EUROBASKET NEWS REPORT - 4/23/2008Copyright 1997-2007 Eurobasket
The Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan will wittness the oppening of the 21st edition of the Arab Clubs Championship which will resume until the 6th of May under the participation of the top 15 teams in the arab world.
- Group A: Zain (JOR), Qatar Club (QAT), An Nasr (UAE), Al Tilal Aden (YEM)
- Group B: Al Ittihad Jeddah (KSA), Maghreb de Fes (MOR), Al Nasr (LBA), De La Salle Al Quds Jerusalem (PAL)
- Group C: Orthodox (JOR), Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (LEB), Al Kahraba Electricity (IRQ), Al Manama (BHR)
- Group D: Al Kuwait SC (KUW), Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (LEB), As Seeb (OMA)
# Day 1 Games:
- Wednesday 23rd of April:
16:00 Qatar - An Nasr (UAE)
18:00 Fes - An Nasr (LIB)
20:15 Zain - Al Tilal
# Teams imports:
* Group A:
John III Thomas (175-G-76, college: St.Francis,NY) 'USA'
Nate Johnson (199-F-77, college: Louisville) 'USA'
Jamal Sampson (209-F/C-83, agency: Octagon, college: California) 'USA'
- Qatar Club:
Jerry Holman (209-F/C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Minnesota) 'USA'
Ishmael Joyce (190-G-81, college: Jackson St.) 'USA'
Maurice Hargrow (195-G-83, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: Minnesota) 'USA'
- An Nasr (UAE):
Amal McCaskill (211-F/C-73, agency: Huss Sport Agency, college: Marquette) 'USA'
Justin Murray (198-F-81, agency: Tank Sports, college: Washington St.) 'USA'
Trello Galloway (201-G/F-79, college: Georgia St.) 'USA'
- Al Tilal:
Pape Ba (205-F/C-81, college: Bethune-Cookman) 'Senegal'
Sulaiman Diop (200-C-88) 'Senegal'
* Group B:
- Al Ittihad Jeddah:
Jerod Ward (206-F/G-76, college: Michigan) 'USA'
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (186-G-69, college: LSU) 'USA'
Priest Lauderdale (221-C-73, college: Central State) 'USA'
- Maghreb De Fas:
Alpha Traore (188-G-83) 'Senegal'
Abdou Diame (206-F/C-81, college: Jacksonville St.) 'Senegal'
Matar N'Baye (192-G) 'Senegal'
- Al Nasr (LBA):
- De La Salle:
* Group C:
Kevin Jobity (207-F/C-74, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: Niagara) 'Canada'
Kelly Wise (208-F-80, college: Memphis) 'USA'
Rob Anderson (196-G/F-79, college: George Mason) 'USA'
- Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut:
Tony Madison (190-G-71, agency: China-Hoop, college: New Orleans) 'USA'
Ahmad Ismail (201-F-76) 'Egypt'
Ace Custis (202-F-74, agency: Higher Vision Sports, college: Virginia Tech) 'USA'
- Al Kahraba Electricity:
- Al Manama:
Faraj Abdulla (203-C/F-75) 'Nigiria'
Abdulla Kutaiba (197-F/G-80) ''Iraq'
Albert Mouring (191-G-79, college: Connecticut) 'USA'
* Group D:
- Al Kuwait SC:
Hiram Fuller (206-F-81, agency: Octagon, college: Fresno St.) 'USA'
Andre Pitts (185-G-73, college: Huston-Tillotson) 'USA'
Ira Clark (203-F/C-75, college: Texas) 'USA'
Kevin Johnson (202-F-79, college: Tulsa) 'USA'
Alpha Bangura (197-F/G-80, college: St.John's) 'Sierra Leone'
Micah Brand (210-C-80, agency: CAA Sports, college: Massachusetts) 'USA'
- As Seeb:
Mark Strickland (208-F/C-70, college: Temple) 'USA'
MUHARRAQ won their first-ever championship in the Bahrain Basketball League last night with a thrilling 86-84 triumph over Manama to sweep the finals series in two games.
Guard Mohammed Abdulmajeed provided the endgame heroics for the victors, scoring seven consecutive points including two pressure-packed free-throws with seven seconds remaining to ice the win.
Muharraq, who headed into the title-deciding match-up as underdogs, defied all odds to end their season with four straight wins against the kingdom's most storied basketball teams - they first swept Al Ahli in the semifinals, and then took care of Manama without missing a beat.
'No one believed in us, but we never doubted ourselves,' Muharraq head coach American John Wojtak told the GDN during post-game celebrations. 'It was very difficult to beat Ahli two games in a row, and then back it up with two games against Manama. I don't think anybody else could have done that. This team is truly special.'
Abdulmajeed made a back-breaking three-pointer with 43 seconds to play that gave Muharraq the lead for good, 82-80. He was later fouled off a defensive rebound with seven seconds remaining, and he made both free-throws for an 86-82 lead.
Ahmed Qaheri then sank his own pair to cut the lead to two once more. And after Muharraq's Mohammed Hassan missed two from the charity stripe on the other hand, Hani Alam took a desperation off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer that was well off the mark, handing their rivals the win.
Muharraq had previously won three national Cup titles, most recently in 2004, but had always come short in the league finals.
'I've been with the club for 10 years, and to get this first championship is really sweet,' Hassan said. 'I dedicate this in the memory of my mother, who passed away some years ago. This is for her, and I hope to get her some more.'
Hassan was Muharraq's top-scoring Bahraini, finishing with 13 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Abdulmajeed add another 12 points.
US import Rah-Shun Roberts (202-F-75, college: California (PA)) finished with a game-high 31 points for winners. He also had a solid defensive effort with three steals and two blocks. Roberts won a heated one-on-one battle against his compatriot and counterpart Donald Little, who had 23 points and 17 boards for Manama.
'I felt that I had to make some baskets in the last minute; all the defence was concentrated on Hassan and Roberts, so I took my man on and was able to beat him,' said Abdulmajeed.
Added Roberts: 'It was a tough game, but we came through in the end.'
Muharraq took a commanding 56-39 lead into halftime. Manama star Mahmood Ghuloom then teamed up with Mohammed Hussain to lead a strong fight back in the third period, during which they outscored their opponents by 16 points to cut the deficit to one, 64-63, with a quarter to go.
Manama, this year's Cup champions, then took their first lead of the game, 77-76, on a fast-break triple from Qaheri a minute to play. But after trading baskets on the next couple of possessions, Abdulmajeed came up with the endgame heroics.
'This win feels different,' said Muharraq's veteran forward Abdulmajeed Shahram, who had in the past won several titles as Manama's star player. 'I am really thankful to the team for bringing me here. My loyalty is to them now, and I hope to contribute what I can to win more titles.'
The teams were presented their respective trophies by Bahrain Basketball Association president Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, along with Bahrain Table Tennis Association president Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Muharraq governor Salman bin Hindi, and other invited guests and officials.
Muharraq: Rah-Shun Roberts (202-F-75, college: California (PA)) 31, Mohammed Hassan 13, Mohammed Abdulmajeed 12, Yasser Bu Naffour 11, Ahmed Al Doy 9, Isa Ebrahim 5, Abdulmajeed Shahram 5.
Manama: Mahmood Ghuloom 24, Donald Little 23, Mohammed Hussain 14, Ahmed Qaheri 8, Mohammed Najaf 5, Hani Alam 4, Hassan Ebrahim 3, Nooh Najaf 3.
Round 1 (played 2008-03-15 and 16)
Sint-Jan Antwerp vs. BBC Falco Ghent 87-68
Falco Ghent was leading at the half: 40-44. Sint-Jan, led by Nick Verrept (19), Witse Van Schil (18) and Jochen Ceyssens (18), had an excellent fourth quarter and finally won the game. Thomas Foucart (191-G-84), who recently signed with Okapi Aalstar for next season, was the best scorer for his current team with 19 points.
BT Power Liefmans vs. Bent Schoenen Waregem 114-113
A real thrilling Flemish derby in Wevelgem. Steve Robeyst (38 points) was unstoppable for the hosts who finally won the game after four OTs. Tom Van de Keere (25) and Angelo Flanders (23) were also very present offensively for BT Power Liefmans Wevelgem. Jorn Steinbach (25), Bart Cleymans (25) and Wouter Dewilde (24) were the best scorers for BS Waregem.
Score evolution: 24-18, 49-35, 66-58, 85-85, 90-90, 96-96, 107-107 and finally 114-113.
Xenia Tours Sint-Truiden vs. CEP Fleurus 67-81
Nice win for the visitors with Stephen Tison (176-G-84) as leading scorer in this game (19 points). Special mention also to Sam Semijejero (196-F/C-77) who grabbed 13 rebounds. Former NT player Herbert Baert (202-F-75) scored 16 points for Sint-Truiden.
Kangoeroes Willebroek vs. BBC Boom 79-71
Score evolution: 13-14, 33-30, 62-43 and 79-71.
Despite a nice fourth quarter by the visitors, Kangoeroes kept the lead until the final buzzer. Dave d'Haens (18) finished the game as best scorer for the hometeam.
Royal Alsec Nivelles vs. De West Hoek Zwevezele 88-83
The arrival of US guard James Wade (180-G-75, college: Kennesaw St.) a few weeks ago seemed to be very helpful for Royal Alsec Nivelles. Short but nice win for the hometeam.
BC Ninane vs. Jaga Radiators Hasselt 89-96
Quarter by quarter score evolution: 14-29, 37-46, 63-70 and 89-96.
Round 2 (played on 2008-03-28, 29 and 30)
BBC Falco Ghent vs. BT Power Liefmans Wevelgem 65-68
The visitors had an excellent first quarter. They kept the lead at the half: 33-39. Falco came back in the third quarter but Wevelgem, led by Angelo Flanders (20), finished stronger.
Bent Schoenen Waregem vs. Sint-Jan Antwerpen 86-98
Thomas Van De Vondel (27) and Witse Van Schil (25) were the top-scorers for the winning visitors.
BBC Boom vs. Xenia Tours Sint-Truiden 96-72
BBC Boom was already leading by 26 at the half and never left any chance to their guests. Kenny Van Wert (206-C-82) was very efficient for the hometeam (31 points and 16 rebounds).
CEP Fleurus vs. Kangoeroes Willebroek 83-81
After having had a 20-point lead, CEP Fleurus could not avoid the nice comeback of Kangoeroes with a fantastic performance by former Belgian Lion Matthias Desaever (194-G/F-76, agency: Court Side) who scored 39 points (especially from long range). Nevertheless, Desaever's efficiency was not enough to make his team win. The guests missed a few good opportunities in the last seconds of the game indeed. Amaury Jadin (189-G-86) scored 18 points for CEP Fleurus.
Jaga Radiators Hasselt vs. Royal Alsec Nivelles 94-69
There is no doubt that JR Hasselt with Cox and Vanhove as best scorers (23 points each) want to finish the season in a strong way. The hometeam did not give any chance to the visitors.
De West Hoek Zwevezele vs. BC Ninane 75-84
BC Ninane seems to be more succesful away than at home this season. The visitors were already leading 32-43 at the half and remained ahead until the end.
Sint-Jan Antwerp 2-0
Falco Ghent 0-2
CEP Fleurus 2-0
BBC Boom 1-1
Kangoeroes Willebroek 1-1
Xenia Sint-Truiden 0-2
JR Hasselt 2-0
BC Ninane 1-1
RA Nivelles 1-1
West Hoek Zwevezele 0-2
D2 Leagues Standings|
Play Out group of Croatian A1 League has finished. Osijek 2006 is relegated and Kvarner Novi Resort will play in qualifications for A1 League with champions of A2 Leagues which are Crikvenica, Maksimir, Vrijednosnice Darda, Trogir and Cakovec. Qualifications will start on Saturday.
|A1 - Regular Season Stats Leaders|
|Points Per Game|
|1 Davis, Omonoia 18.0|
2 Burton, AEK 16.8
3 Kitsoulis, Apollon 16.6
4 Dalipagic, ETHA 15.6
|Rebounds Per Game|
|1 Trisokkas, Kerav. 9.7|
2 Ware, ETHA 9.0
2 Garcia, Apoel 9.0
4 Trepalovac, AEK 7.3
5 Zoric, ENAD 7.3
|Assists Per Game|
|1 Lee, keravnos 4.9|
2 Aleksic, AEL 4.8
3 Wheeler, Apoel 4.6
4 Woodward, AEL 4.1
5 Diggs, Apollon 3.7
|Steals Per Game|
|1 Panteli, AEK 3.2|
2 Burton, AEK 2.6
3 Woodward, AEL 2.2
|Blocks Per Game|
|1 Trepalovac, AEK 1.7|
2 Radojevic, Kerav.1.2
3 Ware, ETHA 0.9
|1 Perentos, AEL 77.8|
2 Aleksic, AEL 70.2
3 Trisokkas, Kerav.68.1
|1 Hart, keravnos 50.0|
2 Cvetkovic, AEK 42.7
3 Theoharidis, Ahill.42.7
|1 Hart, keravnos 87.5|
2 Fowlkes, Omonia 84.6
3 Dunn, AEK 83.8
Korisliiga, Finals, Game 2: The second final game between Honka (Espoo) and Kouvot (Kouvola) was a thriller. Honka got a very slow start at home court and Kouvot instead was ready to roll from the first moment. No wonder then, that Kouvot was leading by 14 pts (4-18) already during the first quarter. Kouvot defense was doing good job and American players Corey Smith (196-G/F, agency: Warren Sports, college: Vanderbilt) + Wayne Bernard (190-G-81, college: Davidson) were much tougher than on Monday. Little by little Honka came back to the game and the second half was so exciting - for the spectators as well as for the players and coaches. Honka's hero was American G Akeem Scott (186-G-83, college: High Point), who scored all home team's last seven points during the last two minutes. Scott made the winning two pts by leaping (from the right side!), when there was 22 seconds time left. Kouvot had still a chance, but Corey Smith's pass never went to Tero Laitinen (201-F-87) and Honka won 70-68 (28-32). Quarters: 10-19, 18-13, 20-16, 22-20. Only five players scored on Honka's roster. Honka's bench had zero pts. Jukka Matinen (203-F-78) and Akeem Scott led Honka with 20 pts both. Kouvot had only two players in double figures, but eight players scored pts. Corey Smith netted 21 and Wayne Bernard 14 pts. Honka - Kouvot 2-0. Game # 3 on Friday, April 25, at Kouvola.
Honka - Kouvot 70-68 (28-32) (Jukka Matinen 20/4, Akeem Scott 20/1, Matt Williams 15/5, Kimmo Muurinen 13/8, Ben Perkins 2/3, Eldar Skamo 0/5, Anssi Vanjoki 0/1. 1 - 75,0%, 2 - 53,1%, 3 - 50,0%. R: 31. TO: 18. - Corey Smith 21/7, Wayne Bernard 14/1, Peter Cipriano 8/5, Tuomas Iisalo 8/3, Jukka Kataja 7/5, Samu Kaaresvirta 5/0, Roope Suonio 3/0, Tero Laitinen 2/1. 1 - 84,6%, 2 - 53,3%, 3 - 21,4%. R: 25. TO: 8).
Premier L. Standings|
The 28 semi-professional teams competing in the Lega Nazionale-Serie B d'Eccellenza, a.k.a. 'Serie B1', ended the regular season last weekend. The Italian Basketball Federation has announced the official playoff brackets. The winner team in each will be promoted to Lega 2 for next season.
The playoffs are as follows:
1. Venezia - 8. Fidenza
4. Lumezzane - 5. Cast.Ticino
2. Casalpusterlengo - 7. Vigevano
3. Forl - 6. Treviglio
1. Brindisi - 8. Fossombrone
4. Osimo - 5. Latina
2. Trapani - 7. Sant.Antimo
3. Siena - 6. Matera
The quarterfinals are best-of-three series, with Games 1 to be played on Sunday, April 27. (Edited by Os Davis)
|BLNO Stats Leaders|
|Points Per Game|
|1.O.Trobe, Trond. 24.9|
2.E.Ogarrow, Cent. 21.2
3.T.Aliferis, Persbr. 20.7
4.T.Samue, Varden 19.5
5.O.Ofte, NTNUI 18.6
|Rebounds Per Game|
|1.P.Bullock, Ulriken 13.4|
2.M.Woodsen, Har. 12.7
3.M.Campbell, Tro. 12.4
4.W.Dunn, Krist. 10.4
5.T.Bryn, Ammerud 9.6
|Assists Per Game|
|1.C.Elgmork, 3B 6,1|
2.M.Mahnin, Asker 5,3
3.J.Rogers, Harstad 5,1
5.H.Issalhi, Tromso 4,2
|Steals Per Game|
|1.C.Elgmork, 3B 3,2|
2.R.Hawthorne, Am. 2,8
3.J.Rogers, Harstad 2,7
|1.O.Fritzen, 3B 75.6|
2.L.Torkild., Asker 70.0
3.M.Woodsen, Hars. 64.1
|1.R.Bitinas, Harstad 50.0|
2.B.Risshall, Hars. 47.1
3.M.Mahnin, Asker 46.3
2.R.Bitinas, Harstad 87.0
3.W.Sharma, Fjell. 85.0
ULEB Cup sensation Turow Zgorzelec is keeping up the winning pace back in the Polish DBE. The regular season champions eased past Kotwica in the quarterfinals, completing the sweep in the best-of-five series and booking their spot in the semifinals. Yesterday Turow sealed the win, beating Kotwica 71-62 away from home.
The hosts fought aggressively in the starting frame and rushed ahead to a 21-11 lead. But Turow evened things in the second term and appeared to be in the driver's seat after the break. Thomas Kelati (195-G/F-82, college: Washington St.) nailed 21 points, grabbed 6 boards and dished out 4 assists to lead Turow to the win. Slobodan Ljubotina (207-F/C-84, agency: Beo Basket) contributed 11 points in a winning cause. Alvin Snow (189-G-81, agency: Worldwide Hoops, college: E.Washington) answered with 21 points for Kotwica and Chris Daniels (200-F-82, agency: LimeLight, college: Georgia) added 12.
Third-ranked Slask needed four games to get past Atlas Stal Ostrow. Slask put on a strong performance in the fourth encounter and prevailed in the series, 3-1. The visitors relied mainly on the first and fourth periods, winning them 52-37 on aggregate. It proved just enough for Slask to celebrate a vital victory. Rashid Atkins (182-G-75, agency: Interperformances, college: St.Joseph's) poured in 21 points to lead Slask. Andrius Giedraitis (196-F-73) and Jared Homan (206-C-83, college: Iowa St.) nailed 16 points apiece for the winners. Brandun Hughes (180-G-76, college: S.Indiana) answered with 26 points for Atlas, and Wojciech Szawarski (195-F-76) dropped 20 in a losing cause.
Meanwhile, Polpak survived a dramatic battle against Anwil in Game 4 to forced the decider on Thursday. Polpak got to a flying start, building a 28-19 cushion after the first quarter of the home game. Anwil gradually trimmed the difference throughout the reminder of the game, but Polpak managed to remain on top to eke out the narrow 75-73 victory. Bobby Dixon (178-G-83, college: Troy) was the high scorer for Polpak with 18 points and 7 assists, while Eric Hicks (198-F-83, agency: Beo Basket, college: Cincinnati) contributed 16 points and 6 boards. Alex Dunn (212-F/C-82, college: Wyoming) delivered 18 points for Anwil. (Edited by Os Davis)
A day after Al Rayyan's Emir Cup victory, point guard Marlon Parmer (191-G-80, agency: HM Sports Agency, college: Ky Wesleyan) kindly sat down with me for an interview.
Amir: What's up Marlon? Congratulations on your victory yesterday.
Marlon: Thanks Amir. It feels good.
What made you decide to come back to Qatar?
Well, I felt that Rayyan would be a good situation for me and I felt that I could come in and help this team.
t believe that I've played in a more athletic league.
I have to ask you then: How would you rate the competition here in Qatar:
Overall, Qatar has a pretty competitive league. I believe that the level is not as good as it could be because of the one-import rule, but I don'
You were in Estonia earlier this year. How was your experience there?
Life was great there and the people were very nice. The playing, though, was not where I expected it to be. On the whole, it was a great experience.
So why did you leave?
The team felt that they could save money. It was a business move.
When you left, your former team BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn were undefeated in the league and in first place. However, since then, they've lost three crucial games and ended up losing the league title to rivals Tartu likool/Rock. What did that tell you?
It makes you understand your worth as a player. You feel bad for the players because they are good people, but I saw it coming because Rock is a great team.
Then you come to a Rayyan team that lost the league title to Al Jaysh Army SC and you were expected to come in to help them win the Heir Apparent and Kings Cups, right away. Did you feel any added pressure?
Sure, of course I felt pressure, even though I have played under similiar circumstances before. There were nights where I couldn't sleep because I was anxious, but with leader like Yaseen Ismail (204-F-80), it makes the adjustment that much easier.
So you play your first game, you foul out and Rayyan loses. What was going through your mind at that moment?
Not only did I lose, I lost to my former team (Qatar Club). I was a bit down, which is normal, but I knew that it was just a matter of time before it clicked. The only problem was that we didn't have much time and I was just hoping that it would be sooner than later.
You got a rematch with Qatar in the finals of the Heir Apparent Cup, but this time you guys got the better of them when it counted most, with you scoring 23 points and playing an great game overall. Tell me about that.
It felt great! My teammates were great. It was a team effort and when it was money time we knew what we had to do.
But come on; don't tell me that this victory wasn't that much sweeter because it was Qatar.
(Laughs.) It was real sweet, definitely. Being in battle and winning the Emir's Cup with them last year, and now being on the other side of the court and doing battle against them and coming out victorious again; it was special.
Then you faced Qatar again in the Emir Cup round robin, this time with Daoud Musa (193-G-82) in the lineup. Once again they beat you guys, and this time pretty handily, might I add, but again you guys beat them in the final. Was giving them a sense of false hope part of the strategy?
Yeah, it was. When we played them in the round robin, it wasn't important. They were trash talking like they had already won the cup and I said to my teammates that we would meet again when the stakes were higher and that we would take care of business then.
Last year you finished third in the league and won the Emir's Cup with Qatar; this year, Rayyan finishes second and you win both the Heir Apparent and Emir's Cups. I don't believe that any player has come here and won so many medals in such a short time. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel good. They were all great accomplishments and that's why I work so hard. I just want to be remembered as a winner.
Now you have the GCCs and the Asian Club Championships up next. What are your predictions?
I don't really know who we're facing. We will just take it one game and one tournament at a time, but I have confidence in my team.
To change the subject a bit, let me ask you: With your resume and talent, why do you think you still haven't had a chance to ply your trade in the NBA?
I would like to believe that it's [about] being at the right place at the right time, but I don't believe that I was ever given a fair opportunity. Seeing people in the NBA that I played against and knowing that, when I played against them I totally dominated them, makes me question things sometimes. But, hey, I'm not going to dwell on it. When one door closes another opens, and there are many leagues out there where I can go out and do my thing. That's all I can do, and if that isn't enough to get me there, then at least I will go out with my head held high.
Do you think that not being in the NBA has anything to do with some immature acts on your part? Things that when a more mature, more experienced you reflects back on, would do over if given the chance.
Of course, man. Everybody does, don't they? We are all prone to make mistakes. I wish that my coach and I would have had a better relationship. I think that things were blown out of proportion. I just wanted more freedom out on the court to do things that I knew I could. But I never regret anything; you live and learn and I hold no grudges. I just love the game of basketball and want to play. It did really humbled me though.
When you say 'coach,' are you talking about your former coach at University of New Mexico, Fran Fraschilla ?
Yeah. Coach Fran.
How is your relationship with him now? Have you seen him ever since, and if so how was it?
Everything is good. I saw him in Minnesota at the Summer League.
How does the story end this year?
Well, I hope with two more championships and hopefully going back to play in the NBA summer league. And from there, we'll see.
Do you want to give a shout out to anyone?
Firstly, I need to thank God because without Him, we wouldn't be here today. My parents who taught me to never give in to anything that I didnt believe in; Rayyan management for giving me this chance; my college coach at Kentucky Wesleyan, Ray Harper, for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to repay his trust. Coach Fran for teaching me the X's and O's of the game; and my current coach Brian Lester for making me feel at ease right away, trusting me as a player and coaching a masterful game yesterday.
Thanks for your time, good luck for the upcoming tournaments, and hopefully we could do another one after you win the GCCs and the Asian Club Championships.
Let's hope so. (Edited by Os Davis)
The regular season has come to an end in BBL, with the top eight teams continuing their journey for the trophy; the quarterfinals are scheduled to tip off tomorrow. The Newcastle Eagles celebrated the regular season title, never letting up to score an impressive dramatic 95-84 overtime win over the Sheffield Sharks in the last round of action. Sheffield fought for a chance to occupy the final fifth spot in the table but were unsuccessful in the end. The Sharks were down by 8 points late in the game but still manage to force overtime, with Alto Virgil (188-G-82, college: Passaic City JC) nailing a three-pointer to send the game into the extra period. But it was a familiar story for the Eagles, who had played two overtimes in the previous games: Newcastle capped the game with 9 straight points and collected their 29th win of the season. The Sharks finished the regular season at 17-16 record and the no. 5 seed. Steve Leven (197-G-82, agency: Interperformances, college: Wyoming) was top scorer for the hosts with 23 points. Olu Babalola (198-F-81, college: Clemson) provided 17 points for the Eagles. Shelby Chaney (206-C-84, agency: IceBasket, college: Mercyhurst) answered with a game-high 25 points for Sheffield.
The BBL defending champion Guildford Heat clinched the no. 2 seed, losing its final game to the Scottish Rocks 94-76 but still managing to stay ahead of the Plymouth Raiders. Moritz Wohlers (203-F/C-84, agency: Court Side, college: Montana St. - Billin) produced 24 points and Maurice Hampton (188-G-84, college: Austin Peay St.) contributed 21 as the Rocks prevailed. Dan Wardrope (188-G-78) responded with 17 points for the Heat. The Rocks will take on MK Lions in the opening round of the playoffs.
The London Capital thrashed the Birmingham Panthers 85-65 on the final day of action, but it was not enough for them to advance to the postseason. The London outfit improved to 12-21 record, finishing just outside the Top 8. Sam Bradley (193-G-84, college: Christian Brothers) notched 22 points for the Capitals. Lijah Perkins (202-F-77) canned 13 points for the BBL newcomers. Adam Williams (193-G-83) replied with 21 points for the Panthers as they remained at the very bottom of the standings. (Edited by Os Davis)