Eduardo Andre led the Southwark Legends to a memorable win against the Brent Ballers in a matchup of the 2 top teams in the U16 division in a tense ‘winner takes all’ playoff final. Standing 6’8″ tall with a massive 7’4″ wingspan, Andre has been dominant all season long, but perhaps kept his best performance for when it mattered the most, finishing with an unstoppable 29 point personal haul, to go along with 15 rebounds and 3 blocks, directing the Legends to a 47-34 victory.
Coming into the game the Ballers knew they’d be overmatched by the sheer size of the Southwark frontline with the ‘twin towers’ of Andre and 6’5 Joel Turay, but they were quick to make up for any height disadvantages with dogged determination and heart, sparked by Ballers season MVP Kunal Magar who drove and dipped his way to 7 first quarter points to push the Ballers up by 1 at the end of the first quarter. Magar is a crafty guard who has an array of spin moves and quick pull up jumpers in his arsenal and the Ballers needed every single one of his tricks to keep the Legends at Bay. Led by Andre and Lamin Dumbuya, Southwark played with a sense of poise and power that always felt as though they were in control of the game, despite going into the half down by 1 after Fabio Resende hit 2 huge back-to-back 3’s to give Brent the lead.
Despite Brent’s valiant efforts, the second half belonged to Dumbuya and Andre. Andre, in particular, took his game up another level, scoring 15 second half points from all angles on the floor. The gifted forward hit 3’s, mid-range jump shots and took control of the action around the basket with offensive rebounds and put backs galore, as Brent finally ran out of ideas of how to keep the ‘Towering Inferno’ at bay.
By the end of the game the 13 point victory for Southwark didn’t reflect the tenacity and fight with which Brent played, but Southwark were, without doubt, the worthy winners and capped a great season for the Legends and gave the basketball community a great introduction to a player everyone will be talking about in the years ahead, in Eduardo Andre.
Southwark’s chairman Rotimi Adeeko was quick to praise the entire team in the win “We’re proud and happy to have won the CBL title this year. All of the boys played their part and I’m proud of the way they were able to maintain their focus through to the end. Lamin played a great game and gave us good composure and direction from the point when we needed it the most, which allowed everyone else to focus in and do their jobs. Saheed (Maja) coached a great game as he has done all season which put us in a strong position to win. We’re just all really pleased to have been able to beat a good team in Brent and are proud to bring the title back to Southwark”.