Kingston Cougars squeezed an 81-79 victory over their Surrey rivals in the first game of the season.
Kingston’s basketball team snatched the win in the dying moments of a thrilling encounter with diminutive forward, Andrej Purkevic, scoring the game-winning points.
“Surrey are our main opponents in winning this league, so it’s a really good feeling beating them. I don’t know how strong the other teams are, but this win gives us great confidence,” Kingston captain Alexandros Geromoschos said.
The first half
Kingston gained momentum when Jamie Sercombe pulled up and hit a long-range jump shot from well outside the perimeter just as the buzzer sounded for the end of the quarter.
Both teams started the second quarter in sloppy fashion, but Sercombe’s hot hand continued, making two more three-pointers in quick succession.
Surrey’s Marcis Vidass continued to make shots for the away side while Kingston was fouled out before the five-minute mark. The Cougars’ Sam Odejimi and Andrea Capellini kept the pressure on and the home team went into the half leading by 14 with the score at 48-34.
Geromoschos said: “I’m pretty confident in our team and it would be great if all of our fans came to support us again, just like the great support tonight. It’s a great motivation for us.”
Half time Treat
Half time offered a treat for a large crowd at the game, with the Diplomats Dance Crew showing off their impressive flips and tricks mixed with humour and original music.
The second half
Momentum shifted in the third quarter with Surrey outplaying the Cougars.
The ever-present threat from Vidass and his Surrey team mates, Emelie Oranika, Louie Over and Jack Lambros, brought them back to within four points of their opponents.
At the end of the third the score stood at 66-60.
The rivals shared possession and points in the first five minutes of the final quarter, but after a Kingston timeout with four and half minutes remaining, Surrey began to pile on the pressure.
Quick points from Lambros and Oranika brought the away side within touching distance and a six point unanswered run from Vidass drew them level.
After good work again from Geromoschos and Sercombe, Purkevic was on hand to finish off a slick move and edge Kingston to victory.