Manchester Magic Academy vs Derby Trailblazers Academy

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 uptempo 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 manged 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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