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Barking Abbey basketball tour ‘sets tone’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 September 2015

Barking Abbey's basketball squads face the camera in Madrid

Barking Abbey's basketball squads face the camera in Madrid

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Gardner hails two-week trip to Madrid

Barking Abbey Basketball’s director of operations Lloyd Gardner hailed their pre-season tour of Madrid, saying it has ‘set the tone’ for the new campaign.

Abbey spent two weeks in Spain on the Erasmus+ funded trip to Madrid, where students were able to live like professional athletes, gaining exposure to professional teams with the aim of increasing their ability to be employed in a foreign country in the future.

“The trip was a great way to set the tone for the rest of our season,” said Gardner.

“Both the experience on and off the court, and the bonding time the players got has really benefited the players and our programme.

“To compete with some of the best junior teams in Europe was a good measuring stick for where we are at, and hopefully we can continue to build on that as the season goes on.”

The Abbey players had two practices per day and conditioning work, while also experiencing cultural aspects of Madrid, getting to grips with the language and visiting the Palacio Real de Madrid and the Real Jardin de Botanico.

The girls team got the chance to watch a Liga Feminina game featuring former BA student-athlete Jamila Thompson, while the whole squad also got to watch ACB side Fuenlabrada practice.

Both teams played three games each on the trip, with the boys getting an impressive win over Estudiantes, losing by six to local men’s team Pinto, before a close defeat to powerhouse Real Madrid.

The girls also took on Estudiantes, suffering a close loss, then blew out Pinto before defeating Veritas Basket by one to round off the experience.

Barking Abbey’s men begin their Division Three South season with a home derby against Barking & Dagenham Thunder on October 3 (4pm).

And the women start their WBBL campaign against Leicester Riders at Barking Abbey Leisure Centre two weeks later (October 17, 4.30pm).

n Barking Abbey’s Savannah Wilkinson and Abigail Lowe have been named in the England under-18 women’s basketball team following a regional development tournament.

Basketball England announced the initial squads for the under-18s as well as the under-17 women’s New Horizons National Development Programme.

“I was delighted to see the talent on display at this year’s Regional Development Tournament,” said Basketball England’s performance coach co-ordinator Nick Ibberson.

“The standard continues to rise and the new format provided several close and exciting games in which the players, were able to showcase their talents. One or two new names appear in the under-18 squad having appeared at an RDT for the first time.”


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