One of the most exciting parts of spectating is watching the young players showcase their talents in the Central Hoops Basketball League. Youngbloods were to face last year’s playoff winners in Sussex Bears who are known for their excellent coaching and array of talent coming out of their region. Last season saw the two sides face off in what was the most exciting encounter of the season. It was the bears that came out victorious winning in the last few seconds of the game.
It was a great start from Youngbloods who were excellent on defence and executed well on offence. Kyle Espiritu led the way with strong baskets closely followed by Tami Elegbe who showed aggression early on scoring back-to-back baskets to lead 19-12 at the quarter.
Sussex would mount a fight back as they showed their resilience and ability to finish well under the basket. Both teams were brilliant and were well coached but it was Youngbloods who ended the half with 26-23 ahead.
The third quarter would see Youngbloods get into early foul trouble resulting Sussex gaining the lead and looking the likely victors. A change in strategy was needed with Elegbe and Jayden Beldie getting easy baskets to level the score 40-40 going into the 4th.
Bears started the better scoring 4 unanswered points but Espiritu took matters into his own hand scoring all 12 points in the last quarter to secure the win for Youngbloods 52-50.
“Great performance by our boys, they showed perseverance and determinations to close the game. An excellent individual performance coupled with good team defence was the difference” said Coach Stephen Onireti