The first day of competition for our U17’s in Stage II of EYBL competition saw our young team facing both the host team BC Ridzene and the talented KKK Kobierzyce who boast four of their current squad currently on Polands National U17 team roster.
BC Ridzene-London United 58-45
Strong performances from United’s Kepinski and Kanye resulted in the Londoners jumping to a 16-13 lead, however a lack of composure and poor shoot execution saw our team going into changing rooms with 14 points deficit at the half time break. The Latvian team showed no sign of slowing the pace and gained their biggest lead of the game at the end of 3rd quarter (26-48). Full court press defence from our Londoners in the 4th quarter allowed United a 10-0 run to cut the point difference to 8 points only (43-51). However it was hosts who finished game strong and our young squad fell 45-58.
Head coach Daniel Szatkowski said, “We started off well but a lack of composure and lazy defence in the 2nd and 3rd period saw us putting ourselves in a deep hole which we couldn’t dig ourselves out from. It was our lazy defence and shot selection which we need to work on.”
Kanye 14, M. Kepinski 11. D.Mills 7. T. Momodu 7.
London United-KKS Kobierzyce 51-50
A historic first win for our Londoners at top level junior basketball, despite great team defence and 3 point shooting from our opponents.
Our young team started the game really motivated and took the first period 14-8, but it was the Polish side using their size as an advantage who claimed the 2nd quarter 18-8.
At half time, United refocused and came out with more intensity which saw them limit the opposition to only 9 points scoring themselves 18.
Knowing the Polish team has 4 of their national team roster on court and with size on their side with all players above 6’6 the game went down to the wire. It was 51-50 with 1:30 left in the game, to go but almost perfect defence from our Londoners saw them claiming their first victory in the EYBL league.
Coach Daniel said:
“I’m really proud of my team. We responded to the first game of the day in the right way. Much improved defence and good shot selection were major keys for us. It was great leadership from M.Kempinski who shared his experience on court but big congratulations to all for their fight and team effort for the entire game.
It was a massive victory for us proving we are improving rapidly and have proven we can beat great team. I can see bright future in our young squad.2
M.Kempinski 17. T.Momudu 12. D.Mills 8. C.Campbell 6.