(ALBANY) – In a win-or-go-home championship match for both teams, the Albany Patroons return to the finals for the second consecutive season, as Shadell Millinghaus’ 33 points and 11 rebounds helped guide the Patroons to a 120-116 win over the Raleigh Firebirds.

Millinghaus’ 33 points came off of a pinpoint 18-for-18 free throw accuracy in 41 minutes of play. Darius Paul achieved a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Moe achieved his own double-double of 12 points and 10 boards.

Steven Cunningham (16), Joshua Cameron (16) and Jordan Robertson (14) also scored in double figures for Albany.

The Firebirds were led by an amazing rebounding effort from Demontez Loman, who pulled down 25 boards, including 11 offensive rebounds to keep Raleigh close throughout. Julian Harris put up a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Jaimee Jackson led Raleigh with 25 points.

Counting the postseason, Albany and Raleigh met five times, with each team winning on their respective home courts.

Albany now faces the Yakima Sun Kings for the TBL championship, in a rivalry that dates back to 1990, when both teams were in the Continental Basketball Association. Counting previous appearances in the CBA and NAPB, the Patroons and Sun Kings have faced each other in the postseason six times, with the Sun Kings holding a perfect 6-0 record against Albany, and winning their league championships in 2007 and in 2018.

This will be the Patroons’ sixth championship appearance, winning the CBA championships in 1984 and 1988, and reaching the CBA finals in 2007 and 2009, as well as the North American Premier Basketball League (currently TBL) in 2018.

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