Hemel Storm are through to the National Cup quarter-finals after a nail-biting and physical 85-81 victory over NASSA at Sportspace on Sunday.
Storm showed great resilience against the talented Londoners and, despite falling behind in each quarter, they recovered to overhaul their opponents.
Hemel’s stand-in captain Drew Spinks – who took over the role from the injured Simon Kearney – and diminutive fire-brand guard Bode Adeluola netted crucial scores whenever NASSA threatened to open up a significant lead.
Spinks finished with 27 points and six rebounds, while playmaker Adeluola connected for 20 points and had six assists.
But it was Nassa’s physical play that was eventually their downfall as their fouls sent Storm to the free-throw line 20 times, allowing them to net 30 points.
Storm assistant coach Mark Lloyd said: “In the end it turned out to be a hard-fought win for us.
“We were terrific down the stretch and got important defensive stops and made some gutsy offensive plays.
“It was an excellent all-round team effort.”
Storm will play Division One rivals Bristol Flyers in the quarter-finals at Sportspace on Sunday, November 18 at 2pm.
Storm’s win on Sunday followed a 72-60 loss to Reading Rockets in their first league game of the season the previous day.
“We just had a cold night, especially from three-point range,” said Storm head coach Dave Titmuss.
“We have some excellent shooters but on the night we just couldn’t buy a basket.
“I think the statistics tell the story – we scored only three from 22 attempts and our overall success rate was only 34 per cent.
“We lost by only 12 points so even a slight improvement would have made the difference.”
Storm’s top-scorers against Reading were Tom Adorian (19), Williamz Omope (14), and Adeluola 10.