Ipswich’s play-offs dreams ended with big defeat at Pioneers

Veron Eze led Ipswich with 20 points at London Greenhouse Pioneers. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Veron Eze led Ipswich with 20 points at London Greenhouse Pioneers. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

NBL Division Two London Greenhouse Pioneers 100 Ipswich 67 Ipswich’s bid to make the Division Two play-offs was ended on Sunday after London Pioneers put together a phenomenal third quarter at CitySport in London.

Ipswich guard Rabi Rai. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ipswich guard Rabi Rai. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

The defeat leaves Ipswich at the foot of the table with one game to play, but John Ellis’ side continue to control their own destiny ahead of a trip to fellow strugglers London Westside Warriors next weekend.

Having matched the Pioneers score-for-score in the first quarter, Ipswich fell behind in six minutes through the second quarter, and trailed by 13 by the time the half-time buzzer sounded.

Veron Eze had 12 of his team-high 20 points before the break but the rest of the Suffolk side struggled to find any offensive rhythm early on.

A strong run from the hosts in the third quarter saw them outscore Ipswich by 16, padding the lead to 29 at the end of three quarters. Theo Deleligne and Teni Mango combined for 19 points in the quarter, bettering Ipswich’s 16.

Deleligne was outstanding from three-point range throughout, finishing 5-7 from long range, and the Pioneers’ 14 made threes was a significant factor in their margin of victory.

Eze finished with 20 for Ipswich, while Jed Robinson and Rabi Rai contributed 11 apiece.

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The only other Ipswich team in action this weekend were the Under-12 Girls, who romped to victory over Suffolk rivals County Upper Wolves to finish undefeated in the South-East Development League and book a play-off berth for next month’s semi-finals.

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