Yesterday the Dragons Men’s Basketball team helped the University of Westminster seal their 5th successive Varsity victory over the University of West London (Final score 9-7). The Men’s Basketball did it in stunning fashion, beating their local rivals 73-41.
— The QH (@TheQH_) April 13, 2016
It was a packed crowd at the Brentford Leisure Centre as the basketball teams opened Varsity 2016. In the opening game of Varsity 2016, the Westminster Dragons Women’s Basketball team fell 42-14 to a strong UWLSU Lady Titans team.
“We felt we had pressure to represent, we needed to get some sort of payback for the women’s team and get the Varsity rolling for Westminster. That’s what I told the guys during the warm up.” Coach Clive Castillo
Coach Castillo had a lack of resources, as most of his starting players during the season had returned home for the summer. But a consistent bench throughout the season allowed players to step-up in situations like these. Guards Petr Sokup, Otis Kirby-Dunkley and Center Elliot Gibson earned their first starting 5 spot of this campaign.
The Westminster team-sheet for Varsity also introduced Brandon Wade to the programme, a 6’5 forward from America who previously played for Chapman University Panthers (NCAA Div III). Wade will be joining the Dragons for the upcoming 2016/17 season
The Titans came out strong and tried to full court press the Dragons early in the 1st Quarter. However the Dragons found their stride behind Captain Carl Elayba’s shooting, who scored the opening 11 points (3 beyond the arc).
The first half ended with the Dragons up 44-28, with key plays from quick guard Petr Sokup, big-man Elliot Gibson and consistent shooting from the outside by captain Carl Elayba.
Half time – UWSU 44 – UWL 28 pic.twitter.com/fl1M5hwvnQ
— Salsabil Sila (@VP_Marylebone) April 13, 2016
Currently 52-37 to our Dragons! Can we make it to… pic.twitter.com/7rLO3oXqKx
— Smoke Radio (@Smoke_Radio) April 13, 2016
The 3rd quarter was slow for the Dragons but the team showed their dominance by ending the 4th quarter 19-0. Veteran guard Chimoi Young destroyed UWLSU hopes of a comeback with a momentum changing fast-break dunk in the 4th Quarter. The final score was 73-41 in favour of the Dragons. This is now the second successive season the Dragons have beaten the Titans basketball team in convincing fashion.
— Smoke Radio (@Smoke_Radio) April 13, 2016
As it was Co-Captain’s Carl Elayba’s last game in a Dragons uniform, he ended his tenure with Westminster in impressive fashion. Carl exploded with a Dragons career high of 34 points (including 7 3-pointers) and was awarded Varsity Player of the Game.
“I think it was a great team performance, my shots were just a result of that. Everyone did their job on both ends. I especially loved the tenacity on defence by Elliot and the effort on the glass by Brandon” Carl Elayba
Center Elliot Gibson who has been on and off this season, showed his presence inside and his physical importance to the Dragons team, contributing 8 points. He dominated the paint from start to finish and showed his athleticism with a clean flush on the fast break in the 2nd quarter.
Co-Captain Lemar Campbell continued his MVP season with his all-round hustle and positive work rate. Guard Petr Sokup also had impressive plays throughout the game contributing with 7 points, he is slowly finding a core role within the team.
“I was impressed with Petr, he works hard in training and I’m just trying to get the best out of him and find him his role in the team. I have no doubt in his abilities, he showed what he can do today.” Coach Clive
New recruit Brandon Wade impressed in his debut. Wade was consistently being active on the offensive boards and contributed offensively with 7 points.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to Otis and Carl. I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to play alongside them on the court, and this season mentor them as a coach. They’ve really grown, not just on the court. Both of them have been a pleasure to coach, I’m happy they ended the season on a high and I wish them all the best.” Coach Clive
The Dragons will now have the summer period off to spend with family & friends but will be back to work for a intense pre-season schedule in August 2016.
1st – 24-15, 2nd – 20, 13, 3rd – 10-13, 4th – 19-0
University of Westminster 73 – 41 University of West London
UWSU Dragons – C.Elayba 34, C.Young 8, E.Gibson 8, L.Campbell 7, P.Skup 7, B.Wade 7, N.Sackey 2, O. Kirby-Dunkley 0, J.Ying 0, W.Iman 0
Player of the Game – Carl Elayba (34pts, 7 3-pointers)
A photo posted by UWSU Men’s Basketball (@uwsubasketball) on
Our team is growing. Interested in joining our programme? We are now looking for players to join our programme for 2016/17. Find out more.