WORCESTER Wolves are getting set to welcome 6ft 7in American forward Deshawn Freeman into the Wolfpack in time for their trip to the North East after a morale-boosting win in the capital.
Wolves belied their recent poor run of form with a morale-boosting 90-81 upset victory at London City Royals to progress into the last eight of the BBL Cup.
“He’ll bring fresh energy and intensity and will be an exciting addition to our team,” said head coach Ty Shaw.
With only a single win to their name from their first eight outings in the British Basketball League and having been embarrassed in an 89-67 humbling by Sheffield Sharks just 24 hours earlier, Wolves went into Sunday’s contest as underdogs.
Only two Worcester men, Filip Kramer and Jordan Whelan, were able to summon meaningful contributions during the Sheffield defeat. However in London four of their teammates now stepped forward to provide across-the-board intensity and a welcome success.
Robert Crawford led the scoring with 22 points, closely followed by Adam Thoseby with 19. Darell Combs notched 16 points while Terrel Martin-Garcia and Kramer chipped in ten apiece.
Three-pointers from Crawford and Combs got the scoreboard moving. A double of deft assists from Miki Servera for Crawford to convert further inspired confidence.
By four minutes into the evening Combs sliced through defenders to push his side into a double-digit lead at 15-5.
Former NBA Summer League participant Matthew Bryan-Amaning produced a handful of points to bring Royals back into contention and narrow Wolves’ first quarter advantage to 24-21.
Martian-Garcia swiped the ball from Bryan-Amaning to open his account before the London man replied with a powerful one-handed slam and closed the gap further to 43-42 by half-time.
Ex-Worcester forward Orlan Jackman delighted in pushing Royals 49-47 ahead early in the second-half. But Thoseby was the next man to put his hand up for a spell in the limelight, firing a bullet assist to Kramer and sinking consecutive triples to regain the lead for his side.
With five minutes remaining the outcome was still in the balance as Wolves clung to a slender 70-69 edge. Servera now signed up for membership of the three-point club and Thoseby nailed his third long-distance success to exaggerate the visitors’ advantage to 80-73 and finally decide the victors.
Worcester’s reward for their improved performance is a quarter-final tie at the capital’s other BBL club, the London Lions, on Sunday, November 18.
Before then Wolves will return to league action with a trip to Newcastle Eagles on Friday (tip off 7.30pm) before coming home to the University of Worcester Arena to meet London Lions in a league clash on Friday, November 16.