It’s an all-new BBL All-Star 5 to end October as everyone features for the first time this season, with the competitiveness of the league demonstrated by the fact that we’re already up to 25 different players featured in just six weeks and no team is left undefeated after the weekend’s BBL Championship action.
Marc Loving – Leicester Riders
The reigning champions made it back-to-back home wins and have a player featuring in the All-Star 5 for the first time this season as Marc Loving had a career night in their win over Bristol Flyers on Friday. He scored 34 points in 36 minutes, knocking down 6-8 (75%) three-pointers, with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks; including the triple that tied the game just before the half after Leicester had trailed, and then 12 straight points in the first five minutes of the third period in what became a 21-6 seven minute spell that settled the game over the half time break.
Javion Hamlet – Newcastle Eagles
Newcastle also made it two home wins on the bounce behind another big scoring performance from American guard Javion Hamlet – one of just four players averaging more than 20 points per game so far – as he makes his first All-Star 5 showing following Friday’s defeat of Plymouth City Patriots at Vertu Motors Arena live on Sky Sports. He scored 31 points and was a handful all night as he shot an incredible 17 free-throws, missing just one (94%), while also handing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds. Eagles had 61 points and a big lead by the half with Hamlet scoring 16 points with four assists to set the tone early on.
Larry Austin Jr. – Cheshire Phoenix
One of last season’s most regular All-Star 5 nominees makes his first appearance of this campaign as Larry Austin Jr. almost single-handedly led his team to a bounce-back win on the road at Surrey Scorchers on Saturday. The American guard produced a big double-double, shooting 9-12 (75%) for 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, both game-highs, along with three assists and two steals. Phoenix trailed by double-figures in the first half, but poured in 32 third quarter points as Austin scored nine and had six rebounds in that spell, including two ‘and-one’ plays, the second of which put them ahead for good.
Kipper Nichols – B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
Sharks opened the weekend by handing London Lions their first domestic defeat of the season at Ponds Forge on Friday night, led by an outstanding shooting performance from Kipper Nichols as he makes his first appearance of the season. He scored 26 points on 6-8 (75%) shooting from the field, knocking down both of his three-point attempts as well as a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line. Sharks led almost throughout as Nichols scored seven points in just over a minute to break a first quarter tie, adding five assists and four rebounds in the game.
Jeremiah Bailey – Caledonia Gladiators
Gladiators split a South West road double-header over the weekend, first beating Bristol Flyers on Saturday night to make it back-to-back wins, with American forward Jeremiah Bailey recording a double-double to also feature for the first time. He finished with 13 points on 6-9 (66%) interior shooting, along with 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals. He scored all of his points in the first half as Gladiators stuck with their hosts, before the game was won in the third quarter with Bailey turning provider and handing out four assists.
Off the bench: Rashad Hassan (Plymouth City Patriots), Shakem Johnson (Surrey Scorchers), Princeton Onwas (Caledonia Gladiators), Anthony Roberson (Manchester Giants), Elvisi Dusha (Plymouth City Patriots), Vojtech Hruban (London Lions), Padiet Wang (Surrey Scorchers).