Around The EBL- Week 1 -

Around The EBL- Week 1

At the beginning of the season everybody always has visions of what they think their season will pan out like. Well after this, the first full weekend of the EBL regular season, it’s safe to say that not everything is going to turn out as expected.

The start of the new EBL campaign always means one thing…it’s knockout basketball time.

The top tier teams participated in the National Trophy on Saturday, the trophy exclusive to EBL Division 1 teams. It’s always a great way to scout out some of your competitors before the grind of the long league campaign begins.

The Medway Park Crusaders entertained the Bradford Dragons and came out with a victory by a scoreline of 70-60, while there were wins elsewhere for Leeds Carnegie who came out on top 55-63 away to the Bristol Academy Flyers, and Newham Neptunes (NASSA) who took down the Hemel Storm 64-57.

Performance of the day in the National Trophy, however, goes to the Manchester Magic who inflicted a punishing defeat on the Worthing Thunder by a scoreline of 82-44.

The Patrons Cup is the competition for EBL Division 2 teams and in their first ever game in the competition, the newly promoted Huddersfield Heat took home a 76-90 victory over the Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows, with former Spain junior international Julio Sosa scoring 23 points in the win.

There was a high scoring game elsewhere for Elvisi Dusha, who will be starting for Surrey United in the BBL this season, as his 29 points helped London United to a win away at the Eastside Eagles, before American Forward Alex Dorr topped them all with 33 points in the Derby Trailblazers win over the Mansfield Giants 86-108. There were wins for Ipswich Basketball Club who won away at Loughborough Student Riders 57-68, and the Worcester Wolves II who defeated the Brixton Topcats 72-68.

PAWS London Capitals decided to forfeit both their cup games this week…giving 20-0 wins to London Westside on Saturday, and London Greenhouse Pioneers on Sunday.

With all this cup action happening, the league started in earnest on Saturday for teams in EBL Division 3. Just one game in the Northern Conference saw the Birmingham Mets pick up a 70-73 win against the Sheffield Sabres, while in the South it was the battle of the new boys, as Barking Abbey defeated the Bracknell Cobras 62-50 in their first game in D3, led by England Under-16 Calvin Nevill-Kintu who had 13 points.  

London Phoenicians went down 74-60 to Solent Kestrels and the Hackney White Heat got a win on the board with a 79-66 scoreline against Team Solent.

It was an action packed weekend in EBL Division 4 as there was a strong wins for the Hull Wasps, 99-54, with GB U20 forward John Stewart scoring 38 points in the victory, while Odiba Attah got 32 in Durham Wildcats II’s victory at home to the Gateshead Phoenix. In the Leeds derby the Tigers came out with bragging rights as they defeated Allerton High Carnegie 58-67. Shawn Jamison’s NULC Knights took down Stockport Falcons II 54-80, while Brentwood Fire defeated the Greenwich Titans 77-44.

Chris Petzy shone for Oxford, as they defeated Milton Keynes 109-81, scoring an incredible 43 points in the win.

The result of the weekend is one you may not believe, but this scoreline is legit; Sefton Stars II 22-100 Mersey Tigers. The recent acquisition by Mersey of a group of extremely talented former BBL and higher division players will make them a formidable outfit this season and it will be interesting to see if anybody can stop them on their charge to the title.

In other news, Sunday saw the first round of the National Cup. We start off with an upset as D4 side BC Medelynas London knocked off D2 outfit Eastside Eagles in a 68-65 victory, with Tadas Bagdonas getting 29 points for the Lithuanian team. D1 powerhouse the Bristol Academy Flyers inflicted a miserable defeat on the Cardiff Capitals 111-45, with young British guard Kyle Squires dropping 20 points in extended minutes.

There was more punishment in Bradford as the Dragons beat Childwall Basketball by a score of 110-35, while LSBU Brixton Topcats thumped Greenwich Titans 83-51. There were big wins elsewhere for the Hemel Storm and the Manchester Magic, as well as Medway Park Crusaders doubling Maidstone’s score and beating them 100-47.

The Sheffield Sabres grabbed a big 49 point first round victory over the Shropshire Warriors, while EBL Champions the Reading Rockets were tested by Canary Wharf London Lituanica before running out to a 15 point victory. Other wins came for Huddersfield Heat, Ipswich Basketball Club and the Mansfield Giants.

The upset of the day though, came in Northampton as D3 new boys the Northants Thunder defeated the Division 1 Leicester Warriors by a scoreline of 71-55 with big man Leome Francis scoring 25 in the win.

The next round of the National Cup will commence on the 6th October.

Did you get to any games? Thoughts? Standout players?

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