Gintaras faced off against perhaps their toughest opponent of the season, the CBL newcomers – North London Hoopstars, in a tightly contested semi-final.
Hoopstars feature a team of all new players to the sport who have developed quickly, fuelled by their passion to play and constantly get better, as evidenced by the the superlative play of Eli Francis (9 points) and Omar Williams (11 points). However, Gintaras feature a relatively experienced and well drilled group of exciting young ‘future stars’ such as Gustas Peciulis (10 points), the younger brother of CBL star Alonas Peciulis, and the highly influential Simas Kondzeliauskas (13 points) who know how to deliver in the big moments through their impressive set of skills for such a young age.
The game was tightly contested throughout, with Francis and Williams leading the way for Hoopstars, supported by the strong rebounding and inside play of Joni Gjushinca. Though the feisty newcomers put on a strong showing for their first ever semi-final, it was the crafty quickness of Gintaras’ Peciulis, with his ability to score off of dribble drive attacks and outside jumpers that proved too much to contain. Then when the game seemed to be in the balance, Kondzeliauskas repeatedly stepped up with all the answers – hitting free throws, lay ups and a couple of outside jump shots to keep Gintaras just out of reach.
A great game, well supported and played with strong support from parents from both sides. Gintaras will now progress through the CBL U12 Development League finals where they will face RDF.