Time again for the weekly dispatch from England from BallinEurope’s man in the Things in the UK, Sam Chadwick. (Apologies for day-lateness; purely BiE’s problem with time management.) Seven BBL Championship games went down and Chadwick wraps ’em up for us. For all things BBL, read more below the break!
With his weekly check-in to provide the update on weekend happenings in British basketball is Sam Chadwick, who summarizes the action in BBL Championship and Trophy Quarterfinals matches of Saturday and Sunday For all things BBL, read more below the break!
British Basketball League wrap: Raiders advance in Trophy; Wildcats in historic win; Heat still winless
Things in the British Basketball League are heating up, with BBL Championship and Trophy Quarterfinals matches aplenty going down last weekend. BallinEurope’s man over there, Sam Chadwick, rounds up the action for us this morning. For all things BBL, read more below the break!
It was a busy weekend in British basketball and BallinEurope’s guy over there, Sam Chadwick, rounds up the action for us this morning. Read on for all things BBL!
The British Basketball League (BBL) Championship continued this weekend while the final group games of the BBL Trophy also took place; the weekend saw three Championship games and two Trophy games.
On Friday, the Guildford Heat continued their losing streak, going down 82-75 to the Worcester Wolves behind Tommy Freeman’s 22 points. Freeman was solid throughout getting to the rack, drawing 10 fouls, converting on 10-of-10 free throws, and adding four rebounds. Also contributing well for the Wolves was Richie Gordon, who had a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds; Sherrad Prezzie-Blue added a solid all-around game with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. For the Heat, it was Mike Martin playing well with 22 points and seven rebounds; he also hit 3-of-3 from deep. Brandon Shingles had a double-double to answer Gordon’s, with 10 points and 15 rebounds; Shingle also added three assists for good measure.
One Health Sheffield Sharks lost for the second time to the Newcastle Eagles, 85-80. Joe Chapman had another good weekend for the Eagles with 18 points and five assists, but it was Andrew Thomson who led the way with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Player-coach Fabulous Flournoy had 11 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while Darius Defoe was the second Eagle to earn a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. For the losing Sharks, Justin Dobbins maintained his double-double average with 12 points and 16 rebounds but he shot a disappointing 29% from the free-throw line. Mike Tuck also contributed a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Team Britain point guard Nate Rainking had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. This game came down to just a five-point gap, and five is the same number of rebounds the Eagles had over the Sharks (47-42), proving that if you can control the glass you can control the game.
Glasgow Rocks dominated the Mersey Tigers, forcing 18 turnovers on route to a 92-62 win. For the Rocks, it was Andrew Wedemire leading the way with 20 points but not much else on the stat sheet. E.J. Harrison also added 17 points. In the first quarter, Gareth Murray put the Rocks in the lead with 17 first-half points, finishing with 19, including 5-of-6 shooting from three-point territory. For the young Tigers, Myles Hesson had 19 points and eight rebounds on 70% from the field. Kris Douse had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Devan Bailey did well on the boards, collecting 12 rebounds while putting up nine points and six assists.
The Durham Wildcats lost out in the BBL Cup, going down 88-74 to the Plymouth Raiders. Plymouth got 19 points and nine rebounds from Paul Williams, while last season’s BBL MVP Jeremy Lamb made his club debut with 17 points, seven assists and three rebounds. For the Raiders, Anthony Rowe also collected a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds but he also had six turnovers. For the Wildcats, despite a solid team effort lead by Fred Heinnenkamp (29 points including 6-of-9 on threes), Mike Capocci (14 points and five rebounds), Mario Flaherty (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Ralph Bucci (10 points, 11 rebounds), the team shot a miserable 38% from the field, compared with the Raiders’ 51%.
The Leicester Riders also managed a BBL Cup win this weekend by thrashing the MK Lions 102-67 in a brilliant team effort: Four players finished with 20-plus points, led by Cameron Rundles’ 23 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. Andrew Sullivan continued his solid play with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while my other choice for player of the year, Ayron Hardy, finished with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Northern had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, while Demarius Bolds had 15 points and three rebounds. This game was a tale of assists: The Riders finished with 22 assists compared with the Lions’ five and the Lions also had 14 team turnovers.
In the ‘Cup, the Worcester Wolves moved onto the next round with a win over the Guildford Heat, who played for the second time this weekend, by a final score of 88-77. Prezzie-Blue led the way for the winners with 20 points and five assists, while Arnas Kazlauskas had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Tommy Freeman had another solid performance with 18 points, four rebounds and five assists. For the Heat, Mike Martin again carried the majority of the load with 16 points and six rebounds, but Julius Joseph top-scored with 27 points including 88% from three-point land. As has been the case in many Heat games, turnovers were again a problem: Guildford had 16 turnovers compared with the Wolves’ five, while the Heat also committed 24 personal fouls.
After a loss to the Riders in the BBL Cup, the Milton Keynes Lions came out strong against the London Leopards, advancing to the next round with a 93-65 win. Unfortunately, stats are currently unavailable on the BBL’s official website.
In a battle for Scottish pride and what could become a bitter rivalry, the Glasgow Rocks defeated the Edinburgh Kings, 78-60, in BBL Cup play. The Rocks used their 50-31 advantage on the boards to grab the win while getting some good stats from the likes of E.J. Harrison (22 points, nine rebounds, five assists), Mychal Green (19 points, nine rebounds, three assists) and lastly Andrew Wedemire, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds. For the Kings, it was Edgars Rekis leading the way with 17 points and five rebounds, while Mike Kirkpatrick also contributed 16 points and eight rebounds.
The final game of the weekend saw the Guildford Heat lose for the third time in three days, going down 90-84 to the Cheshire Jets. For the Heat, Tayo Ogendengbe put up 27 points, six rebounds and three assists. Martelle McLemore had 17 points and eight rebounds, while the ever-consistent Mike Martin added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Jets got some very good contributions from all over, with Adam Brown totaling 27 points and eight assists; Colin O’Reilly hitting 3-of-3 from deep on his way to 19 points, five rebounds and six steals; Matt Schneck putting in a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds; and Bill Cole adding a double-double of his own with 15 points, 13 rebounds to go with three assists.
That wraps up the weekend’s BBL games here in the UK; check back soon for more British Basketball news.
Sam Chadwick is the co-head coach of the Solent Kestrels U14 basketball team, along with dividing the remainder of his time among an assistant quantity surveyor job, university studies and sportswriting. You can follow him on Twitter at @chadwick9.
The BallinEurope man in the UK, Sam Chadwick gets us up to date on action in the British Basketball League, interrupted briefly by a squall of tweets by Tayo Ogedengbe vis-a-vis a bizarre incident in the Plymouth Raiders-Guildford Heat game…
Writes Sam Chadwick, BallinEurope’s man in the U.K.: After my British Basketball League (BBL) wrap-up on Tuesday and with the start of the season well underway, I’m finally going to make my season predictions.
BBL Trophy – The first round of the BBL Trophy is made up of four groups of three teams, with the winner of each qualifying for the second round. Last year’s trophy winners do not look like they will pull off a repeat, so the BiE Fearless Prediction™ for this season is for the Sheffield Sharks to come out victorious behind the solid play of Team Britain point guard Nate Rainking, who scored 35 points in a win over Guildford Heat on the weekend and Justin Dobbins, who is currently averaging a double-double of 15.8 points and 10.4 rebounds through five games; Dobbins has also been included in every www.bbl.org.uk team of the week to date. The solid play of these two combined with the other talent on this Sharks squad should guide them to the Trophy victory in what could be an entertaining match-up between the Sharks and the Riders in the Trophy Final.
BallinEurope’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick, spent his weekend watching lotsa British Basketball League action in the first week of the regular season there. See below for his roundup of the games.
You’d better steel yourselves in Chester and beyond, folks, for none other than Ron Artest, a.k.a. Metta World Peace, arrives on Thursday. And though according to his publicist Courtney Barnes in an ESPN Los Angeles piece, “There’s no deal in place for him to play,” World Peace-watching will certainly be a popular spectator sport through next week in the U.K.
When a deal is discussed, Artest will certainly find a distinctly un-Beşiktaşesque offer on the table from his prospective new British Basketball League club, the Cheshire Jets. In a much-repeated quote from ESPN Los Angeles, Jets director Peter Hawkins has stated that “We are honored that Ron has even mentioned the prospect of joining the Jets. Financially we have nothing to offer him, but it would be so significant for UK basketball, we have offered him a stake in the club and all the love in the world!”
All you need is love, eh?
Surely as part of some psychological warmup for his trip to Britain, World Peace was recently photographed while practicing the newfangled art of planking. And only Artest could do it like this – check out ol’ Metta in the middle of an L.A. street below. You gotta be in pretty decent shape to hold that position, BiE would think. And a bit, um, different.
Tweet of the week? That’s an easy one. Here’s something from Ron Artest, a.k.a. Metta World Peace, from about 12 hours ago as of this writing:
Yes, it turns out that one of the wackiest rumors surrounding the NBA lockout and players’ concomitant interest in signing with European teams in the interim has turned out to be true, as the Los Angeles Laker has accepted an offer to play with the British Basketball League’s Cheshire Jets; he’ll reportedly be joining training with the side next month. The decision comes despite agent David Bauman denying Artest would play in the U.K. less than one month ago.
Now say “Queensbridge,” Jets fans!
Wait a minute … what happened to the Finnish gig? Today, Los Angeles sportswriter Bill Plaschke has a short piece on Mr. Metta World Peace in which he envisions himself playing for either the Glasgow Rocks or the Cheshire Jets in case of an extended NBA lockout.
Key quote: “The teams aren’t good, but I’m going there to finish a movie, so why not?”