John Madejski Academy vs City of London Academy

Matthew Armstrong hit a huge three with five seconds remaining in overtime to give JMA a 76-73 win on Wednesday afternoon in a dramatic game in Reading.

Teammate Iñigo Perez Baena led all scorers in the game with 24 points personal for the home team as they moved to six wins and two losses.

JMA Head Coach Alan Keane was delighted to see his team win a gruelling contest against a very hard opponent. The Irishman said:

“It was a great win for JMA Basketball Academy today against a team that is always a tough opponent to play against and I think it’s a very positive step for us.

“In terms of our performance, this always throws up great learning opportunities and none more so than in a close overtime game and we feel this was a great confidence boost for us in a match-up that was full of pressure and challenges throughout. It has really given us a chance to grow and be better but ultimately today we are delighted with a hard fought win for our group.”

It was the visiting team that started the game in fast fashion as CoLA opened up with eight unanswered points forcing JMA Coach Keane into an early timeout and his players duly responded with a 13-2 run to end the quarter ahead 13-10 thanks to six points from the games leading scorer Iñigo Perez Baena.

At the beginning of the second quarter the home team continued their positive run and midway through opened up a ten point advantage as they led 31-21 heading into the last 4 minutes of the half. But CoLA duly responded and pegged JMA back with a quick 7-4 run but it was the hosts that headed into the locker room with a seven point advantage, 35-28 at half time.

Once again CoLA re-started the game in similar fashion to the beginning and a 10-2 run gave them their first lead since the opening stages of the first quarter and it was actually the visitors that turned the game on it’s head as they went into the final quarter with a 51-48 advantage having scored 23 third quarter points.

CoLA stretched their lead to seven points in the first five minutes of the final stanza and at 61-54 looked favourites to win the game but JMA battled their way back into proceedings and an 8-2 run put them within one point heading into the final minute of regulation play. Kayleb Woldeyes then put his team up by three with 20 seconds remaining before JMA’s Adrian Nosa Castillo hit a three to tie the game at 65 with only seconds remaining meaning this hard fought battle would go to an extra five minutes.

The overtime period remained nip and tuck and in the last minute JMA put themselves three points up through that man Iñigo Perez Baena before Patrick Lanipekun tied the game with a three with 11 seconds remaining. JMA used their final timeout and with five seconds to go Matthew Armstrong remained ice cool from beyond the arc to give the home team a huge 76-73 win.

Adrian Nosa Castillo supported JMA with 14 points personal and sharp-shooter Matthew Armstrong had 13 to go with his game winner. For CoLA, Patrick Lanipekun had 22 points, Peter Turay had 15, and Kaleb Woldeyes had 14.

JMA will travel to Oaklands next Wednesday 17th January in the full resumption of the EABL whilst CoLA will be on the road again as they make the long trip to Ipswich to face Copleston High School.

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