During the mid-season break, the NEBC Titans U14 boys travelled to London to compete in the second annual ‘Battle in the Capital’ international basketball tournament which featured high-level under-14 and under-16 teams from Europe and the UK.
The tournament took place at UEL SportsDock, a state of the art basketball facility which hosted the Team USA practices in their run up to the London 2012 Olympic games.
There were 12 teams in the U14 boys competition.
The first of the group games was against one of the international teams, Amon Jeugd Gentson from Belgium and the young Titans made a great start, looking impressive against their well-organised opponents to record a 46-27 victory.
Their second opponents were Sussex Bears, who are currently top of the South Premier U14 league.
Titans managed to establish a 10-point lead, but then missed a series of relatively straight-forward shot attempts which allowed the Bears back in to the game.
After what was a thrilling encounter, it was the Bears on the right end of the 48-40 scoreline.
The final group game was against the East Region representative team – a team that had come second in Basketball England’s Inter-Region tournament in their U13 season.
Titans competed well but the East had a bit too much strength in depth and deserved their 54-37 win.
At the end of the group stage, Titans finished third out of four but were the best of the third-placed teams and, therefore, went on compete for the fifth to eighth positions.
In the first knockout game, Titans faced the Scottish powerhouse, Falkirk Fury, a club that has produced over 70 Scottish internationals.
Once again, the young Titans were not fazed by the quality of the opposition and raced to a 6-0 lead and impressive team play with contributions from all of the players gave them a 40-30 victory and a shot at finishing fifth.
Their final game was against familiar opposition, Sussex Bears, who they’d lost to during the group phase.
It proved to be a thrilling match with the Bears taking a 10-point lead before Titans mounted a comeback with a series of fast-breaks bringing them back to within one point.
With seconds to go, Titans were fouled on the way to the basket which gave them a free throw to win the game. However, the attempt was unsuccessful.
There wasn’t enough time left after that and Titans had to settle for sixth place overall as the Bears edged it 40-39.
The players who represented Titans were Callum Slee, Aiden Kabi, Aldo Memoli, Harry Mitchell, Isaac Round, Harry Holt, Callum Martin, Josh Broomhead, Timmie Olubisi and Ethan Round.