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WBBL Season Opens, D4 Men Advance in Cup, D1 Men Out of Trophy – Weekend Recap

Date: 2nd October 2017   •   Category: Division 4 Men, Kent Crusaders, Latest News, WBBL

It was an action packed weekend at Barking Abbey with the Division 1 Men’s team, Division 4 Men’s team and WBBL side all in action.

Here’s a brief recap of everything that happened:

Saturday

Kent Crusaders vs Solent Kestrels – National Trophy
Partner club Kent Crusaders suffered a tough six point loss, 72-78, at the hands of Solent Kestrels in the National Trophy to open the season on Saturday at Barking Abbey.

Crusaders remained in with a chance until the final moments, where time ran out on the home side. It was not the start to their Division One promotion the side would have hoped, as the club begins another year in partnership with Barking Abbey Basketball Academy.

Sean Nealon-Lino led Kent with 16 points, Dwayne Orija and Theo Hughes added 12 points-a-piece.

“You can never be happy after a loss but I was pleased with the effort we showed today,” Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said.

“I thought that we competed for long stretches in the game and considering this was game number one for us, we showed some positive signs. We have to be better as Solent showed we didn’t have enough quality to beat them but we have to continue to work and improve moving forward.”

Tagarelli led Solent with 24 points.

Barking Abbey vs Richmond Knights – D4 Season
Barking Abbey held on for an 83-80 win on the road over Richmond Knights on Saturday to open the Division 4 league season.

BA overturned a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter, before watching Richmond’s last gasp three pointer bounce off the rim at the buzzer as they secured the victory.

Robin Bedford had 20 to lead BA, Spyros Kapsalos had 17 and Ade Adebayo finished with 14

“The guys showed a lot of character coming back from 12 down entering the fourth,” BA Head Coach James Vear commented.

“Richmond are a very good team with a lot of experienced guys, defensively we were not great today but we got stops at the end of the game when we needed them.”

Sunday

BA London Lions vs Leicester Riders
It was a difficult start to the WBBL season for BA London Lions, as they went down 35-61 at home at the hands of Leicester Riders on Sunday afternoon.

Krumesh Patel’s side set the tone on the defensive end, as they kept BA, who struggled offensively, to under 40 points.

Riders pulled away at the end of the first, before getting up comfortably in the second period.

“Disappointed in losing the game by that type of margin,” said a dismayed BA Head Coach Mark Clark.

“It clearly demonstrates that we have a lot of work to do. Obviously there’s always positives, Zoe Willis’ performance was very impressive, Christina Gaskin in the second half did a really nice job, especially on the glass.

“Leicester are a reasonable team in this league so it’s a tough one for us with the disruptions in pre-season; we’re still waiting for the two players to join us. You can never use that as an excuse we should’ve done a better job than we did but it’s always a journey for us, it’s always about getting better and I expect us to be better next week at Sheffield.”

Zoe Willis led BA with 13 points, whilst Christina Gaskin added 8.

For Riders, Dee Hayward led the way with 15 points in 21 minutes.

BA will look to bounce back next Sunday, when they travel to Sheffield to take on the Hatters at 2pm.

Kent Crusaders vs Worthing Thunder – National Trophy
Partner club Kent Crusaders suffered a heartbreaker as they went down 77-76 at the hands of Worthing Thunder in the National Trophy on Sunday in Worthing.

Former BBL guard Zaire Taylor knocked down a turnaround jumper with 1.9 seconds left to secure the win, completing his 30-point outing for the home side – who led for just 18 seconds total of the game.

Sean Nealon-Lino got a good look at a three for the win at the buzzer but it bounced off the rim.

“After a really good performance yesterday despite the defeat, I thought today we were poor,” Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said.

“It was frustrating that we weren’t able to impose our will on the game and that we never finished Worthing despite having a few double digit leads.

“This is a learning experience for us though and today we learnt we can’t let a team like Worthing stay close because down the stretch they have players that can step up and make big plays for them.”

Caleb Fuller had his best outing since joining BA, registering 21 points, Dwayne Orija had 15, whilst Sean Nealon-Lino finished with 14.

The National Trophy southern pool will see Solent Kestrels advancing over Kent Crusaders, Reading Rockets, and Worthing Thunder.

Focus will now move to the regular season for Kent, as they open up the Division One league next Saturday in Manchester against the Magic for a 6:30pm tip.

Barking Abbey vs Sussex Bears – National Cup Second Round
Barking Abbey advanced to the next round of the National Cup with a 65-71 upset road win over Division 3 side Sussex Bears on Sunday.

As they did on Saturday, BA put in another strong fourth quarter performance to secure the win.

Ade Adebayo led BA, finishing with 18 points, whilst Robin Bedford had 17 and Spyros Kapsalos 16.

“We got off to a slow start but managed to get into a rhythm after the first quarter,” said BA Head Coach James Vear.

“It’s never easy playing against a zone for 40 minutes but I thought our guys tried to do the right things and hit big shots when we needed them against a team in the league above.”

Mason led Sussex with a game-high 21 points.

BA resume Division 4 league action next Saturday, taking on Anglia Ruskin University at BA at 2pm.