22nd September 2019
Sunday 22nd September, saw the curtain-raiser for the new season of our Senior Boys’ basketball team with the third Old Wits basketball game being hosted here at KESW. Last year’s Head of basketball, Serkan Oztas (Grafton), and former MVP (2013/14 & 2014/15) Tony Wong (Edward), who travelled as far as from Norfolk where he is currently finishing his studies, re-united with their old coach, Mr Andreas Skau (2011-2019), who had moved on from Witley to Suffolk over the summer, to challenge the new KESW squad under the current leadership of Vladislav Valkov in this friendly match, and to celebrate our Senior Boys’ four consecutive title wins in the Berkshire and Surrey Super League.
With music blasting out of the speakers, cheering spectators at the sidelines, and Mr Stuart Todd ready at the whistle as our faithful and experienced home match referee, the stage was set for a fun-filled and exciting afternoon of basketball. KESW started well with Favour Arabami putting the first two points on for the home side. However, an undermanned Old Wits team could rely on the services of Justin Kwan and Yomi ? who had joined the ranks of the alumni on this occasion.
With Serkan and Mr Skau battling hard for the rebounds under the baskets, and Tony and Yomi setting the pace and piling up the points on transition, scoring 7 and 9 quarter points respectively, the ‘Old Boys’ produced a 0-7 run over the next five minutes which took them into an early, comfortable lead that was extended to 9 points as the first quarter drew to a close at 9-18 after the first 10 minutes. The new KESW team, desperate to overcome this disastrous start, re-grouped during the break, and hit back with great force in the second stanza.
Da’mar Semper-Knight and Simonas Dambrauskas, together with their new recruits A. Gvozdev and D. Avcar, made a concerted team effort and shared the 16 points for them in this quarter to keep the match an open affair. With only one point separating the two sides at half time (25-26), the teams and spectators really enjoyed a close and exciting encounter. As both teams re-entered the court for the second half, Simonas set a sign of sheer intent with his opening 3-point hitter to put the home side back in front. Although the Old Wits kept coming back to level the score over next 4 minutes, the larger (and fitter!) squad of current pupils managed to enervate the opposition which started to show some weary legs at this point.
Only trailing by 3 points at the start of the 4th quarter, a tired Old Wits team gave it their all in the final frame. But with A. Gvozdev and Simonas still draining their shots relentlessly, both scoring 8 points, KESW completely over-powered their rivals in this closing period. Creating a highly productive quarter-score of 24-11, the current KESW team ultimately turned around the game and ran away as well-deserved winners with a 64-48 victory.
Most valuable player was Simonas Dambrauskas who top-scored for KESW with 23 points. However, the Top Scorer of this third Old Wits game was Tony Wong on 25 points.
“Fest & treu, mutig VORAN!!!”