Hackney basketball stars light fuse for rampant Royals

Captain Orlan Jackman and Will Ohuaregbe (left) (Pic: Imageplotter)

Captain Orlan Jackman and Will Ohuaregbe (left) (Pic: Imageplotter) - Credit: Archant

Two Hackney basketball stars powered the London City Royals to a magnificent 67-point turnaround win over the Newcastle Eagles.

Skipper Orlan Jackman and Will Ohuaregbe, known as the ‘Man Mountain, ‘ were on top form as the Royals racked up a 98-81 victory to gain ample revenge for their recent 50-point loss on Tyneside.

Great Britain international and England Commonwealth Games guard Jackman displayed his full bag of tricks.

He was literally all over the court, defending and slam dunking his way to a game high 26 points, plus 13 rebound, to be named MVP.

Jackman reminded everyone at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre of his undoubted class with a jack-in-the-box performance that insured the result was never in doubt.

He said modestly: “Everyone worked hard tonight and put in 100 per cent effort, which is the way we have to play to realise our potential.

“It was a good win - we still have a lot of work to do but we are all looking forward to the challenge.”

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Ohuaregbe, who has returned to live in Hackney again, weighed in with 14 points and seven rebounds on his full debut following his move from Leuven in Belgium.

Finally back in the capital after successful pro stints in the United States, France, Germany and Belgium, he produced a sizzling display as the Royals completed a 67-point turnaround win over the Newcastle Eagles on Saturday.

The six foot nine inch giant centre weighs in at 18 stone two pounds and the Eagles felt the full force of his emphatic defensive play inter-mingled with some savage raids on the Newcastle hoop.

“I’m happy with that. It’s great to back home at last and I love it here,” said Ohuaregbe, who started his career as a junior at the highly successful East London Royals programme.

“This a club going places with growing support. There were so many people here I’d not seen in years and it was great to play in front of so many friends and family.”

Ohuaregbe originally left Hackney for a scholarship opportunity in the United States with NCAA Division 1 University of North Carolina Wilmington. Then he went on his travels, playing in France, Germany and Belgium.

His arrival at the Royals caused quite a stir amongst home fans but his debut was delayed by a red tape registration hold up in Belgium.

“Yes, initially my release came late from Belgium and that was very frustrating,” said Ohuaregbe.

“Then my first game against the Leicester Riders was cut short when the game was called off thanks to a leaky roof with us well on top.

“So this was actually my first official game - and I was very happy with it. I wanted to come in and play defence and rebound, and generally set the tempo defensively.

“It worked well. We managed to set the tone, control the game and slow the Eagles down.

“I’ve played in lots of different countries but here I am. I’m a Hackney boy and delighted to be a Royal.”

Royals coach Jay Williams was delighted with both Hackney men and said: “I was proud of how Will stepped in and gave us huge contributions.

“Orlan was, of course, spectacular at times but we expect that from him as he has that ability in him.”

Next up for the Royals is a home date with the Glasgow Rocks on Sunday, December 9 at 4pm.