The final weekly All-Star 5 of the regular season is stuffed with players who helped secure important wins for their teams in determining the final BBL Championship standings, including a pair of Plymouth City Patriots as they qualified for the Play-offs on the final day and representatives from the second-placed B. Braun Sheffield Sharks and third-placed London Lions.
Isaiah Reese – London Lions
Lions finished third in the BBL Championship after winning their final three games of the season, and point guard Isaiah Reese could have featured twice in the weekly team following his performances over the weekend, making a fifth appearance of the campaign. In a big victory over Cheshire Phoenix – whom they will meet in the Play-off quarter-final – at the Copper Box Arena on Friday, he shot 10-14 (71%) from the field including 6-7 (85%) three-pointers on his way to 26 points, with seven assists, three rebounds and two steals. Lions were out of sight by half time as Reese had seven points and two assists in a 20-9 start in the opening seven minutes.
Namon Wright – Cheshire Phoenix
Cheshire, already confirmed in sixth place, bounced back on Sunday with a thrilling 101-100 home defeat of Bristol Flyers as Namon Wright poured in 33 points to make his third All-Star 5 appearance in six weeks and his sixth overall, ranked fifth among all players. He shot 8-11 (72%) on the inside and 5-8 (62%) from three-point range, also dishing out five assists, including eight of the points in an 11-2 burst inside the final three minutes that took them from an eight-point deficit into the lead for good, getting their noses in front on consecutive triples from Wright.
Rashad Hassan – Plymouth City Patriots
Perhaps most exciting and significant of all over the weekend, Patriots beat Newcastle Eagles at Plymouth Pavilions in a straight shootout for eighth place and the final post-season berth, with Rashad Hassan earning his second straight All-Star 5 appearance and fourth for the season. He missed just twice from the field, shooting 12-14 (85%) for 25 points, and completing a double-double with 12 rebounds. Patriots led almost throughout after Hassan had six points and three rebounds in a run of 10 unanswered points early in the game, and he scored six important points in the fourth with Eagles back within one shot on numerous occasions.
Rowell Graham-Bell – Plymouth City Patriots
There was another double-double for Plymouth in that game, leading to a first All-Star 5 showing for British forward Rowell Graham-Bell. He led the scoring with 26 points, shooting 13-19 (68%) on the inside, and grabbed 11 rebounds, scoring almost in tandem with his teammate as he had 10 points to help Plymouth establish an early lead in the first quarter, and then added six in the fourth period to keep them in front, including an emphatic ‘alley-oop’ late in the game that put the exclamation point on the win and on Patriots’ regular season campaign.
Jordan Ratinho – B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
Sharks secured second place in the table with a win over rivals Manchester Giants at Ponds Forge on Friday, as Jordan Ratinho played all 40 minutes and turned in a performance to secure his third All-Star 5 appearance of the campaign, but first for 20 weeks. He scored 25 points on 8-11 (72%) shooting to pace all scorers, knocking down 4-7 (57%) from the three-point line and handing out five assists. Sharks were in a big hole early in the game, and trailed by six to start the fourth until Ratinho scored nine points – knocking down a pair of treys and making an ‘and-one’ play – in an 18-6 surge over little more than three minutes.
Off the bench: Jamell Anderson (Manchester Giants), Kylor Kelley (London Lions), Larry Austin Jr. (Cheshire Phoenix), Rahmon Fletcher (Newcastle Eagles), Justin Gordon (Newcastle Eagles), Dean Wanliss (Surrey Scorchers), Gareth Murray (Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks).