April 7, 2014 — Newham All Star Sports Academy’s (NASSA) Under-13s basketball team have been crowned national champions for the third year in succession.
They won the 2014 England Basketball National Final Fours competition at the Worcester Arena on Saturday, beating Leicester Warriors 117-62 in the final. Read more here.
The victory marked a third consecutive triumph in that age group for NASSA captain Enoch Denkyirah who first played for the Under-13s side when he was just 10.
Led by coach Chris Facey and assistant coach Aurimas Verbukas, the NASSA team — Division South II winners during the regular season, made a quick start against Midlands winners Leicester. They raced out to a 26-17 first quarter lead before extending it to a 57-43 half-time advantage.
The two sides had never previously faced each other but it was in the third quarter that NASSA’s high-powered offense and pressing defence took the game away from their opponents with particularly strong play from MVP Emmanuel Obeng-Amponsan and Enoch Denkyirah. NASSA outscored Leicester 33-9 in the third quarter giving them an unassailable 90-52 lead entering the fourth.
They cruised to victory with Dylan Darbin, Hadrian Basilio, Elliot Quail, Teresa Da Silva and Tyreese Garrod also prominent.
Earlier in the day, NASSA’s semi-final against Bradford Dragons had begun tightly before good work from Normanas Custovas, Tautvydas Mieliauskas, Caleb Garcia, Tim Colie and Jonathan Fakile turned a slender 15-14 first quarter advantage into an eventual 94-59 victory.