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The NBL team is through to the National Shield final after another win at the weekend. This is the first time the team has reached the finals of the National Shield, which is a knockout competition where only NBL Division Three and Four teams are eligible to play. They also remain at the top of their league.

After returning to action earlier this month, they secured two league wins against Birmingham Mets and Team Birmingham Elite, whilst also defeating Swindon Shock in the National Shield. They then followed this up with a victory against Essex Blades on Sunday, January 27 to secure their spot in the finals.

The team made a nine and a half hour round trip to Colchester to take on Essex Blades in the National Shield semi final.

Assistant Coach, Andy Halsall, said: “Despite the long journey, we flew out of the blocks and never looked back, leading from the first whistle until the last. The lead was as much as 30 points at times. Standout performances came from current student, Max Jones, and alumni player, Phil Kelly-Brandreth, who scored 31 and 33 points respectively. Having said that, all nine players who travelled made huge contributions to the win and our progression to the final.”

Sarah Latham, Student Activity Manager, Chester Students’ Union, added: “We are really proud of the NBL team’s achievements. Their determination and tireless efforts have shown the results to a remarkable campaign to the final. We wish them all the luck in the final in London.”

The NBL team sit at the top of Division Three North and face London BC Medelynas, who lead Division Three South, in the National Shield final on February 10.

The team is also keen to find sponsorship, as it progresses through the basketball ranks.

Head Coach, Chris Wilson, said: “Progression to the National Shield final is the latest step in a development plan that we first mapped out for the team when we started out here six years ago. Our next target is promotion, but if we get there, we will need further support. If a position to Division Two is secured, long trips will become the norm, rather than the exception. Operating costs, such as transport, will increase significantly.”

If you are interested in providing sponsorship to the team, please contact Niel Gillard at n.gillard@chester.ac.uk.

The National Shield final takes place on February 10 at the University of East London Sports Dock. Tickets are available here and are half price until February 3: https://www.basketballengland.co.uk/about/shop/tickets/.

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