Worthing Thunder’s American guard Jorge Ebanks went the distance in Sunday’s National Trophy final.
But that did not stop him from claiming MVP honours as Thunder secured a second piece of silverware in the space of nine months with a 84-80 final win over Loughborough Riders.
Ebanks played all 40 minutes, leading the team with 20 points, six steals, five rebounds and five assists as he helped Worthing claim a second National Trophy since the teams inception back in 1999.
With his family back home in New York, Ebanks’ first thoughts immediately switched from title glory to his family - dedicating his MVP award to them.
Ebanks said: “This is for my family. Everything I do is for them and I know it’s early back home but I hope they were watching.
“It wasn’t the best of starts for me but I kept on plugging away, kept helping my team in any way I could.
“I just wanted to be aggressive and kept attacking. Things were not going my way and for the team but you got to keep going, keep grinding.
“Honestly, though, I just wanted the win, but it’s humbling to get the MVP too.”
Ebanks began slowly in what was a difficult first half for Worthing, who were unable to break Loughborough down in the first two periods of play and trailed for all but the first minute of the game.
Then Ebanks, fuelled by his determination to win, scored 12 of Thunder’s first 14 points to start the third quarter, bringing Worthing back into the contest.
Thunder were clinging on to the lead late on then Ebanks scored inside with 40 seconds to go to ultimately seal the game, despite a late surge from Loughborough.
Thunder player-coach, Josh Goddard, said: “He was a different person in that third quarter.
“I think he was frustrated with himself at the break as was the team but he didn’t let his head go down and continued to be aggressive. He continued to be Jorge.”
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