Team Preston take the crown as North West champs
Guest Post - Friday, 22nd November, 2013
There’s been a bit of a break in our league season over the last couple of weeks and to fill some of the time, the BCS Regional Finals were held in Manchester this week with the aim of finding one team to represent the North West at the National Finals in Bath later in the year.
I made sure that on arriving to Manchester, our team would be decked out in full Team Preston kit which provides a big psychological boost when the opposition see you getting off the bus.
We took to the court for our first game of the day against Blackpool 6th and after a slow start, the boys came good, stepped up the intensity in defence and went on to score 14 unanswered points to eventually run out 31-12 winners.
In our second game of the group stages we faced Cardinal Newman, another team we hadn’t had the pleasure of playing against yet – again we were slow and sloppy out of the blocks but eventually our captain Ben Nkossi took the initiative and led the guys on for a 17-5 victory.
Our other games in the groups included Aquinas, Loreto, Oldham and Priestley – and the lads started to show their pedigree with some great performances and some good ball work on show. Three wins from the last four games saw us comfortably through to the knockout stages where we faced another local rival in Runshaw. I was expecting a difficult game but our guys really rose to the occasion and took the win 28-8 through some impressive offensive play – there were signs that our fitness work was starting to pay dividends and the lads looked like they were just getting going.
In the semi-finals, we faced Myerscough, who had just beaten us twice on our own court in the league and local cup. This was the toughest game of the day and the intensity was amazing. Every credit to both teams who really went at it and produced a great spectacle of a game. The score was tight right through but we managed to rally at the end and sneak the win by 7 points to make the final. I think for the final, the intensity of the previous game had sapped a bit of our energy and the game didn’t have that same flow about it but we did a professional job of keeping Priestley College at arm’s length and showed some really good character to stay cool and composed throughout the game which ended 14-8.
This is the first step on our mission to make Preston’s College the destination for young basketballers who want to develop their talents alongside a good education. My team is young at the moment and we’re hoping that they will continue to grow and grow into a great team and we can look to add to that with new recruits from across the county, as well as further afield. I want Preston to be the place to play basketball. There are some good teams in this area and we’re proud to be part of that mix.
The celebrations of the lads said it all, it has been a hard slog to get here and this is what it’s all about, winning trophies and gaining honours. This is what all the sessions in the gym, all the weights lifted, all the tactics sessions, and all the sweat spilled on the gym floor has been for. To be crowned regional champions. I’m proud of all the boys who have demonstrated that they are a real force to be reckoned with. The rest of the colleges in the country better watch out at the finals in Bath, Team Preston is coming to take that trophy.