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Coventry Crusaders 102
Sutton Pumas 95

Bupa Coventry Crusaders comfortably won their last pre-season game of the summer in a charity match at Coventry Sports Centre.

The Crusaders starting line-up was slightly different for this game, with Derrick Pope and Alvin Scott inside, Adam Stevens, Manny Sharland and Matt Collins playing outside.

The team got off to a good start, dominating in all areas and ending the first quarter with a 26-19 lead.

During the second quarter, the pattern was similar, although Sutton started pulling together better and would never let the Crusaders take the game away.

New Crusaders signing Matt Collins led the way in scoring at half time with 14 points already on the scoreboard, hitting a three point shot just before the break, and giving the Crusaders a lead at half time 48-45.

In the third and fourth quarters the Crusaders continued to hang onto their poise, but the game became much closer and Sutton occasionally took the lead for short periods of time.

Quantell Donnigan, Sutton’s new American point guard, did a lot of damage with his shooting and passing skills, and set up team-mates Andy Powlesland and Ebong Eka in scoring positions.

Doing the job inside, as usual, for the Crusaders, was Pope, an unstoppable force under the basket.

With the speed and agility of Manny Sharland, Adam Stevens and former Leicester Riders player, Dominic Davis, the Sutton Pumas left the back court undefended too many times, and the Crusaders came out on top.

Alvin Scott did a good job for the team as well, pulling down critical rebounds and scoring from just inside the key where he is most effective.

There were six players in double figures for Bupa Crusaders - a fact not missed by Head Coach Dip Donaldson.

He said:

“I was pleased with the overall performances I saw during the game. It is great to have so much balance among the players’ abilities, with outside shooting and a powerful game inside.

“It wasn’t the same type of game we played against Quinnipiac University - of course we aren’t going to see a team like that again this season.

“But it showed me a lot about what individuals are capable of and how they can be effective. It was a great practise game, and we will use this coming week to make final preparations for next Saturday’s first game of the new season.”

Crusaders will be playing Inter Basket London (formerly known as Islington) on 9 September at the Coventry Sports Centre - tip off 7.30 pm.

All tickets £4. For more information call 024 76 811 759.

Bupa Crusaders scorers: Pope 24, Collins 22, Stevens 17, Sharland 15, Davis 14

Sutton Pumas: Powlesland 27, Donnigan 23, Eka 18, Jones 13, Hopper 10, Lawes 4
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CWN / Sport / Basketball / Coventry Crusaders / 4 Sep 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM