Hobart Chargers brought home a rare piece of SEABL silverware back to Tasmania, upsetting suburban hopes Nunawading Spectres in the men’s decider at Melbourne’s State Basketball Centre.
In a massive boost to the state’s hopes of gaining an NBL licence under the new Southern Huskies moniker, Hobart showed resilience to lock down a 72-58 triumph.
The championship win was the club’s first for a decade since smashing out 133 points over Knox to win by a whopping 31 in 2008.
But Saturday night’s performance could not have been any more different.
For one, both sides combined for only 130 points.
The Chargers all night defied a boisterous home Spectres’ crowd, shutting down their rivals in the middle quarters to restrict them to just 22 points.
Anthony Stewart’s men made their dash to the title in the third quarter.
They broke the 32-32 deadlock at half-time to stun Nunawading with a massive 23-10 turnaround in the next.
The Victorian hosts could never draw the margin back to single figures at any stage in the final term.
Amid the tough grind of a physical tussle, it proved to be Sudanese-born Mathiang Muo that had shined the most brightly in the game.
The one-time Perth Wildcats NBL swingman scored 20 polished points with 14 rebounds to prove to be a cut above the rest.
It added to his fairytale story that started when he was force to work at just 10 years of age to help his family survive in his homeland.
Melbourne United rookie Craig Moller also showed his potential since converting from a short stint at Fremantle AFL club three years ago.
Moller added 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a further stellar performance for the Chargers.
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