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Coventry Crusaders 81
Inter Basket London 92

A rather flat Coventry Bupa Crusaders lost their second consecutive encounter with Inter-Basket in the National Trophy competition.

This means they will have to beat Kingston twice in order to progress to the next round of the tournament.

Crusaders started out scoring extremely well in the first quarter, were a step slow defensively, allowing Inter Basket to drive relentlessly into the heart of the Crusaders defensive zone.

Derrick Pope had 17 points by half time and the score was tied up 46 apiece.

Coach Dip Donaldson said:

"I thought we did well executing the ball to our big front line - Derrick, Alvin Scott and Adam Stevens, but I thought it was poor effort on our part, allowing Inter-Basket to score 46 points by half time - a definite defensive lapse on our part.”

Inter-Basket came out in the third quarter and gave the Crusaders a good old basketball whipping, showing their determination, penetration and execution and generally outscoring the Crusader 34-19.

All the Crusaders starters were then benched by Donaldson as he made a wholesale change to show his disappointment.

The bench players came into the game ready to prove a point to the coach, and showed what hard work and determination can produce. Dom Davis (15 points) and Colin Rhooms (12 points) led the way.

But despite their hustle and efforts Crusaders continued to lag, by as much as 23 points at one stage of the quarter.

At the start of the fourth quarter Inter-Basket were held to just two points in a six-minute rampage by Crusaders.

The supporters and coaching staff were finally shown what kind of heart and determination the Bupa Crusaders should be playing with.

Given the chance to be back on court again, the starters re-established their authority on the floor, although winning from that much of a deficit was always going to be a very difficult task.

Donaldson said:

"Giving up 90 points is definitely a direct example of how bad our defence was tonight. Defensively we were very flat, and our ball movement on offence was poor. We will be working on both of those aspects in training this week.

“Dominic and Colin poured their hearts into their game and showed me a lot. We did achieve some of our goals.

“We shut Rodney Alexander down to just 4 points. Redd, on the other hand was given much too much freedom and outdid himself with 25 points. 

“Our next challenge is to finish second in our National Trophy pool. We will have to beat Kingston twice in order to finish second. 

“In league play we are undefeated so far, but next weekend we will come face to face with the only other team in the Conference who is unbeaten, so we have our work cut out for us this week as we prepare to play away to Sutton.”

Scorers for Crusaders: Pope 19, Davis 15, Stevens 14, Rhooms 12, Collins 10, Sharland 6, Scott 3, Girbal 2

Scorers for Inter Basket: Redd 25, Smart 16, Durant 14, Batimba 10, Bailey 9, McCarthy 6, Alexander 4, Olufeso 4, Ebanja 3, Lettieri 1

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CWN / Sport / Basketball / Coventry Crusaders / 16 Oct 00
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