Harrow Blackhawks advanced to the CBL semi-finals after an accomplished win against the energetic Gintaras U16’s, in CBL action down at Crystal Palace on Sunday. In a matchup that pitted East Vs West, it was the West Londoners from Harrow who started off well, playing good hard aggressive basketball gaining a comfortable lead. Blackhawks’ Wiktor and Nischal impressed early, leading their team on the offensive end, collectively netting 23 points in the first half alone while still distributing the ball freely and getting their teammates involved in the free-flowing action. The dynamic duo pushed Harrow into an early double digit lead with their eyes firmly set on the semi-finals.
However, those who follow the CBL regularly will know that Gintaras always play with passion and commitment, so it was no surprise to see the Lithuanian youngsters come storming back into the contest, narrowing the gap going into half time to just 4 points.
As the second half got underway, Harrow reverted back to their winnings ways, stepping up their intensity on the defensive end causing multiple turnovers which led to a continuous barrage of uncontested lay-ups in transition. On the back of their full court defensive display, the Blackhawks pushed their lead out to 14 going into the fourth quarter.
After a final rallying cry from the Gintaras coach, the Lithuanian outfit battled back to rattle in 6 unanswered points, bringing the gap back to an 8 point game midway through the 4th. With the game in the balance, Harrow regained their composure and kept their nerve at both ends of the floor, ultimately holding on to take the W 52-44 and in doing so, booked their place in the U16’s Final Four.