Rebels Outride Loughborough and Stay Undefeated at Home
In a thrilling showdown between Essex Rebels and Loughborough Riders in the NBL Division 1, basketball fans were treated to a gripping match that culminated in a 10-point victory for Essex, sealing the game with a scoreline of 85-75. The clash began with an air of parity as both teams displayed their prowess, exchanging baskets in a seesaw battle that kept spectators on the edge of their seats.
However, it was the Essex Rebels, the current division leaders, who gradually etched out a lead. They set the tone early, maintaining a narrow five-point advantage at the close of the first quarter. Building upon their momentum, they solidified their position further, stretching their lead to eight points by halftime and an impressive 15-point cushion midway through the third quarter.
Yet, the Riders were not ones to concede easily. Mounting a spirited comeback, they rallied in the latter stages of the game, slashing the deficit to a mere four points with under 2 minutes on the clock. However, despite their valiant efforts, Essex demonstrated their resilience and focus, dashing any aspirations of a late-game upset. Big shots by Olarerin, Nelson and Chapman, allowed the Rebels to keep the Riders at bay.
Key contributors to Essex’s triumph included Victor Olarerin, whose stellar performance and driving force of the Rebel’s offence saw him amass 32 points and 6 rebounds whilst Nelson supported with 17 points, with an impressive 5 out of 9 successful attempts from beyond the arc. Notably, Poorman showcased a multifaceted game, registering eight points, eight assists, and six rebounds, proving to be a linchpin in Essex’s victory.
The clash between these talented squads showcased the competitiveness of the league and the skill that defines basketball at this level. Essex Rebels’ ability to weather the storm and execute under pressure secured their well-deserved triumph, further solidifying their standing as the team to beat in the NBL Division 1.
Head Coach Ross Norfolk was pleased with the teams performance, “I was really happy with the guys committing to the game plan on the defensive end. We had to adjust quickly to Loughborough’s zone defence. Our offensive rebounding helped with us gaining those valuable 2nd chance opportunities. Victor was huge for us, providing a balance of scoring at the rim and from the perimeter’.