With Coach Stephen Onireti coaching in U18s Head Coach Vince MacCauley’s absence as he prepared to coach the London Lions for the first time since his reappointment, the Acers team that has had very little training with some boys suffering illness to Brixton to face a Westside team known for their athleticism and organised style of play.
The first quarter was a cagey affair as both teams showed laps in defensive effort giving up easy baskets and open shots. Aaron and Valentiounus started well scoring 23pts between them but it was the home side who edged the quarter 31-29.
A much better defensive effort by the Lions in the second with Laja leading the line grabbing 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. But we struggled offensively missing all our shots resulting in an 18 to10 lead to Westside.
More defensive laps in the third quarter as fatigue started to show due to the Christmas break. The turn around came as Marka drove down the lane to dunk on two defenders much to the delight of the team. Time – Out by Coach Stephen resulted in a change strategy and a superb contribution by Simon and Dominykas closed the gap to within 4 heading into the last quarter.
The game plan was to be patient and move the ball around and slowly chip away their lead. This resulted in open looks and multiple defensive stops. The boys were resilient on their come back finishing with their best quarter. Final score 77-87 win.