This week’s guard-heavy BBL All-Star 5 is led by Leicester Riders’ Geno Crandall, and includes a pair of Cheshire Phoenix stars as they came from behind to record a first home win of the campaign.
Geno Crandall – Leicester Riders
Leicester’s point guard makes a second consecutive appearance after posting a near triple-double in their road win at Plymouth on Friday. His huge double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds was impressive enough – that rebound total being the third highest of any player this season, and highest for a guard – and he also added 8 assists, while shooting 8-10 (80%) on the interior.
Jalen Hayes – Cheshire Phoenix
The first of two Phoenix players making maiden appearances in the All-Star 5 this week, Hayes shot 12-18 (66%) on the inside on his way to a monstrous double-double of 31 points and 14 rebounds in their win over Surrey on Sunday. Hayes scored consistently throughout the game, including 19 in the first half to keep Phoenix in touch before they mounted a late rescue as he scored an ‘and-one’ play with two minutes remaining to put them in front for good.
DeAndre Liggins – London Lions
Liggins is the first player to reach five appearances this season, having done so in just ten weeks of the All-Star 5 so far. This time, he led London to a crushing road victory over Bristol Flyers, scoring 18 points including 4-7 (57%) three-point shooting, and adding seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals as Lions made it eight straight league wins at the top of the BBL Championship table.
Mike McCall Jr. – Cheshire Phoenix
Cheshire trailed by as many as 13 points late on against Surrey, before McCall Jr. took over in a fourth quarter that they won 34-19 to snatch the victory. The Chicago-native guard hit 20 of his 28 points in that spell, including a trio of consecutive three-pointers in little over a minute that turned a seven-point deficit into a lead. He also shot 7-7 at the line inside the final two minutes to keep Phoenix in front, finishing 7-8 (87%) from the field, 4-4 from three, and 10-11 (90%) at the charity stripe.
Cortez Edwards – Newcastle Eagles
Following Liggins, Edwards makes a fourth appearance of the season, which is second most as he passes backcourt partner Rahmon Fletcher. The Molten BBL Player of the Month for December turned in three performances this week that would have made the team or the bench, led by his 22 points, five rebounds and five steals as Eagles won at the death against Plymouth Raiders on Sunday. In a game where no quarter was settled by more than two points, he came up with nine in the fourth including hitting his only three-point attempt with 30 seconds to play to keep Newcastle in touch, before assisting for Darius Defoe to make the winning score.
Off the bench: Jordan Williams (Worcester Wolves), Daniel Edozie (Bristol Flyers), Jeremy Hemsley (B. Braun Sheffield Sharks), Conner Washington (Leicester Riders), Evan Maxwell (Newcastle Eagles), Eric Lockett (Bristol Flyers), Mike Morsell (Plymouth Raiders).