biting finish as they booked their place in the National League Division Four semi-finals beating Wolverhampton 76-75.

Their rivals Wolverhampton pitched up to Swindon late and they paid the price in the first quarter as the home side came flying out of the blocks.

Antonio Wilburn and Spencer Wells, in particular, were on form as Swindon raced into a 27-18 lead after the first session.

Dailian Mason proved to be Wolverhampton’s danger man as he scored 12 points in the opening quarter as he made four out of four shots from the three-point line.

The second quarter saw Wolverhampton claw back six points as the half ended with Swindon ahead 47-44.

At the break, Shock sent on young guard Ollie Swann to negate Mason’s threat and the tactic worked to good effect.

Going into the final quarter, Swindon held a slender two-point lead and last session proved frantic as ever.

With Matt Ford injuring his back and Matt North struggling with illness, Swindon were forced to dig into their reserves.

Guard Alistair Tilney once again provided timely baskets and assists to keep Shock’s noses in front.

Dominic Sajovic replaced Christopher Cole in the final minute and he made a critical stop on a fast Wolverhampton break to help clinch victory.

Coach David Colclough was delighted with his side’s efforts and said: “They arrived late and didn’t begin their warm ups officially until there was just under 10 minutes before tip-off.

We brought Ollie (Swann) on at half-time to focus on (Dailian) Mason. Ollie and I had talked about Mason’s highlights the night before and the fact that Ollie was the youngest and fastest of the group to be able to keep up with him and take him out of his game.

“I think what was great about it was not only did he take him out of his comfort zone but Ollie scored a few baskets and that really boosted our team going into the fourth quarter.

“I’ve watched the video of the last few seconds about 20 times from different angles and watching that ball roll around the rim like that to decide your fate was nerve wracking.

“The basketball heavens were kind to us today which makes up for that Oxford play-off game on the same rim that rolled in and caused us a loss.

“Finally I would just like to thank New College for donating the sports hall to us this weekend.”

Watch highlights here