Ipswich Basketball Club enjoy weekend double over Mansfield Giants and London United
- Credit: Archant
English Basketball League Division Two Ipswich Basketball 85 Mansfield Giants 75 London United 57 Ipswich Basketball 65 With two league games left to play Ipswich now hold their destiny in their own hands.
Brixton’s loss on Sunday, combined with a shock loss away to Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows on Saturday means that Ipswich now sit in third place in the league.
However, with away games still to play at Loughborough (5th) and Brixton (4th) the Suffolk side could still finish as low at fifth place and face a tricky away game in the playoffs first round, almost certainly at Loughborough.
A fourth place finish would see the team still face the university team but at Copleston, the intimidating home of Ipswich Basketball.
A third place finish could see them play either Eastside, Worcester or Killamarsh.
Ipswich have put themselves in this position with three wins in seven days. The streak is particularly impressive as captain Tom Sadler had to sit this weekend’s double header out after a nasty injury in the warm up of Saturday’s encounter with Mansfield.
Fortunately, 7-footer Leigh Greenan has been playing some of the best basketball of his career recently, highlighted by his 23 points and 22 rebounds on Sunday in Surrey.
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Ipswich faced bottom of the table Mansfield Giants on Saturday and they knew that nothing less that a win was acceptable. Despite the absence of Sadler the team put together one of their most efficient halves of basketball of the season. The ball movement, the aggressive defence, the teamwork and energy were all back to the team’s best standards.
At one point in the second half the lead was as close at six points but a Dylan Costelloe ‘and one’ followed by a three pointer by the Irishman combined with a couple of monstrous Greenan dunks sealed the deal for the home side.
On Sunday, again without Sadler, the team faced London United in an early tip-off. With the game starting at noon this meant two games in less than 24 hours for the team.
After a slow start Ipswich seized control of the game and although the lead was never massive, the result was never in doubt. Greenan would again be the game’s dominant force, but Ipswich also had excellent performances from Isaac Omirin and Colin Dockrell, who stepped up to the challenge of filling Sadler’s starting spot with his usual energy and enthusiasm.
Head coach Nick Drane said: “Leigh is obviously playing at a very high level at the moment, but the whole team is responsible for that, not just the big fella.
“I thought all the guys did a great job across the two games. Colin really stepped up, Isaac has been excellent in the last three games coming off the bench and Dylan Costelloe has given the team a new dimension.
“This is why I hate singling people out though, I can’t stop at just mentioning one or two names.
“Aaron Moseley is doing a great job, Josh Johnson stepped into the captain’s role well, Sam Newman and Luke Muscall-Wright were again solid and the guys on the bench, Dapo Costa and JB are great role models to those young kids – they are two guys that are probably so frustrated at their lack of playing time, but they never complain and are always there on the bench cheering the guys on, which demonstrates what a great group we have here.”
Ipswich now have a weekend off before they travel to Loughborough on March 22 knowing that a win guarantees a home court draw in the playoffs.
Regardless of their result against Loughborough, a win on March 30 against Brixton will see Ipswich finish in third place in the league, as they currently have the same record as the Topcats, with both teams still to play two games.