Pittsburgh & Lititz, Pennsylvania-January 5 & 6, 2020-The Philly Cannons hoped to kick off 2020 by defeating two nationally ranked teams. Instead, the Cannons completed their road trip with two losses and more questions than answers going forward. “We had an opportunity against two Top 25 teams but we were unable to capitalize,” said Team President Roger Beckwith. Head Coach Andre Rivers again returned to the court as a player as the Cannons journeyed to Pittsburgh Saturday, January 4th to face the 8th ranked team in the country, the Steel City Yellow Jackets in an American Basketball Association (ABA) contest.
Steel City jumped on the Cannons from the start and Philly was never able to recover losing to the Yellow Jackets 152-130. “We could never seem to match their energy and intensity… they had a rare combination of athleticism and shot making ability,” explained Beckwith. Indeed, the Cannons gave up seventeen (17) made three pointers to Steel City with the Yellow Jackets placing eight (8) of their 11 players that dressed in double figures. Tone Reddick and EJ Blackwell’s 26 points apiece led Steel City while DeAndre Kane added 21. For Philly, six (6) players reached double figures led by Ramair “Juice” Garner’s 27 points off the bench. Thomas Farrior added 23 points and Khayyir Laws contributed 20. Shawn Green (18), Akil Anderson (15), and Andre Rivers (11) also reached double figures for the Cannons.
On Sunday, the Cannons travelled across the state to face the 25th ranked Ephrata Thunder, a first year franchise in central Pennsylvania. This time the Cannons jumped out to a big first quarter lead but as Ephrata did to Hub City the night before, they came back from twenty-five points down to defeat the Cannons 130-126. “This one was tough to swallow because we saw the score from their game with Hub City and knew they were resilient coming back from 25 down, and we still could not stop them from scoring when we needed to,” assessed Beckwith. “I don’t know if we think we can outscore people or not but as some point pride has to kick in and we have to get stops when we need to,” countered Beckwith. Khayyir Laws led the Cannons with 36 points, who also received 22 from Rivers and 20 from Farrior. Darius Robinson-Wallace added 16 and Green also reached double figures with 13. For Ephrata, Quentin Davis had 29 points followed by Nasir McFadden with 26 and Lorde Zackery Vouse with 22.
The Cannons will return to the road next Saturday January 11, 2020 for a 6:45 PM tip-off with the Pottstown Flames. Philly defeated Pottstown in Philly on November 9th by a score of 117-107. The matchup will take place at the YMCA, located at 724 N. Adams Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. The ABA consists of over 150 teams nationwide, and the Cannons compete in the Mid Atlantic Division with the Baltimore Hawks, DC Soul, Hub City Hogs, Pottstown Flames, Virginia Veterans, West Chester Wildcats, York Buccaneers, Richmond Elite, PG Valor, the Fredericksburg Grizzlies, Roanoke Rising Stars, and the West Virginia Warlocks. Please visit www.phillycannons.com & www.abaliveaction.com for more information.