EVENT POSTPONED. THE 2019/2020 BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE (BBL) IS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AS PER THIS BBL STATEMENT ON 17 MARCH.
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🏀 London Lions welcome Plymouth Raiders to the Copper Box Arena for a Friday night BBL Championship showdown. Tip-off is at 7.30pm and tickets are available.
The 2018/2019 season was one to remember for London Lions. Silverware in the shape of the BBL Cup – beating tonight’s opponents Glasgow Rocks in the final at Arena Birmingham – was followed by the ultimate prize in UK club basketball and a first ever BBL Championship title. And the Lions have already added silverware to their collection this season by winning the British Basketball All Stars Championship in October.
The BBL defending champions (see below for an introduction to the BBL) have picked up were they left off last season in the league, a series of impressive performances taking them to second place in the table. New signing Ovie Soko – the Love Island and GB International star – got his Lions career off the a flyer back in December with 17 points and 13 rebounds on debut against Glasgow Rocks and has not looked back since putting in a series of match-winning performances. Aided and abetted by Justin Robinson (pictured below) the BBL MVP (most valuable player) for the last two seasons and once again in eye-catching form, London Lions have become an a compelling attacking force.
Back-to-back defeats on the road – to Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles – was cause for some concern in early February however the Lions roared back to form with three wins on the spin before suffering a 101-95 loss on the road to Surrey Scorchers in early March. The Lions are currently second in the table on 20 points behind leaders Glasgow Rocks on 24 points.
For Plymouth Raiders it’s been a season to forget so far, a return of just 3 wins from 13 matches has the south coast side languishing at the bottom of the BBL table with only winless Manchester Giants below them.
Will Vince Macauley’s team maintain their impressive home form with another win or can Raiders cause what would be a big upset and head back to Manchester with the points? All roads lead to the Copper Box Arena tonight to find out.
Previous meeting: Friday 10 January at Plymouth Pavillions. London Lions taking the points with a 91-82 road win.
👀 Ones to watch: All eyes will be on the London Lions attacking double-act that has proved unstoppable of late; Ovie Soko and Justin Robinson.
🏀 Tip-off is at 7.30pm.
🎟️ Tickets in advance (not currently on sale) are available via the ‘Get Tickets’ link.
🎟️ Tickets on the day (not applicable) subject to availability. Checking the London Lions Twitter feed before travelling is recommended.
🚊🚗 Travel tips: Public transport is recommended. Hackney Wick overground and Stratford tube are approximately a 10-minute walk from the Copper Box Arena. Stratford International station (accessible from London St Pancras) is about a 15-minute walk. Very limited parking is available on site although parking is available at nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.
About the BBL: The British Basketball League (BBL) is the top men’s professional league in the UK. Running from September to May the primary competition is the BBL Championship in which all 12 BBL teams play each other three times over the course of the season. London Lions are the current champions. At the end of the regular season the top eight teams in the BBL Championship progress to the BBL Championship Play-offs. The BBL Championship is considered the primary competition and its winner the number one team that season.
There are two knock-out competitions that run alongside the BBL Championship. The BBL Trophy in which the BBL clubs are joined by guest clubs in a straight knockout competition culminating in the BBL Trophy Final and the BBL Cup which is a straight knock-out competition involving just the BBL clubs which culminates in the BBL Cup Final.
The top eight teams at the end of the current BBL season also qualify for the British Basketball All-Stars Championship. Taking place in October 2020 it features multiple 12-minute games, an All-Star 5-point line and Golden Buzzer Power Play in a non-stop afternoon of fast-paced basketball action.
The BBL teams for season 2019/2020 are Bristol Flyers, Cheshire Phoenix, B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Newcastle Eagles, Leicester Riders, London City Royals, London Lions, Manchester Giants, Plymouth Raiders, Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks , Surrey Scorchers and Worcester Wolves.
(BBL information courtesy of the British Basketball League website).