Newham Youngbloods Lions travelled a short distance over to the University of East London SportDock, the home of Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) as their Under 16 Boys faced off against their local Rivals in an eagerly awaited matchup between the two.
Youngbloods brought the noise early on as they rallied into an early lead from the opening tip-off. Orestas Vasilauskas scoring the first two points of the game, quickly doubled from a Laja Ogidan drive to the basket. Franklin Agu hustled the ball on defence and went on the offensive as he scored both his free throws following his foul as his attacked the basket. Vasiliauskas capped off an 11-0 scoring run with a three-point shot forcing NASSA coach to take a timeout. Youngbloods continued their energetic start of the game following the timeout taken by the opposition as Captain Richmond Ariyo attacked the basket strong. Agu worked hard down low and again forced NASSA to foul converting 1 from 2 from the charity stripe. Vasilauskas, Ariyo and Ogidan continued to battle and brought the opening scoring run to 24 unanswered points in the first seven minutes of play. NASSA eventually scored as Alex Distras scored soon after to prevent a meaningful run. End of the first quarter ended with Youngbloods In the lead 12-29.
Distras began the 2nd stanza as he finished the first draining a three-point shot from deep beyond the arc, draining again soon after. Alejandro Diaz-Pulgarin came into the game and had an immediate impact scoring after a great hustle play. Diaz-Pulgarin and Distras combined for the next 7 points as NASSA continue to struggle with the onslaught. NASSA hit a three to bring the game back to within 20 points but Under 14 Joshua Morgan hit back immediately with a trey ball of his own to restore the gaps to 23. Ogidan and Teon Boente-Edwards battled hard on the glass and were both rewarded, as above Boente-Edwards scored and was fouled to end the 1st half action 26-48.
Ariyo led by example to begging the third along with Agu as Ariyo slammed the ball home to keep momentum with visiting side. Gustas Skorobogatovas’ introduction to play, led to an immediate impact on the offensive end as he attacked the basket strong, scored and was fouled in transition and completing the three-point play from the free throw line. NASSA’s Hadrian Basilio was not giving up as he nailed 3 from downtown this quarter but a Marka Sy score from inside the paint along with a Skorobogatovas three ball keeping the game margin at 27 points. Dalton Bally got the last attack to the basket after a nice post move with Diaz-Pulgarin closing third quarter proceedings from the free throw line. Youngbloods maintaining their 22 point lead 48-70.
Orestas hit a three-ball in the first minute of the final quarter and after a great defensive stop from Titus Warari leading to an easy score on the other end as Youngbloods Lions quickly brought their lead to a 30 point difference. Agu, Sy and Boente-Edwards keeps defensively strong whilst providing a balanced attack. Titus Warari closed out the game for visions side as hit his own three from the corner as the Visitors romped the victory 58-89.
“We had an unbelievable start today, the high intensity was key to our performance and the desire to win this battle of two good local teams. We executed down the stretch offensively as a team, and that is always crucial in this division and when travelling away” said U16 Boys Head Coach Aaron Senior