Academy pass the test as they book a place at the National final
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 January 2012
Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) Division Three National league basketball team saw off the challenge of Canary Wharf Baltic Staff to win a place at the England Basketball National Shield finals in Manchester.
The Newham team travelled to Dagenham for their final play-off game with much at stake, but emerged 78-62 winners.
The game started closely, but NASSA gradually pulled away to establish an 11-point lead.
Good teamwork between Jeff Danchie, Damien Lyons, Lady Brown and Bruno Klavins ensured that NASSA kept their lead.
With Will Ashby and Douglas Bennett demonstrating outstanding plays, Perry Lawson making every basket count by picking up the rebounds and Emeka Qbanye blocking the Baltic’s attempts to score, NASSA had the edge.
The fourth quarter saw the opposition try to make a comeback as they attempted to close the gap.
Fatigue began to set in for the NASSA players and fouls resulted in the loss of two players.
But this forced NASSA to double their efforts and it paid off as they went on to win the game and book a place in the finals in February.
The top scorers were Lawson with 26 points, Brown with 14 points and Danchie with 12 points.
Head coach Sam Stiller said: “This is phenomenal. It is only our second year of competing in the National League and we have won a place in the finals.
“The team have worked exceptionally hard all season and I am thrilled for them.
“Our aim now is on ensuring that the team remains focused and is prepared for the challenge ahead.”
Meanwhile, NASSA ‘Stars’ Division Two National league women’s team secured a 90-45 win against Leicester Lady Hoops.
NASSA quickly established a 24-point lead and at half time they were ahead by 35 baskets to 18.
Although the Lady Hoops were difficult to contain at times, the strong NASSA defence ensured that Leicester were locked out of the key and enabled them to wrap up victory.
As for the youngsters, NASSA’s under-15s were 92-46 winners against Barking and Dagenham Thunder, while the under-13s won 112-26 at Portsmouth.
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