There’s a familiar feel to the third BBL All-Star 5 of the season, led by Great Britain captain Dan Clark as he becomes the first player to make two appearances in this nascent campaign, alongside a pair of Leicester Riders guards and two well established BBL stars in Dirk Williams and Darius Defoe.
Dan Clark – Manchester Giants
Clark loves derby-days on the road with the Giants as, having gained weekly honours following their opening win over Cheshire Phoenix, this week he makes the team after Manchester beat B. Braun Sheffield Sharks at Ponds Forge. He finished with a near triple-double of 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in just 23 minutes, hitting 4-6 (66%) three-pointers; and was at the heart of a big second half that won the game, hitting a trio of triples in two minutes after the break as Giants won the third quarter 25-12.
Zach Jackson – Leicester Riders
Jackson returned to Leicester in the summer after missing much of last season with an injury, and turned in his best performance for the club as they became just the second team this season to go through a century in a big road win at Plymouth City Patriots. Jackson shot an amazing 6-7 (85%) from beyond the three-point line on his way to 25 points, adding six rebounds, three steals and two assists. The first of those treys opened the scoring inside the first minute as Riders led from tip-to-buzzer, and he added eight second stanza points to help the lead through 20 points.
Geno Crandall – Leicester Riders
Another Leicester guard and reigning Molten BBL Player of the Season, Geno Crandall, also tormented the Patriots in their home opener, as in just 23 minutes of action he put up 17 points and eight assists, also adding five rebounds and three steals. That included 12 points in the dominant first quarter that established a double-digit lead, including a pair of three-pointers and four free-throws as he hit 7-8 (87%) from the line, with Plymouth struggling to handle him going to the basket.
Dirk Williams – London Lions
Sharp-shooter Dirk Williams put in a typically efficient shooting display as Lions beat Bristol Flyers at the Copper Box Arena, missing just four times in 15 shots as he went 7-9 (77%) on the inside and 4-6 (66%) from three-point range. Lions trailed by double-figures at the half, but Williams scored 10 in a row for his team early in the third and then made the step-back jumper that put them in front with the last shot of the period, before adding another pair of triples as Lions poured in 31 fourth quarter points.
Darius Defoe – Newcastle Eagles
Newcastle got their first win of the campaign, at the fourth time of asking, by beating Cheshire Phoenix at Vertu Motors Arena behind the veteran leadership of Darius Defoe and Rahmon Fletcher, who both posted double-doubles. “Mr. 27” scored 19 points, on 60% shooting, and grabbed 10 rebounds, while also handing out four assists in Newcastle’s 94-74 win. Eagles led from midway through the first quarter and then throughout as Defoe scored eight early points and two buckets that sparked a 19-2 surge that put them up double-figures.
Off the bench: Aaron Anderson (B. Braun Sheffield Sharks), Jordan Johnson (Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks), Martaveous McKnight (Manchester Giants), Malcolm Delpeche (Bristol Flyers), Rahmon Fletcher (Newcastle Eagles), Isaiah Reese (London Lions), Marcus Evans (Bristol Flyers).