Our U14s have crowned their fantastic domestic season with claiming runner up medals at the NBL Final Four in Manchester.
The semi-final game against Baltic Stars perfectly epitomised our young players approach to the game of basketball. From the very first moment United pressurised the Baltic guards, using almost every inch of the court and never missed on the opportunity to double or in some cases triple on the opposing players. The constant menacing presence from United players forced Baltic sharpshooters Nedas Cholevinskas and Astijus Kusas to take shots from very uncomfortable positions with the overwhelming majority of rebounds claimed by Zomoku Weluche and Joel Codner. United was leading by 18 points at the interval and an 8-0 run in the early stage of third quarter has practically finished the game as an competitive encounter. The last stanza was a fairly scrappy exercise in trading points with United sailing to relatively a easy 68-44 victory.
At the beginning of the final game against Manchester Magic, United became a victim of their own main weapon, a relentless full court press. Manchester matched United’s ferocity and applied trapping full court press which created numerous problems for London guards. Magic took a 16-3 lead before a couple of United’s fastbreaks started a very slow comeback. By the end of the first half United was trailing by 6 points but looked far better equipped to combat Manchester’s press. For the majority of the second half United was trailing by 8-10 points but in the final minutes in the fourth quarter United finally managed to reduce the deficit to a single point. However, the home team responded with a 16-6 run to put the game to bed claiming a deserved 76-67 win and the NBL U14 Championship title.
Our U14s will now turn their attention to their International campaign in preparing for the EYBL Superfinals taking place in Valmiera, Latvia 18-20th May competing against the top U14 club teams in Europe.