New-look Ipswich continue good run with 86-85 win over East London All Stars
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Basketball Club recorded a huge win on the road on Saturday as they took down East London All Stars (ELAS) by a single point at the University of East London.
Since Ipswich coach Nick Drane essentially re-invented the team mid-way through the season, the team has won three straight games and is now playing some of the best basketball the team has ever played.
The shift in style of play has been forced upon the Suffolk side, with star player Leigh Greenan ruled out for the season after knee surgery.
However, the loss of Greenan seemed to spark captain Tom Sadler into life as the 33 year old, who often plays a supporting role to Greenan, has taken on the reins as the team’s primary offensive weapon – averaging over 21 points per game.
It is also the addition of Portuguese point guard Eddie Ferreira that has changed the team’s fortunes.
Ferreira, who moved to Ipswich at Christmas, has brought a level of savvy and experience to the team that they have never had at the guard position before.
The former Benfica player has combined with Sadler and 20-year-old Sam Newman to develop a lethal trio.
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It was the combination of Newman and Sadler that led the way for Ipswich on Saturday as they connected on 50 of the team’s 86 points between them, with Sadler racking up 29 and Newman – the team’s leading scorer at 18 points per game – adding an impressive 21.
Ferreira was in a generous mood, distributing the ball at a masterful level, collecting 14 assists to go with eight rebounds while elsewhere Tyme Regent-Bascombe added a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Ferreira is not the only Portuguese star on this team as his cousin, Daniel Caluico recently moved to Ipswich and joined the team.
Also a former pro in Portugal, Caluico has brought a level of toughness and defensive quality to the team, and in the absence of Greenan, has become an essential starter for the new look Ipswich team.
Through four games Caluico is giving the team seven points and nine rebounds.
On Saturday Ipswich followed their fantastic win against Nottingham Hoods with three quarters of equally high level basketball – only to allow ELAS back into the game in the final period.
Going into the fourth Ipswich held a 13-point advantage, which was still nine with a minute to play.
However, a 12-3 run, led by former Ipswich player Taner Adu, saw the All-Stars get within one as the buzzer sounded.
Drane said: “This was one of the strangest ends to a game I’ve been involved in.
“Loughborough and Solent have both lost here, and they are the two best teams in the league so this was a massive win for us and shows just how far we have come.
“I’m delighted with this win and I think it puts us in a good position to creep towards a better seeding in the play-offs.”