Hackney trio star in Great Britain heroics at Germany tournament

Midnight Madness basketball team

Midnight Madness basketball team - Credit: Archant

A Hackney trio starred as Great Britain’s Midnight Madness narrowly lost out on winning an annual tournament in Germany.

The ‘5x5 Germanys Reality Check’ tournament brought together the top international teams from across the globe with America, Europe and Africa all represented.

Great Britain’s representatives in Cologne included Hackney’s Michael Ocherobia – who last year played for French team ‘Feur’, leading the league in rebounding – plus Will Ohuaregbe, who played for BC Omonia in Cyprus, and Allie Fullah, who had a fantastic season playing for Calais Basket.

Playing against professional players from the top leagues in Europe, the Madness started well, eliminating teams from Holland and Congo to set up an intense semi-final against Germany.

As underdogs, they were not expected to compete with the efficiency of the German attack, but inspired play from Hackney natives Ocherobia and Fullah and Samuel Toluwase kept the Brits level going into the last minute.

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A missed three-point attempt from Germany paved the way for a Tayo Ogedengbe slam dunk which sealed the unexpected win, and the Brits then faced France in a winner-takes-all final showdown for the GRC crown.

The French came into the game boasting four players with national experience, including the French Eurobasket champion and national team’s Most Valuable Player, Andrew Albicy.

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GB’s Ashley Hamilton set the tone early on with two ferocious scores and the French team rallied around Albicy’s carefully crafted attack, only to be foiled time and time again by the Hamilton-led British resistance, with Orlan Jackman and Ohuaregbe also finding ways to punish the French.

But the game turned on its head after Hamilton suffered a broken nose and suspected concussion and had to withdraw with the Madness narrowly leading.

The resilient Brits clung on behind the dynamic duo of Jackman and Ogedengbe, but a critical mistake in the last 45 seconds gave Albicy just enough space to make the killer pass for France to clinch a dramatic 22-18 win.

Fullah said: “It was a great experience for us all but we feel we have unfinished business here. Next year, we will leave as winners.”

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