Team USA outlast Leopards

A strong second half comeback wasn’t quite enough as Leopards went down 89-76 against Team USA Select at the Brentwood Centre, on Sunday.
A big crowd saw Thomas Baker’s new-look team start slowly before working their way back into the game but eventually ran out of time
Ray Akporu led the Big Cats with 17 points and nine rebounds while Leon Henry finished with 18 points and added five boards in 16 minutes of action. Hafeez Abdul added 16 points and seven rebounds, with captain Chuck Duru chipping in with ten points and five boards.
With Leopards fielding ten debutants and with only Duru returning from last season, it was not surprise that they struggled against an impressive American side as they fell behind 15-7 after five minutes. They recovered a bit to cut the gap to 25-18 at the first break, but the second period proved to be a tough learning curve as they were outscored 24-11 to trail 49-29 going into the locker room at half-time.
The hosts chipped a point off the deficit by the midway stage of the third period, but although stopped the bleeding still trailed by 19 going into the final break.
The fourth quarter was all Leopards as they steadily reduced the lead, outscoring the visitors 17-12 in the first five minutes before eventually winning the period 31-25.