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Inter Basket London (40) 95
Coventry Crusaders (55) 103

Team spirit and another high-voltage performance from Matt Collins earned the Crusaders an excellent away victory.

The Bupa Crusaders travelled down to Inter-Basket London with the moral support of injured player Colin Rhooms, who joined the team on the road to provide encouragement.

Coach Dip Donaldson said:

“For Rhooms to joins us on the road after having his plaster removed on Thursday, was a bonus to us.

“We sure missed his contribution the week before, but to have him around the team during the game was a positive sign of team spirit.”

Better defence and reducing the number of turnovers provided the key to the Crusaders’ success as they moved to ten points.

They are now fourth in the NBL table, but equal on points with Worthing Thunder and Teesside Mohawks.

Donaldson said;

“I knew this team would come back to prove a point to ourselves and to cup finalists Inter-Basket that we are a good team and one that will be competing for honours at the end of the season.

 “I felt going down to London, that our teams was focused and ready to finish the first half of the season on a high.

“We moved the ball well, making the extra pass and finding the open man nearly every time. It was a great team effort.”

The team started with a bang, with captain Derrick Pope hitting three big 3 pointers in the first quarter and ending the quarter leading all scorers with 13 points.

His shooting set the stage to what was to come - a brilliant game for the spectators. By half time Pope had scored 16 points, matching totals with home team favourite Rodney Alexander, but the Crusaders led by 15 points at the break.

In the second and third quarters Marvin Harrison went to work, playing an all-round solid game and ending with 24 points.

He also had great support from Eduard Girbal with 12, Alvin Scott with 8 and the “super subs”, Dominic Davis and Marvin Livingston with 6 and 5 points respectively.

However, the end of the third quarter and the whole of the fourth quarter belonged to Matt Collins.

His team mates executed the plays he set up to perfection and he responded with three 3 pointers which broke the back of Inter-Basket. Collins was on fire, and showed why he is one of the best English guards in the country.

In his last four games he has scored 25, 20, 30 and 29 points, and Donaldons thinks he should be a candidate for the England team. He said:

“I hope the England Coach is taking notes on Collins and the way he can play the game.

“If he keeps up this pace I will be calling the national team coach personally and referring Collins as a great candidate for international competition.  He deserves a shot at that level.  I know - I used to play and coach at that level.”

Crusaders scorers: Livingston 5, Davis 6, Scott 8, Girbal 12, D Pope 20, Harrison 23, Collins 29.

Inter-Basket scorers: McCarthy 2, Ebanja 4, Olufeso 5, Batima 13, Lettieri 13, Durant 15, Smart 18, Alexander 22.

Coventry Quality Cats suffered another hammering, going down 53-90 to Spelthorne in NBL Women Division One. They still only have one win in the league this season.

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CWN / Sport / Basketball / Coventry Crusaders / 18 Dec 00
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