Solent travelled 70 miles to face a resilient Newham Youngbloods side that have been undefeated since Christmas 2015. Solent had won the first encounter by 12 points earlier in the season and was looking for a repeat performance. Youngbloods have gradually progressed in the last 7 games and have steadily moved up to second place on the league table.
The early exchanges were even as both sides struggled to take a foothold on the game. Missed layups and turnover helped Solent to break the ice but that was short lived as Youngbloods kicked into gear. The charge was lead by Alejandro who has been a revelation to the team since his return, scoring back-to-back baskets and assisting Titus for a smooth 3-point shot. If defence was ever a problem in the past, well that wasn’t the case this time around as they held Solent to only 13 points in the quarter. More 3 point shooting came from Alex and Gustas helping secure the quarter 27-13.
The second Quarter started better that the first with Youngbloods going on the offensive. Franklin started proceedings with a strong finish after a well-executed play. This was closely followed by more aggressive play from Gustas and new boy Teon whom has been really impressive since he’s move to the club. At this point Youngbloods were on a high and with Solent having no answer to the intense defence forcing errors and turnovers. Nathan Mburu hit 2 back-to-back shots, this took the lead beyond the visitors ending the half 58 – 29.
Solent started the better coming off the break as their NO 99 became unstoppable. It was as if he received a sudden vote of confidence leading to an 8-0 run and forcing an early time out. Although Youngbloods traded baskets with the visitors, I must admit they were more dominant and it showed. Youngbloods had taken their foot off the pedal. The quarter ended with Alex hitting two 3 pointers from what looked like a Steph Curry-like distance to the amazement of the crowd and his coaches. However, Solent finished the better 18-20.
The final quarter started like the third with Solent going on the offensive continuing as they left off. Things stayed the same as baskets were traded but with the visitors looking to mount a comeback, Alex quickly shut that down with yet another deep 3-point shot. Rotation of players saw Youngbloods slow their tempo down and with a commanding lead Youngbloods secured yet another win 93-72.
“ A spirited performance from our boys, they showed poise and resilience. The defensive effort was brilliant. We still have room for improvement but over all a good performance” said Coach Stephen Onireti