Perfect Barking Abbey claim EABL title
PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 March 2017
Barking Abbey 82 Charnwood 65
Barking Abbey completed a perfect season after defeating Charnwood in Leicester to reclaim the EABL Championship title they won in 2014.
Dan Akin put in a dominant performance with 28 points, on 13-of-15 shooting, whilst adding 14 rebounds, two assists and two steals on his way to claiming the MVP award.
And Abbey finished the regular season with a 14-0 record, before completing another three wins to claim the silverware,
“It’s great. We worked the whole season to get this,” said Akin.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win a Championship so it’s great to get this. Charnwood didn’t come out too strong, we expected a much better match-up, but we were the better team on the day.”
Head coach Lloyd Gardner was elated with the win, adding: “I’m really proud of the guys. The effort they’ve put in this season, the coaching staff as well. Myself and James (Vear) are here – but all the guys not here are all grafting behind the scenes and might not be seen.
“I’m really proud of the performance as well. I thought it was a difficult place to come and play. We’ve had a difficult schedule of late, we responded absolutely brilliantly and I’m really proud of the performance as well as the victory.”
And on the perfect season, he added: “I didn’t even think about it, to be honest. Coming in it wasn’t about the undefeated, it was about winning.
“Being undefeated doesn’t mean a lot, unless you win the final game. That’s the only thing that matters.”
Amin Adamu had 14 and RJ Eytle-Rock added 13 points for Abbey, whilst Charnwood were led by 21 points from Sesan Russell and 16 and 10 rebounds from Henri Lanton.
It was Charnwood who struck first to take an early lead, but a 6-0 Abbey run, punctuated by a huge dunk from Akin, saw themregain control and from there they never allowed Charnwood back into the game.
Holding a 20-11 lead after the opening quarter, Abbey opened the second period with an 8-0 run and it wasn’t long before the deficit was 20.
Half-time saw Abbey lead 44-25, as Akin already had 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting, whilst Sesan Russell was doing all he could to keep his side in the game.
However, it would not be enough as Abbey never let up and cruised in the second half to become the only time two-time EABL champions.
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