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Moziah King-Danchie’s 20 leads Barking Abbey to the EABL Final 4

Number one seed Barking Abbey secured their place in the EABL final four, defeating Northern Conference fourth seed Derby Trail Blazers 76-62 in the Elite Eight.

[Credit: Abbey Nation]

Number one seed Barking Abbey secured their place in the EABL final four, defeating Northern Conference fourth seed Derby Trail Blazers 76-62 in the Elite Eight.

Barking secured the top seed with a near-perfect 11 wins and one loss, whilst Derby scraped their way into the fourth seed, finishing three points ahead of SGS College in the final standings.

The win for Barking now means they will face defending champions Charnwood College.

The opening quarter of the game saw both sides drawing punches at each other, with neither being able to create a comfortable lead,

Moziah King-Danchie for barking started the game hot, pulling up and drilling a three to give his number one seed, Barking a slender three-point lead halfway through the quarter.

Chris Yapo for Derby got the ball rolling for the fourth-seed Trail Blazers, swatting away a block and then scoring with a nice layup down the other end.

First Half

Genti Cojak and Isaac Thorpe drained long-range threes to establish a four-point cushion with three minutes remaining, but King-Danchie’s jump shot and Tomide Akinsiku’s posterizing dunk closed the quarter, leaving the scores tied at 19 at the end of the first.

The second quarter of the contest started very edgily, but it was Derby who transitioned well and got to the free throw line early, giving them a small lead.

Two massive dunks from Cojak and Chris Yapo, including a nice finish under the basket from Benjamin Hooper gave Derby the momentum to build, giving them a 21-26 lead less than halfway through the quarter.

However, Barking came back under the guidance of Ignas Juskevicius and King-Danchie, who were consistently pushing the pace, scoring in and around the basket.

Derby was deadly from beyond the three-point line, and Isaac Thorpe epitomized that, scoring a tough corner three and getting the and-one call, giving Derby a 32-25 lead.

Jamari Seri closed the lead with some tidy finishes inside, but it was King-Danchie who stole the show, hitting a buzzer-beater at the end of the quarter, giving Barking a slender 37-36 lead, going into halftime.

Second Half

Number one seed Barking took control of the third quarter, galvanized by their late second-quarter comeback which gave them a one-point lead, heading into the halfway mark.

Nedas Cholevinskas and King-Danchie got the ball rolling for the EABL Southern Conference team, scoring back-to-back triples, and establishing a six-point lead early in the third.

A quick steal and transition bucket from King-Danchie and a tough layup from Michael Amako gave Barking a ten-point cushion heading towards the halfway mark of the quarter.

Cojak started a short fight back for Derby, but Seri and a couple more baskets from the Barking players gave them a commanding lead of 58-41 with a few minutes left to play.

Akinsiku gave Barking an 18-point cushion. However, a couple of converted free throw attempts and buzzer beater from Roan Valley, clawed the score back to 62-48 to end the quarter.

Barking continued to pile the pressure on the midlands, scoring key baskets inside and marksman-like shooting from Cholevinskas gave the London side a 70-55 lead.

Derby didn’t give up, bringing the score back to within 13 and Yapo came up with one of the highlights of the game, slamming down a ferocious dunk with four minutes to play.

The game ended in scrappy fashion with the final score 76-62 to Barking.

The win means Barking progress to the semi-finals of the EABL playoffs where they will face Charnwood College Riders.

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