Academy Update 1

  Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wednesday saw Nottingham Academy make the journey up to the North West to face Manchester Mystics Academy at the Manchester Basketball Centre, in a game that saw the hosts level up their record at 1-1 as they triumphed 60-31.

Manchester set their stall out for the game right from tip-off, with Remi Idowu featuring prominently in their suffocating defence to force errors by their guests, and turning them into transition opportunities on the other end to the tune of an 18-5 lead at the quarter break. This would be the theme for much of the first half even as as relatively inexperienced Nottingham side battled gamely and generated a number of offensive rebounds. The sides would head into half time separated by a 34-13 scoreline.

Lina Asobirionwu would dominate the third quarter, as Mystics maintained the pace of the first half, ensuring they took a sizeable lead into the final period, where they would use the clock to kill off the contest.

Manchester Coach Mbongeni Mpofu commented after the game, “That was a monkey we needed to get off our backs, after we turned in a frankly quite poor showing last time out. That result hurt, and credit to the girls, they responded in the way they needed to today. The key for us all now is to hold each other accountable to the standards we require to reach our potential, and today was a step in the right direction in that respect.”

Manchester were led in scoring by Lina Asobirionwu (18), Chloe Andrew (14) and Remi Idowu (10), whilst Shanaya Rose (9), Fola Obuniawon (8) and Jasmine Hiculing (6) paced Nottingham.

Mystics will have a short break before they face Charnwood in the next round of fixtures.


On Wednesday afternoon, Derby Trailblazers Academy travelled up to the North West to take on the Manchester Magic Academy. After a close game, it would be the Magic who would take the contest, 72-68.

The game would start just as tight as it ended, with both teams opening the day with quick shots from beyond the arc; it was looking to be an up-tempo affair throughout. The Magic had settled well and took the first period 19-12.

The second quarter was dominated by the visitors behind an impressive eight points from Derby’s Blake Bowman who would finish the game with a joint game-high 20 points. Taking the second quarter 24-10, Derby took a 36-29 lead into the half-time break.

The second half would go back-and-forth, with the two sides trading baskets, resulting in the Magic only cutting into the lead by two points, still down by five heading into the final quarter.

The fourth saw a spirited fight back from the home side, scoring eight points unanswered to kick off the final quarter. Derby managed to claw their lead back by forcing the Manchester side into turnovers in the last two minutes. The away team found themselves up by a single point heading into the dying moments of the contest, but it would be the Magic that executed down the stretch behind some clutch free throw shooting from Noah Tchifounga as they took a 72-68 victory.

Magic Coach Peter Paraskeva commented after the game, “This win is massive for us, as Derby are always well coached and play the game in the right way. We are in a rebuilding year with predominantly Under 17 players; they took a big step today to start their understanding of closing out games and making good choices down the stretch.”

Manchester were led by Malachi Boakye-Yiadom (20), Dan Gargan (18) and Saul May (16), while Derby were led by Blake Bowman (20), Luke Ptak (20) and Tyler Mutemasango (10).

Next week is a rare week off in the EABL schedule, as teams take breather for half-term, with Derby travelling to SGS College and the Magic making the trip to Newcastle for the next round on 7 November.




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