On the weekend where the BBL Championship title was won by the London Lions, the rest of the league’s stars are vying for Play-off positioning and have stepped up to produce the second highest combined index total for the weekly All-Star 5, led by the first triple-double of this campaign.
Tajh Green – Manchester Giants
Manchester Giants are in the hunt for the top four and split the weekend with a Friday night home win over Plymouth City Patriots, leading to a fifth All-Star 5 appearance for Tahj Green, and second in three weeks, as he goes joint-second among all players. He produced the first triple-double of the season in the dominant display, with 19 points and season-highs of 17 rebounds and 10 assists, also adding three steals and two blocks, including eight points, three boards and three assists in the opening quarter as Giants led from tip to buzzer.
Hasahn French – Newcastle Eagles
A first win in six keeps Newcastle within striking distance of the Play-off places as they picked up a crucial one-point victory on the road at Surrey Scorchers on Sunday, with the league’s leading rebounder Hasahn French making his second All-Star 5 showing in the last four weeks. He missed just once from the field on his way to 17 points on 6-7 (85%) shooting, while snatching 18 rebounds to complete a double-double, also handing out a pair of assists, including a key offensive board that led to a Kyle Johnson triple before hitting a three of his own inside the last five minutes that put Eagles in front for good in a close contest.
Marcus Evans – Cheshire Phoenix
The sixth-placed Phoenix bounced back from BBL Trophy Final heartbreak to make it three straight BBL Championship wins with a resilient double-header weekend, including two outstanding performances from Marcus Evans that result in his second appearance in the All-Star 5 this season. At home on Sunday against the seventh-placed B. Braun Sheffield Sharks he played all 40 minutes for the undermanned Nix and poured in 34 points, with six rebounds, three assists and two steals, including an unbelievable 19 fourth quarter points as Cheshire came from behind, showing ice in his veins as he went 4-4 at the line in the last 20 seconds to win the game.
Zach Jackson – Leicester Riders
Zach Jackson joins the group of players in joint-second on five All-Star 5 appearances for the season, although this is his first since week 13, after Leicester picked up three wins in a week in the chase for second place. The biggest of those was against the current occupants of second, Bristol Flyers, as Jackson scored 28 points in 30 minutes, shooting 8-9 (88%) inside and a perfect 9-9 at the free-throw line, with six rebounds, two assists and a block, including seven points in the opening six minutes as Riders jumped out to a double-digit lead and didn’t look back.
Marc Loving – Leicester Riders
Prior to that, Riders had beaten Plymouth City Patriots in midweek in a hard-fought contest at Morningside Arena, with Marc Loving proving to be the decisive factor as he gains weekly honours for the fourth time but, similar to his teammate, the first since week 16. The sharpshooting forward scored 24 points on an eye-watering 6-11 (54%) three-point shooting, doing a bit of everything with five rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and two assists. After building a double-digit lead, Riders found themselves behind in the fourth quarter until Loving scored eight points including a pair of go-ahead triples and the decisive one inside the final minute.
Off the bench: Fahro Alihodzic (Caledonia Gladiators), Jeremiah Bailey (Caledonia Gladiators), Rahmon Fletcher (Manchester Giants), Rashad Hassan (Plymouth City Patriots), Justin Gordon (Newcastle Eagles), Padiet Wang (Surrey Scorchers), Tevin Olison (Bristol Flyers).