This past weekend saw only the second incarnation of the BBL Basketball All-Stars event at the O2 arena in London.
Barry Hearn’s Matchroom events devised the new form of the game for it’s first outing last year, looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of darts, pool, snooker, netball and boxing. The premise being to create a new form of the game that is devised specifically for TV and a one off tournament with adaptations of rules and perks with a cash prize at the end.
The All Stars format takes basketball as you know it, but with zones on the court which represent the number of points scored for a basket from that zone. From 1-5 points are available.
— All-Stars Basketball (@AllStars_BB) October 15, 2018
The games are in the short form of just 12 minutes total and the clock doesn’t stop. So it really lends itself to a fast paced, exciting viewer friendly sport.
8 teams from the British basketball League compete over the course of a knockout tournament in 1 day. The winning team at the end of the day takes home £25k.
In the competitions inaugural outing last year, the London Lions walked away with the honor of being the first ever BBL All Star winners. But that wasn’t to be the case this year.
The defending champions were joined by BBL winners Leicester Riders, Newcastle Eagles, Glasgow Rocks, Surrey Scorchers, Worcester Wolves, Bristol Flyers and Sheffield Sharks in competing for the £25k prize.
After 10 matches in the elimination period it was Newcastle Eagles, Surrey Scorchers, London Lions and Leicester Riders who progressed to the Semi Finals. Surrey and Leicester duly dispatched of Newcastle and Surrey to set up a head to head in the £25k final match.
In a final match that pitted the leagues’ most successful team in Leicester and the most decorated coach in Rob Paternostro against a hungry, young Surrey Scorchers side desperate for silverware under Creon Raftopoulos, the stage had been set, and it didn’t disappoint.
It was a tight encounter that simmered to a boil right at the end. A late sin bin call on Leicester and a technical foul on Scorchers coach Raftopoulos saw the game all tied at 32 as time expired. A 60 second over time period was played to determine a winner. When the final buzzer signaled the end of the game it was Surrey who were 36-33 victors in dramatic fashion.
It was the first trophy at stake in the BBL season and acts as a signal of intent for Raftopoulos’ young Surrey side as the BBL season gathers momentum heading into the winter months.