London Lions have reclaimed the British Basketball All-Stars championship on their home court at the Copper Box Arena live on Sky Sports, beating B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 39-33 in the final as Brandon Peel scooped the MVP award.
Lions had won the competition in 2017 and started the final with the first seven points, five of those from Peel including a tough ‘and-one’ play. Soon after, Coach Vince Macaulay pressed his PowerPlay buzzer just as Peel hauled in an offensive rebound for a put back, and before Jordan Whelan scored a two and a three – all counting double – to make the score 27-12.
Sharks got back to within six during their own PowerPlay, but a Sam Toluwase triple on the shot clock buzzer all but settled the game heading into the last two minutes at 35-26, despite Mackey McKnight nailing his second shot of the day from five-point range.
After the game, Brandon Peel told Sky Sports,
“This is a big confidence booster going forward into the season. It shows that the Lions are all about winning; no matter how many times we take a loss, we are always looking to fight back. We’re Lions, we never back down!”
Earlier in the day, Lions had reached the final by overpowering the Sharks in the second of 13 games played, and winning through a capital city derby against London City Royals. In the semi-finals, Justin Robinson saw them past Newcastle Eagles.
Sharks had posted a record score for this tournament in knocking out the 2018 winners, Surrey Scorchers, by a margin of 52-21. And McKnight produced perhaps the best moment of the day as he hit a 10 point shot in the semi-final against Leicester Riders.
Double Elimination Stage
Surrey Scorchers 31-37 London City Royals
London Lions 40-24 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
Glasgow Rocks 30-27 Newcastle Eagles
Leicester Riders 30-28 Cheshire Phoenix
London City Royals 23-27 London Lions
Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks 24-37 Leicester Riders
Surrey Scorchers 21-52 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
Newcastle Eagles 32-30 Cheshire Phoenix
Glasgow Rocks 24-28 Newcastle Eagles
Leicester Riders 25-37 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
London Lions 41-36 Newcastle Eagles
London Lions 39-33 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks