COACH Tony Garbelotto hailed the Mersey Tigers’ BBL Trophy triumph as an emotional time for the club and its fans.
Garbelotto said: “It’s an emotional time for the club and the people of Liverpool. We know we’ve got something special, this is a great sport, a great club, and this venue is as good as Anfield or Goodison Park.
Š”We’re trying to build something really special and promote the sport. We just want a fair crack off the court and for the success to continue.”
The coach called a pivotal time out on the stroke of half time and his half time team talk inspired a 22 point run in the third quarter to ultimately win the game.
“In the moment, you just hope that you continue to play well. I asked them to play hard, and basketball is a lot about instinct and seizing the moment, and the guys seized the moment.”
While captain Drew Sullivan took the plaudits as the game’s MVP, Garbelotto was quick to point out the contributions of others.
He added: “Drew was awesome, but there are all the other guys. It was a real collective group win. We aren’t a one man team, and it showed. It was a great effort.”
Liverpool lad David Aliu, in his first season back with the Tigers, was pleased to put the BBL Cup Final loss to Sheffield in January behind them.
He said: “After the loss to Sheffield, we didn’t want to be in the same situation again.
“This time we stuck together all the way through and it was close up until half-time but in the third quarter we managed to get a bit of distance and kept hold of it from then.
“I’m glad this many people came down because I was a bit worried with it being such a long journey but to come down and win and put on a show, means a lot.”