Ipswich pay the price for sloppy start in the Capital

Veron Eze with the ball Photo: NICK WINTER

Veron Eze with the ball Photo: NICK WINTER - Credit: Archant

East London 79 Ipswich Basketball 70

Veron Eze with the ball Photo: NICK WINTER

Veron Eze with the ball Photo: NICK WINTER - Credit: Archant

Ipswich put together multiple fourth quarter rallies but were unable to complete a comeback victory at East London All Stars on Sunday evening.

Having won three straight cup games to begin the season, the Suffolk side now find themselves with two defeats from two games in NBL Division II.

A loose start to the game allowed the hosts to find their feet early on, although Ipswich’s Colin Dockrell was effective in drawing American centre Glouvakis into foul trouble in the first quarter.

Ipswich lacked their customary offensive rhythm in the early stages and the All Stars set the pattern for the game by seizing multiple offensive rebounds to fuel their drive-and-kick offense.

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Down seven after the first quarter, Ipswich had a slow start to the second as the hosts eased the lead out to double digits.

Following a three from Ethan Price and consecutive strong defensive possessions, however, Ipswich closed the gap back ten by half-time.

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John Ellis’ men upped their game in the second half, as the returning Eivydas Aleksa scored nine of his team-high 21 points in the third quarter to lead Ipswich back into the game.

Ipswich held East London scoreless for four minutes across the third and fourth quarters, before the hosts put a quick run together behind the talented Johnathan James to stretch the lead out to twelve once more.

Dockrell, Veron Eze and Cameron Hawes all hit shots as Ipswich clawed their way back to five down with two minutes to play, but the hosts wee able to seal the game at the free throw line.

Ellis was pleased with his team’s spirit in the second half but highlighted that there are still many areas to improve upon.

“We got punished for another sloppy start today and from there we struggled to make our way back into the game,” he said.

“Marvin Isebor and Blake Read brought great energy off the bench but we need to get a few more of our senior squad back to fitness soon.

“We won’t win many games playing defense and boxing out like we did in the first half. That’s frustrating after a promising preseason.”

Ipswich have a third straight away game next weekend as they travel to Derbyshire Arrows for the second time this autumn, having already beaten the Arrows in the Patrons’ Cup.

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