Basketball: Win treble for Abbey men

PUBLISHED: 09:08 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:08 29 January 2018

Dwayne Orija in action for Barking Abbey partner club Kent Crusaders (pic Graham Hodges)

Dwayne Orija in action for Barking Abbey partner club Kent Crusaders (pic Graham Hodges)


Barking Abbey men had three National League wins to cheer at the weekend.

The Division One outfit had a double-header and beat Derby Trailblazers 82-79 in Barking on Saturday.

Dwayne Orija hit a huge three in the final minute to keep Derby at bay on his way to 22 points, as Tim Shodipo had 17, while Caleb Fuller and Micah Savery-Richards added 14 each.

“I thought it was a fantastic victory for us,” said head coach Lloyd Gardner.

“It really was a step up performance from the guys. Not in terms of the quality of our play, but being able to grind out a win. We were out-rebounded, short-handed on the inside, I just thought we found a way to stay in the game and be successful.

“We managed to piece it together in the fourth quarter, even when we were down seven. I was tremendously proud of that effort and it’s a huge win for us. Hopefully it’ll give us some momentum into the second half of the season.”

Crusaders followed that with a 79-76 win over recent National Cup winners Hemel Storm on Sunday.

“After the high of the win on Saturday, I thought we carried it over,” said Gardner.

“We had to change things up and be creative. The guys did an excellent job of learning, we spoke before about adjustments we could make to deal with a team that has the quality Hemel does. The guys learnt on the fly and did an excellent job of trying to piece things together that caused Hemel problems.

“I thought everyone, even with the injuries, stepped up and contributed positively.”

Orija again led from the front with 19 points, as Dean Wanliss (16) and Fuller (11) gave support.

Abbey’s Division Four men made it four wins in a row with a 78-59 victory over Folkestone Saints.

Spyros Kapsalos led Abbey with 22 points, while Thomas Sowoolu added 16.

“Folkestone are a tough team who have some players that have played at a high level,” said head coach James Vear. “Our bigs did a really good job, especially Thomas who has been steadily getting better week by week. We need a good week of practice as we play Lewisham who are always a dangerous team.”

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