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BA London Lions' WBBL Season Comes to an End - posted 30th Apr

BA London Lions' season came to an end this weekend and not in the fashion they had hoped, picking up two hard-fought losses across back-to-back games.

On Saturday, BA London Lions fell 76-55 at the hands of Cardiff Met Archers at the Copper Box Arena. 

Charlotte Ellmore had 13, Tereza Brantlova 12 and Christina Gaskin 11 for the Lions.

Down 20 early in the second half, Brantlova and BA caught fire from beyond the arc, reeling off a 14-0 run to get the game back to 8 points, but it was as close as they would get the rest of the way.

Archers dominated on the inside at both ends of the floor, as BA were held to just 25% interior shooting and 14 points in the paint.

Merissa Quick led the Archers with 24 points and eight rebounds, including scoring 16 first half points and dominating the key run as Cardiff built their lead.

On Sunday, BA rounded out their season with a 57-53 loss to Nottingham Wildcats on the road.

The game was tied heading into the final 30 seconds when Alyesha Lovett converted the bucket that got Wildcats over the line. A no-call on a potential unsportsmanlike proved crucial as BA were unable to finish the season on a high.

Tereza Brantlova finished the season strong with 17 points, Urysla Cotton had 10, whilst Loren Christie and Christina Gaskin added 7 each.

"The weekend was tough," BA Head Coach Mark Clark said. 

"I'm disappointed about the Cardiff game because once we started to pick it up defensively and went on our 14-0 run to get it back to 8, we just couldn't execute at all in the last 5 minutes of the game. 

"To be fair to Cardiff, they played really well down the stretch but our inability to be able to score on the inside was exposed. We showed, through people like Loren Christie, Macy Spinks, Charlotte Ellmore, when we kept the tempo high we had a real shot at it, but it summed up how we've played the majority of the season; in the game but not actually able to win.

"For the Nottingham game, I thought we bounced back really well. We got a great performance out of Tereza Brantlova who shot the ball really well, Urysla finished better on the inside and we were in a position to win.

"There was an unsportsmanlike call at the end of the game that would have put us up with the made free throws and the ball, and in the end it proved crucial.

"Nottingham with their experience, closed out better and in spite of a very committed performance we just couldn't execute down the stretch and lost another close one. It really sums up the season."

Looking back on the season for the programme, Clark added:

"We have done a great job at various points of the season but haven't been able to close out games and that's been the issue.

"With the kids going to college it's again proved to be another successful season for us in terms of development, and with the players we have returning next year, plus with our relationship with the Lions, it will allow us to flourish on the WBBL front."

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Megan Sheret Signs with Fresno Pacific University - posted 25th Apr

Barking Abbey's Megan Sheret has signed with NCAA Division 2 school Fresno Pacific University on a full athletic scholarship for the 2018-19 season.

Sheret was a part of BA's WEABL National Championship winning squad this year, averaging 10 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per outing, whilst also suiting up for the WBBL side. She will leave BA after three years, having joined from the Hatfield Flyers programme.

"After my visit I knew FPU was the right place for me," Sheret said.

"All the girls made me feel so welcome and there was a great family feel. I’m looking forward to developing my game and the challenge of balancing academics and basketball; all of which I know will be possible with such a great programme and coaches!"

Sheret received her first call up to the national team last summer, being named in the initial Great Britain Under-20 Women's team as they prepared for the Division B European Championships.

She will join at least two familiar faces, as fellow Barking Abbey student-athletes Alex Ferguson and Sean Nealon-Lino have also signed with Fresno Pacific University for the men's basketball programme.

BA Director Mark Clark commented:

"Megan is a great example that hard work and commitment pays off. She will be a great asset to the FPU programme she has proven this year she can play WBBL. By completing a third year at BA she has maximised her opportunities and worked so hard to win this scholarship, it is well deserved."

FPU finished 13-15 overall this season, 11-9 in the PacWest Conference, posting their highest win total since the 2011-12 season.

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BA Upset Northumbria in WBBL - posted 23rd Apr

BA London Lions ended their wait for a first league win this season as a strong finish helped secured a 74-82 triumph on the road against Team Northumbria.

Career-high performances from two academy players, as Flora Durgerian had 15 points and Megan Sheret had 12, saw BA to victory, as the Lions end a run of 17 consecutive league defeats on the penultimate weekend of the regular season.

Christina Gaskin added 14 points, as BA put together an 11-2 spell to take control from behind and they were able to close out the win down the stretch.

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Charlotte Ellmore Signs with UTSA - posted 20th Apr

Barking Abbey's Charlotte Ellmore has signed to NCAA Division 1 school University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on a full athletic scholarship for the 2018-19 season.

This season's WEABL Player of the Year and Finals MVP, averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the academy league, whilst also spearheading BA's offence in the WBBL. She has been with BA for two years after joining from the Southend Swifts programme.

"I would like to thank all the coaches at BA in helping me get this opportunity," Ellmore said. "When I went on the visit I automatically had a good feeling and believe I could really develop as a player and a person at UTSA. I'm so excited to get out there and be with my new teammates!"

In 2017, Ellmore led Great Britain Under-18s at the FIBA Division B European Championships, where she averaged 11.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists while shooting 43 percent from the 3-point line. She also represented the England Under-16s in 2015 and 2016.

"Charlotte is the best guard of her generation," BA Director Mark Clark commented. "She's going to good level programme who want her to play. She has developed both technically and mentally and we have no doubt she will be a success and represent BA  well."
 
UTSA Head Coach Kristen Holt is looking forward to Ellmore joining the squad:

"We are very excited that Charlotte Ellmore will be joining our team for the 2018-19 season. She is one of the best guards in England and we like her versatility as a point guard or a wing.  Charlotte is also an outstanding student."

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Alex Ferguson Signs with Fresno Pacific University - posted 19th Apr

Barking Abbey's Alex Ferguson has signed with NCAA Division 2 school Fresno Pacific University on a full athletic scholarship for the 2018-19 season.

The 6'8" versatile forward who joined BA from from City of Edinburgh basketball club represented BA in both the EABL and NBL Division 1 Men with partner club Kent Crusaders and will make the transition to the US after graduating.

“It’s always been an ambition of mine to play at NCAA level, so that I can push myself to further my game and test myself against top competition," Ferguson said.

"Playing in the NCAA will be a great opportunity for me to challenge myself in terms of adapting to the American style of basketball. Fresno Pacific is the perfect fit for my game and will be the best place to help my transition. I can’t wait to be a part of  the programme and get on the floor with my new teammates!”

'It's great news for Alex," BA Director of Operations Lloyd Gardner added. "He's had a tremendous impact with our programme in the short time he's been with us. Had a great grounding with his career up until this point in Edinburgh. 

"I feel like he's really pushed on since he's been at BA and i think it's an excellent opportunity for him."

FPU Head Coach CJ Haydock commented on his new signing:

"Alex was someone who jumped off the screen to us as we watched him on film, as someone who had a unique skill set, size, intelligence, toughness and character. 

"As we had the chance to see him compete live and build a relationship with him, we became immensely confident that this was a young man with a bright future, who has the chance to be a special player in our league.

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BA Contingent Return from Commonwealth Games - posted 17th Apr

The Barking Abbey contingent has returned from the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a wealth of life-changing international experience under their belt.

Alumni Melita Emanuel-Carr returns with a Silver medal after a historic performance with the England Senior Women, whilst current student-athlete Sean Nealon-Lino helped Scotland Senior Men to their best ever finish at the Commonwealth Games with a fourth place spot.

Meanwhile, the England Senior Men, featuring alumni Rob Gilchrist and Joe Ikhinmwin along with James Vear as an Assistant Coach, bowed out in the Quarter Finals, with all three having played major roles amongst the squad.

Additionally, two more BA alumni, Kadeen Corbin and Ella Clark - who was a reserve - were a part of the Gold medal winning Netball squad. 

"We're incredibly proud of all the BA players to have been involved at the Commonwealth Games," Barking Abbey Director Mark Clark commented.

"They continue a long line of international tradition from our programme and we have no doubt the experience will serve them will in their career, not to mention having provided memories I'm sure they will cherish forever."

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BA advance to Division 4 semi-finals - posted 16th Apr

Barking Abbey have advanced to the Division 4 Men's semi-finals after defeating Calderdale Explorers 74-58 on the road on Saturday.

Robin Bedford led with 19 points, Ade Adebayo 14 and Nathaniel Powell had 11, as BA held off a fourth quarter rally from the home side to pull out the victory.

“Everyone stepped up to play today with the absence of Spyros, Tom and Stephen," BA coach Rikki Broadmore commented, as he stepped in for James Vear who was away on the Gold Coast with the England Commonwealth Games squad.

"We executed our game plan and came away with the good performance. Now we play team derby in the semi-finals which is going to be tough but I feel we can build on the performance from last game.”

BA jumped out to a 19-10 lead with under 3 mins left in first quarter, as Calderdale called timeout, struggling to deal with the pressure.

Calderdale responded, going on an 11-2 run to take the lead before BA fought back in the second quarter, taking a 45-28 lead into the halftime break.

BA kept pouring it on in the third, holding on to a comfortable 67-45 lead heading into the fourth, however, they would not score for over five minutes to open the final period whilst the home side went on a 10-0 run to pull within 12. It was too little too however, as BA pulled out the win.

BA have drawn Team Derby in the semi-finals, as they return home for a 2pm tip on Saturday at BA Leisure Centre.

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Recognition for Barking Abbey in Academy Awards - posted 16th Apr

A number of Barking Abbey players and staff have received recognition in the Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) and Women's Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL) awards which recognise outstanding achievement through the regular season.

It was a double in the WEABL for Barking Abbey, as Charlotte Ellmore picked up the league's Player of the Year and Head Coach Karen Burton was named the Coach of the Year, whilst Zoe Willis joined Ellmore in the All-WEABL First Team.

Ellmore, a GB Under-18 international, averaged a team-high 18 points per game along with 5.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.2 steals as BA return to the Championship final.

Ellmore also earned the Player of the Week award in February after a 24-point haul helped BA to victory over Loreto as they went through the Final Round with a 6-1 record.

“I would mainly want to thank my team and group of coaches that work and push me on a daily basis,” she declared 

“This year has been a struggle for the team but we have shown great perseverance to stick together and help each other get back to the final.

“I’m am so grateful to achieve this award but I would have to celebrate it with my team as I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Head Coach Karen Burton was recognised by her fellow play-callers in claiming the Coach of the Year award for the first time.

Barking Abbey secured six wins in the league play to top the table and head into the playoffs as the number 1 seed as they aim for a second WEABL title following on from their success in 2016.

The team had the best offensive rating (97.3) and were the league’s second leading scorers with 77.4 points per game with the second best defensive rating (63.2).

Burton said: “Thank you to anyone that voted for me for this award – it means a lot to get it this year in more ways than you can imagine.

“I enjoy the WEABL because you get a chance for the players that we work with to shine amongst their peers so thank you to my team for bouncing back after the loss last year to a talented CoLA team.”

Willis was one of the stars of the team, averaging 13.2ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.8apg.

For the boys, Ade Adebayo and Caleb Fuller made the EABL East Conference All-First Team whilst Adebayo also claimed the EABL East Conference Defensive Player of the Year, having spearheaded his side’s defence to the number 1 seed in the East, averaging 2.3 steals per outing, whilst finishing sixth in the league in blocked shots per game, despite being a guard. Additionally, he averaged 13.3 points,3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

“I’m really grateful for this award, I’m someone that takes pride in my defence and feed off getting defensive stops to fuel my offence,” Adebayo said.

Fuller averaged 14.6ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.9spg and made it his second consecutive year in the All-First team.

Barking Abbey's Director of Operations Lloyd Gardner was delighted with the programme's success:

"Obviously we're delighted so many BA players received recognition from coaches across the leagues in the end of season awards. A lot of players at BA sacrifice individual success and recognition to play here with so much other talent, so it is great that their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. 

"All of them have had fantastic seasons and they're deserved winners."

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Barking Abbey Complete Academy League Double - posted 29th Mar

BARKING, LONDON, March 23, 2018 - Barking Abbey have completed a rare double, winning both the Elite Academy Basketball League (EABL) and Women's Elite Academy Basketball League (WEABL) national titles on Thursday in Leicester.

The Women were first up and defeated Charnwood College 67-60 to reclaim the title they last won in 2016, whilst the Men defeated Myerscough College 96-83 to make it back-to-back championships, and their third EABL title since 2014.

Charlotte Ellmore impressed in the WEABL final with a 24-point outing along with 3 assists and 3 steals to claim the MVP award.

“I mean it’s amazing,” she declared. “We have worked so hard to get here. Last year we fell, but this year I’m just so grateful for my team and I’m just so proud of us."

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