Our U18’s are one step closer to qualifying for the U18 Final Four tournament by beating Bristol Flyers 87-76. The young Londoners started the game very brightly taking a 10 points lead by the end of the first quarter. However, with time passing by Flyers were growing in confidence and started steadily reducing the margin. United perimeter players looked strangely reluctant to penetrate and were over relying on Poorman in their offensive actions. To make matter worse 6’9’’ University of Toledo bound Edu started to dominate both boards, converting his offensive rebounds into easy put backs. United was four points adrift by the half time break and buoyant Flyers had built a 14 points lead in the middle of the third quarter. When all paths for penetration were blocked by dominant Edu, United was desperately looking for inspiration to unlock Bristol’s defences. Inspiration arrived in the form of versatile 6’7’’ forward Davidas Golovcenko who connected two consecutive 3 pointers and then followed with a three point play drive to the basket. Suddenly Bristol’s defence became far more spread and vulnerable to United’s fastbreaks. When another unsung hero of London United, Edmund Lartey was able to reduce the threat coming from Edu on the defensive boards, our Londoners were able to deliver the final blow to the Flyers. United won last stanza 31-17 and can start preparation for their last game before Final Four against Birmingham Elite.
Coach Szatkowski was very happy with his players after the game: “We are definitely far more mature and resilient recently. I think winning U19 ABL has made us believe that we can dominate teams away from home and find solutions in difficult situations. Before we always have succumbed to some form of crisis in a stressful situation, nowadays we believe that we are always capable of finding inspiration in these difficult situations. Having said that of course we are not guaranteed a place in Final Four competition and we will have a very tough game in Birmingham next week”
D. Golovcenko 25, E. Lartey 18, E. Poorman 18, S. Edwards 12, M. Edwards 8, Z. Bentley 7, K. Szczawinski 6, K. Hines 2 ,K. Kolesnikovas 0.