Barking Abbey vs Derby College/Noel Baker School

Barking Abbey advanced to the EABL Final Four with a 97-71 win over Derby College/Noel Baker School on Wednesday afternoon at BA.

The short-handed Derby side put up a strong fight but ultimately were unable to overcome Barking Abbey’s depth and pressure down the stretch.

With only eight healthy players, Derby’s fortunes went from bad to worse after fouling out a player in the fourth, and BA took advantage to pull out a 26 point winning margin.

EABL leading scorer Amin Adamu led a BA balanced scoring effort with 17 points, whilst Dan Akin had 15, Sean Nealon-Lino 14, and RJ Eytle-Rock 11.

Adria Amabilino-Perez had an impressive outing for the visiting side, finishing up with a game-high 25, 11 of which came in the third quarter as he single-handedly kept Derby in it.

Callum Singleton had 16 and made his mark in the first quarter, whilst Brian Amabilino-Perez and Martin Manchev added 15 a piece, with the latter converting all his points from beyond the arc. Derby shot the lights out in the first half in particular, going 7 of 11 from deep.

“First and foremost I’m delighted to win and advance in the playoffs,” said BA Head Coach Lloyd Gardner.

“We knew coming in Derby are a difficult team, they’ve got good players, are well coached, players getting real Division 1 experience, getting a lot of minutes and playing big roles. They shot it really well in the first half, the reality is, we did well to lead going into the half with the way they shot it in the first twenty minutes.

“I thought we played with good energy, we wore them down a bit late and that helped us push the score out a little bit more. Overall I was pleased with most things we did, we’re going to have to play better as the competition gets tougher and tougher but it’s a good win for us in the first round of the playoffs.”

Despite BA leading for the majority of the contest, they were unable to really break free until a 4-0 run to open the fourth quarter, punctuated by a huge Jubrile Belo dunk, gave them their first 20 point cushion of the game.

From there, they continued to pull away, as Derby rotated players regularly. A Sean Nealon-Lino three, his fourth of the game, with 5:32 left gave BA a 21 point lead and forced Derby into a timeout, from which point the result was determined.

BA, who are looking to reclaim the title they won in 2014, have now set up a semi-final match up with Myerscough at home next week, where they will seek revenge after being knocked out in 2015 in the quarter-final stages at the hands of the school from Lancashire.

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