Commonwealth GamesSport

Big nights ahead for South London 3×3 basketball stars

By Max Hall

South London basketball stars Cheridene Green and Orlan Jackman face a big day in the three-on-three court today as they attempt to reach tomorrow’s Commonwealth Games gold medal matches.

Green, from Lambeth, and her England teammates are due to take on Kenya at Birmingham’s Smithfield market at 5.30pm after securing runners-up spot in the group with a 21-17 win over Canada last night.

Green had described England’s opening day defeat to New Zealand as just “a bump” and so it proved, with two victories following, including a 22-5 demolition of the British Virgin Islands.

“I know what I said and I don’t just talk, I go by my actions too,” she told the South London Press last night. “We performed really well, we pushed through. It’s only up from here.”

With Hannah Jump on fire to sink four two-point baskets against Canada, it was Green who had given England the lead after the hosts had trailed 2-0 early on. And the Lambeth ace sunk a decisive effort after the Canadians had pulled within three points at 14-11 with 3min 23sec left on the clock.

Orlan Jackman

That score gave England the platform to open up their lead and hit the 21-point mark which halts a fast-paced game which otherwise runs to 15 minutes, Green pitching in six points.

Asked about the prospect of facing a Kenya side significantly higher up the FIBA world rankings, Green said: “We’re just trying to enjoy the win for now! When we gather as a team, we’ll talk about what’s happening next and watch films.”

A 17-12 victory for England’s men last night, against an under-strength Australia, secured victory in the group and passage direct to a semi-final at 10pm tonight

Jackman supplied the baskets to give England two-point and then three point advantages after a tight opening. His cool from the free-throw line with 3min 54sec remaining stretched his team’s advantage from 9-6 to 11-6 and gave them a lead they would never surrender.

Despite the fact Australia were able to field only three, rather than four players, because of injury, Jackman said England were given a run for their money.

“It was far from easy, especially when we play against Australia,” he said. “A weakened Australia, playing with three players, is still a great team.

“We’re happy with what we’ve done,” added the Crystal Palace-based player, “and that’s step three of five. Step four: semi-final; fifth step: finals.

“It’s not ‘mission accomplished’, it’s a step. A step towards the goal, which is a gold medal.”

Having seen off Trinidad & Tobago 21-6 in their second outing on Saturday, Australia was the biggest test so far and ‘OJ’ hailed it as “a big scalp.”

Pictured top: Cheridene Green (Pictures: Team England)

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