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Showing posts from August, 2013

BBP: Glasgow Rocks: 'the aim is to win a trophy'

The Glasgow Rocks are currently the only Scottish team in the BBL; although the 2014/15 season will see a new local rival for the Rocks.

The Rocks finished a credible third place in the table, but crashed out in the quarter-finals of the play-offs to Plymouth Raiders.

Sterling Davis continues as head coach of the team - which can boast a GB international in Gareth Murray - he believes they must do better this season.

He said: "I wouldn't say last season was a success, as our aim was to win silverware, it was a decent season but not a successful season."

"Our aim next season is to get to the stage where we are competing for a trophy, every piece of silverware is as important as the other, they are big accolades."

"It's great for us as an organisation to be associated with GB international players such as Gareth Murray [and former Rock] Kieron Achara, Gareth deserves his shot."

Davis also spoke about the choosing to travel to Lithuania rather than a…

BBP: London Lions: 'Copper Box increases everything!'

The London Lions are perhaps the most intriguing of all of the BBL clubs with the arrival at the Olympic Copper Box.

The massive arena will be one of the premium basketball venues in the BBL and is the home to the capital's largest club.

One person whose job will be made slightly more difficult in a larger stadium will be commentator Steven Edwards, who thinks last season can be a building block.

He said: "I think it was very much a success [last season], gradually as the season went on the crowds got bigger and bigger as word got around."

"London did extremely well in their home games and now it is a spring board into this season, can they now in a bigger arena, go to that next level to try and get past the first round of the play-offs."

"If you can have a successful home team, the crowd can feed off it and make it a fortress, I think people will be looking at that trip to London and be a bit more weary."

"The biggest challenge will be selling …

BBP: Worcester Wolves 'Silverware is a realistic aim'

The Worcester Wolves have done some shrewd business since the end of the 2012/13 BBL season with signing of Leicester Riders' Zaire Taylor amongst the names joining the roster.

The Wolves will be hoping that they can build upon last season where they managed victories over the Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders in various competitions, finishing up the season the play-off quarter-finals.

Colin Taylor is the press officer for the team and he believes that the roster will be in a better position to compete.

He said: "We have a roster which is as good if not better than last season and we had injuries and the visa issue with Prezzie-Blue."

"Last season was a missed opportunity for the team and we couldn't do it when it mattered, it was an achievement to beat Leicester at their home and an achievement to get close to the Trophy final."

"We've raised the bar over the last few seasons, we're near the top of the table, we have a new arena and silve…

BBP: Durham Wildcats: 'New coach can push us to the top'

The Durham Wildcats have changed their coach and enter their third BBL season under the guidance of Lee Davie.

Davie has replaced David Elderkin who helped them achieve their BBL status and will be looking to build a successful squad.

Alliances Manager Richard Warburton is hoping Davie is the right man to lead the Wildcats into the play-offs and beyond.

He said: "Last season was a step forward, we won a bigger percentage of our games but we were a bit frustrated to miss out on the play-offs in the last few games."

"We have a slightly stronger roster this season with a lot of player turnaround due to the fact we are based around the university here, we get a lot of post-graduate students from around the world."

"The new coach has a lot of experience having managed in women's basketball and his current role with the GB U20 side."

Warburton is also hoping that the team can improve on last seasons first round defeats in the BBL Cup and the Trophy.


BBP: Birmingham Knights: 'Coach making wine out of water'

We continue our BIG BBL Preview with the Birmingham Knights owner Jo Aldridge, to conclude our trilogy of Birmingham Knights interviews.

The Knights will be the newest team to join the BBL and will be coached by former BBL player Paul Douglas.

Aldridge believes that the coach Douglas' experience within the BBL will be important for the Birmingham Knights in their debut season.

She said: "For me it was vital to have a local coach with BBL experience. Coach Douglas has been watching players for years, so knew some of the names he wanted when we appointed him."

"I think having local players is important as well as they will be proud to represent Birmingham and the people of Birmingham."

"Our main aim this season is for the fans to enjoy themselves and to win some games to keep the fan base interested."

While she is looking forward to seeing a vision she helped make reality develop over the course of the season, she is also realistic with her aims.

She co…

BBP: Birmingham Knights: 'We can cause a few surprises'

One of the members of the new Birmingham Knights franchise is Martyn Gayle, who will be hoping he can step up from the EBL to the BBL.

The Guard is a local player and will get the chance to represent his city and play amongst the elite of the British game.

Gayle believes that the team will be a great chance for the local players and the local fans to enjoy the sport they love.

"It is a fantastic opportunity in our own city with a local coach, it is outstanding to be able to do it with our local fans."

"The training regimes and pre-season training have been amazing so far, we've all learnt something and we can change things within our game, we need to step-up as this is a tougher than anything we've done."

"My ego was quite big as I was top scorer in the EBL division one, but i've had to improve work harder, become stronger and faster."

Gayle is excited for the new season and can't wait to get onto the court to compete against the rest of …

BBP: Birmingham Knights 'will play their hearts out for the city'.

BIG BBL Preview: Birmingham Knights.

Birmingham Knights head coach Paul Douglas is looking forward to the new BBL season as the Knights join the elite of British basketball for the 2013/14 season.
Douglas has had previous experience as a BBL player and also as an assistant coach and acting head coach at various clubs across British basketball.
The new coach believes the team will be ready for the start of the new BBL season but admits it won't be an easy ride.
He said: "It's taken a lot of time and effort to get the Birmingham Knights ready as a new team entering the BBL. We've been in training since June 2nd and it's important to get the players ready for the BBL and up to speed."
"Preparation is important as the league is improving and the players need to be ready for it, the BBL is more physical than the EBL, so we need to be prepared physically and mentally."
"While my experience as a coach previously has helped me develop as a coach, I thi…


From the 26th August 2013 The UK Basketball Hub brings you: 'THE BIG BBL PREVIEW!'

We will be speaking to someone from every team, trying to cover all angles as the new BBL season starts in a month or so!

The Birmingham Knights are new to the BBL, how are they shaping up?
The London Lions moved to the Copper Box, are they moving into the big leagues now?
The Durham Wildcats and Surrey Heat have changed coach, good or bad move?
The Newcastle Eagles want to be back on top, can they do it?
Will the Leicester Riders defend their crown?
Will Glasgow Rocks or Plymouth Raiders push for the play-off crown?
Can Cheshire or Manchester get a play-off spot this time around?
Will the Sharks win another BBL Trophy?

So many questions and we'll try to give you the answers!

Here are our confirmed interviewees:

26th August: Birmingham Knights player Martyn Gayle, coach Paul Douglas
27th August: Birmingham Knights owner Jo Aldridge and Durham Wildcats' Richard Warburton or new coach Lee…

Eurobasket Betting Preview

The 2013 Eurobasket tournament is taking place in three weeks in Slovenia with the first games taking place on September 4th.

Having won two Eurobasket's in a row, Spain go into the tournament as heavy favourites with France a close second, GB sadly are one of the least fancied teams in the tournament with many of the big names unavailable.

Meanwhile Spain, France, Greece and Lithuania are all favourites in their respective groups in what should be an exciting tournament.

The odds:

Spain look like they could make it a hat-trick of Eurobasket tournament wins with odds of 9/4 at William Hill and Coral.

France meanwhile are 5/1 with William Hill which are the best odds you'll get for the team which features NBA star Tony Parker who will be their main man at the tournament.

You can also get odds of 5/1 for Greece with Ladbrokes and YouWin and they may be the outside tip to cause a little upset.

Other than that Lithuania are 14/1 with YouWin, Russia are 20/1 with William Hill and h…

GB Win Reaction

Following the clash between Team GB and Puerto Rico we spoke to Drew Sullivan and Ali Fraser, here is the reaction to the victory over Puerto Rico:

Andrew Sullivan, who is GB's most experienced player said: "My Role is not going to change, I have to try and work with some of the younger guys and get them ready for September, I will do everything I can to help make the transition for these guys as easy as possible."

"I think the togetherness of the team starts with the coach, he really stresses the idea of unity and I think that's what we showed today, when we had a defensive stop the guys came together and talked it over and high-fived and that's one of the biggest things I've noticed since we came together, a sense of togetherness led by the new coach."

"To have such great support today was really nice, I hope we will be going deep into the finals of Eurobasket."

Fraser who made his debut for Team GB said: "It was great to be a part…

Team GB beat Puerto Rico in the Copper Box

The Copper Box arena was filled with a capacity crowd as Team GB picked up the win against Puerto Rico in Stratford.

Without the likes of Luol Deng, Joel Freeland and Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Great Britain has to include some lesser-known faces in their Eurobasket squad.

But the team performed admirably at the Box that rocks, to pick up a 61-55 victory in their first game at the Olympic venue.

Lawrence, Sullivan, Johnson, Boateng and Achara all started for the team in Joe Prunty's first game in charge of his new squad.

Achara made his 50th appearance for the team and performed well to secure the MVP award with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The first quarter was a tight affair with Lawrence hitting an early 3-pointer and Achara getting two free throws.

De Jesus and Belardo replied for Puerto Rico who looked ready to give the GB players a real test ahead of their travels.

Puerto Rico led at the end of the first quarter with the scoreline 15-14 in their favour, Lawrence top scoring with five …

Team GB take on Puerto Rico (mini-preview)

GB Basketball are back! The Copper Box will be hosting a pre-tournament friendly against Puerto Rico ahead of Eurobasket 2013.

It hasn't been a straight forward journey into the fixture with NBA stars Joel Freeland and Luol Deng unavailable, Byron Mullens and Ben Gordon once again failing to show and Pops Mensah-Bonsu also becoming unavailable.

This will leave GB's squad heavily reliant on Andrew Sullivan, who is the most experienced member of the squad.

New coach Joe Prunty has been thrown into the deep end with many household names not in the squad he must cope with what he has.

The likes of Orlan Jackman - who recently departed the London Lions, Liam Potter, Jamell Anderson and Ali Fraser will be looking to impress.

There will be a lot riding on the fixture with funding for the sport over the next few years up in the air and based on performance.

Puerto Rico has a strong team and are currently ranked 4 places above GB in the FIBA World Rankings.

The game takes place on Sund…

Johnson bringing HoopsAid the American Dream Team.

Kendal Johnson recently spoke to us about the possibility of playing in England and while he may not be playing full-time he is set to play at least one game.

Johnson will be representing America at HoopsAid, a charity basketball match in the style of soccer aid - featuring players, celebrities and in this case battle back players.

Kendal is looking forward to the opportunity to compete in the Copper Box with some of the stars Britain and HoopsAid have to offer.

He said: 'This HoopsAid event is going to be very exciting, this will be my first time in London and I'm nervous and exciting at the same time, I'm just ready to play.'

'Giving back to the community is very important to me and I think HoopsAid gives my the opportunity which is good for me and good for them.'

'I'm excited to be playing in the Copper Box arena, It's where they had some of the Olympics so I'm looking forward to that.'

Johnson won't be taking it lightly and will be t…

Manchester Magic face Birmingham Knights in a friendly

The Birmingham Knights will host Manchester Magic on the 25th August in a pre-season game ahead of the new BBL and EBL seasons.

Birmingham are joining the BBL for the 2013-14 season and have already been making news signings.

The Manchester Magic will be joining the EBL's top flight following consecutive promotions from Division 3.

The discussion of the match happened between the Birmingham coach Paul Douglas and Manchester coach Paul Middleton on Twitter - you can see the full conversation below:

@allcityball any news on coming to us mate?
— Paul Middleton (@p_midd) July 30, 2013
@p_midd sorry we can't make it to you. All our preseason games have been away so far and need some home fixtures
— Paul Douglas (@allcityball) July 31, 2013
@allcityball what time would we tip on the 25th?
— Paul Middleton (@p_midd) August 1, 2013
@p_midd tip off between 6:30-6:45
— Paul Douglas (@allcityball) August 2, 2013
@allcityball great, we will be there thanks!
— Paul Middleton (@p_midd) August 2…

Birmingham Knights sign up Lewis

The Birmingham Knights have continued to build their squad ahead of their debut season in the BBL with the signing of Ryan Lewis.

The forward spent the last two seasons at the Leicester Warriors but has joined the Birmingham-based franchise where he was born.

Lewis has played at England u16 level and will now be trying his hand with the Knights in the BBL.

He said: 'We've been working hard during training and in the gym and it hasn't been easy but it's worth it and it will show when we step onto the court.'

'I'm pleased Birmingham has a team and even happier that I can help put this city on our back and battle over the next season.'

'I just want to make my soon to be born daughter and this city that I love proud.'

Coach Douglas of the BBL Knights has been a long-time admirer of the new star.

He said: 'I've been looking at Ryan since I was offered the role of Head Coach and I'm looking forward to seeing him develop during the season.