John Madejski Academy vs City of London Academy

John Madejski Academy won a titanic battle on Wednesday afternoon after coming back from an 11 point deficit early in the second quarter to record a hard fought victory by 60 points to 56 over rivals City of London Academy.

Point guard Bikram Rana once again led the home team with 16 points personal as JMA avenged their four point defeat in London to move to six wins and four losses.

JMA Head Coach Pedro Garcia Rosado was impressed with both teams and felt it was a great advert for the EABL and was clearly delighted his team managed to hang on for victory. He said:

“We knew this was a game we needed to win and indeed we knew we had a chance to having only lost by four points away from home. In our post game review of Barking, we had some great conversation and feedback so I knew the players were going to be ready and fight for everything.

“Despite starting the game a little slow, we defended really well in the second and fourth quarters and I believe that was a big contribution to us winning the game.

“I am very proud of my players but competing and beating high quality teams such as CoLA is only the first step as we have two games against Itchen coming up which are really key to our play-off chances. We will review this game and then get ready for that next week but we have good feelings today.”

The first 8 minutes of the game were an intense but tight affair and showed what was to follow in the remaining 30 minutes of the game. However, it was the away team who finished the final minute and a half of the first quarter with an 8-0 run giving them an advantage of 20-11 after the first ten minutes. CoLA extended that lead to 11 at the beginning of the second quarter but an incredible 20-0 run put JMA back in control of still a tight game as they headed into the half time break 33-28 ahead, holding their opponents to eight points.

The third quarter was much closer as both teams looked to seize control of the game but neither were able to do so, despite CoLA’s Gedi Juozapaitis hitting back to back three’s. His team did however edge the third period 16-14 to set up a tense final ten minutes of play with the score at 47-44 to JMA.

With the score at 49-48 in the opening two minutes, JMA would once again look to break the game open and indeed they did just that with a 10-0 giving them a 59-48 advantage with two and half minutes left to play. But CoLA were not done yet as a bucket from Solomon Iluyomade and big back to back three’s from Mayowa Mohammed put the visitors within three at 59-56. JMA managed to run the clock down after a timeout and their leading scorer in the game made one from two from the foul line to give his team a memorable victory by 60 points to 56.

Behind Bikram Rana’s 16 points for JMA was Ibu Jassey Demba with 15 and Fidel Gomez de Enterria Lopez with 12.

CoLA’s Gedi Juozapaitis led all scorers in the game with 18 points personal with Thai Segwai-Lodge scoring 9 and Solomon Iluyomade and Mayowa Mohammed with 8 a piece.

JMA are back in action next week on Thursday 9th February when they host Itchen College whilst CoLA host unbeaten side and league leaders Barking Abbey after the half term break on Wednesday 22nd February.

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