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Leopards end six-game losing streak with cup win

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 November 2019

Hafeez Abdul in action against London Greenhouse Pioneers. Picture: Essex & Herts Leopards

Hafeez Abdul in action against London Greenhouse Pioneers. Picture: Essex & Herts Leopards

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Essex & Herts Leopards collected their first win of the season by beating London Greenhouse Pioneers 108-74 in the National Cup on Sunday.

Hafeez Abdul led the way with 43 points in the game played at Harlow Leisurezone, scoring 23 points in the third period alone as the Big Cats set up a last 16 trip to either Sussex Bears or Bristol Hurricanes.

New signing Teni Mongo added 16 points, with Jerrelle Okoro chipping in with 12.

Captain Chuck Duru opened the scoring with three points and both Mongo and Abdul scored from downtown as Leopards took control with a 12-0 run and went into the first break with a 29-23 lead.

Abdul opened the second period scoring and with Mongo draining a pair of threes, the Leopards steadily increased the lead and three James Cummings points sent his side into the locker room with a 54-39 lead.

The game was put beyond the visitors' reach as Abdul hit nine straight points in an 11-0 run to open the second half.

And after Okoro had converted a free throw, he hit another 13 straight for the hosts as they reached the final break with an 85-56 lead.

An 8-0 run saw the Pioneers make it a 23-point game, but that was as close as they came with all 11 Leopards getting on the scoresheet as they broke a six-game losing streak.

The previous night had seen Leopards poor start to the league season continue as they went down 102-84 against high-flying Worthing Thunder at Oaklands College.

In front of a good crowd, Okoro continued his excellent season with a 30-point, 13-rebound double-double, also adding six assists.

Duru posted 14 points and five boards and Kevin Moyo finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.

With point guard Prince Lartey still out of action with an ankle injury, coach Thomas Baker drafted in Teni Mongo and the former Westminster Warrior had 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

But despite an even start to the game, the Leopards could not prevent another defeat.

Leopards are back on the road on Saturday as they make the relatively short trip to Thames Valley Cavaliers.

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