Eagles aim to Star in capital tournament
NEWCASTLE Eagles take a break from BBL Championship action this weekend to take part in the Annual All-Stars Basketball Tournament in London, writes JEFF KING.
The Eagles are looking to go one better than last year at the Copper Box Arena, when they finished runners-up to inaugural champions London Lions
The competition is the sport’s equivalent of cricket’s T20 with 12-minute running-clock games, a five-point shooting line and a golden buzzer which when pushed inside the first ten minutes of a game doubles any points you score in the next two minutes.
It’s a challenge for all involved on the court and those running things on the side lines.
It relies on players being switched on from the start - and Eagles’ shooting forward Kai Williams is looking forward to his second tilt at landing the All-Stars crown as his side begins its campaign against Glasgow Rocks.
He said: “It’s a unique event and I think it’s good for the fans to have so many of the league in one venue in one afternoon. It’s a very cool opportunity for us to promote our league and the different abilities and levels of players in our league.”
“It’s a strange event to be having a few weeks into the season but it gives us a chance to play together in a different environment and bond and gel on and off the court.
“I see it as a positive, it’s just a bit different and kind of weird to get used to but for basketball it’s a positive.”
The Eagles go in to the event in great form and full of confidence.
In some eyes they might even be one of the favourites but Williams is not so sure.
He added: “Everybody’s feeling good and we’ve got off to a good start but to be honest I don’t think it matters how well you’ve been playing in the league because of the different rules.
“It really depends who adapts the quickest and capitalises on things like the golden buzzer which can really flip a game.
“Everybody competing should have confidence going in to the tournament with the way the rules are. I don’t think you can say one team’s an underdog or anyone’s heavily favoured.
“I honestly think anyone can win any game in any given 12 minutes with these types of rules.
“I’m just looking forward to being out there with the guys and any way I can contribute and help the team in the 12 minutes or however long I play then I will.”