ABL Finals Recap & Quotes

Haringey defeated St.Charles in the ABL Final, emerging late in the game for 107-90 victory after a tightly contested initial three quarters.

Eastern Conference MVP and Defensive Player of the Year winner, Franklin Agu kicked things off with some explosive play in the first quarter, showing off his strength and size against St.Charles. Haringey used high pick and rolls very effectively in the initial stages, jumping out to an early lead through some great inside scoring from 6’7 forward Ndwedo Newbury who was terrific throughout. However, St.Charles were quick to respond as they crashed the offensive glass to keep things close. A strong and-one finish from Agu and a quick 3 pointer from St. Charles’ Taariq Powell, ended the quarter 29 – 27.

Agu started the second as he did the first, whilst showing fans and spectators flashes of his future star potential and helping Haringey to establish a small lead. However, a couple of turnovers and a great reverse lay-up from St. Charles’s Josh Akinbiyi, drew the scores back level once again. The rest of the half was then a back and fourth affair, highlighted by a huge chase down block from St Charles’ Abiodoun Adedo, leaving both teams tied at 50 – 50 at the half.

“Its a great feeling,” said Finals MVP, Franklin Agu on receiving his award. “I feel like I worked hard for it today”

St.Charles’s Sheyi Agbaje energised the bench to start the second half with a huge two-hand dunk. However, the game maintained it’s see-saw nature, with both teams trading baskets to keep the score close. Haringey began to turn the corner with some impressive shooting from Guard Owen Young on his way to 6/9 performance from beyond the arc, but a buzzer beater from Adedo kept St. Charles within touching distance, trailing 75 – 73 going into the final quarter.

The 4th quarter firmly belonged to Eastern Conference Coach of the Year, Franck Batimba’s side and broke open an otherwise even Final. After tying the score up at 76 – 76, St. Charles had no answer as Haringey’s strength and size wore down the Southern Conference Champions. With Mohammed fouling out for St.Charles, Haringey seized the opportunity to build their lead, as the game slowly began to slip away from Southern Conference Coach of the Year, Patrick Avorkliyah. Defensive breakdowns saw the difference stretch to double digits with 4 minutes to go and from there, Haringey won the quarter 32-17 to seal the ABL title.

Haringey Head Coach, Franck Batimba commented on the victory saying: “It feels great. St.Charles played really well and played some hard defense which put pressure on us, but we are glad to win.”

The victory gives Haringey their first ABL title, whilst St.Charles’s Finals record now stands even at 1-1.

Haringey Top Scorers: Owen Young with 26, Ndwedo Newbury with 24 and Franklin Agu with 23.

St Charles Top Scorers: Abiodoun Adedo with 33, Josh Akinbiyi and Taariq Powell with 12 and Mohammed Mohammed with 11.

MVP: Franklin Agu with 23 points, 27 rebounds and 6 assists