The 0121 was the host location for this year's British Basketball Finals, with the Utilita Arena holding a crowd of over 10,000 to watch what really is the biggest day in professional basketball in the UK. The day would start WBBL Finals matchup between the London Lions and Newcastle Eagles, followed by the BBL Dunk Contest and finally, the BBL Trophy Finals matchup between the Leicester Riders and the Manchester Giants.
Setting the scene 📸 pic.twitter.com/GNI2n6JV0b— London Lions (@LondonLions) January 30, 2022
The women's finals saw the Lions make their statement on the game quickly and early as they jumped out to an 18-8 lead after one quarter. After that, it was complete dominance from a side whose season has been filled with history making feats and were focused on adding to the list of broken records.
The ball movement is impeccable🎯 pic.twitter.com/nQBHermMmB— London Lions (@LondonLions) January 30, 2022
Azania Stewart led the London Lions with literal perfection. She finished the game with 20 points on 9/9 shooting as well as shooting 2/2 from the free throw line and was rightly awarded MVP honours. The perfect time to go perfect.
Next was the BBL Dunk Contest. Namon Wright of the Cheshire Phoenix had his eyes on back-to-back titles following his victory in the event last year. This years contest saw some high-flyers do their best to get a hold of that title, with Glasgow Rocks man Murray Hendry pulling out all the stops.
Murray Hendry perfect score!— bbl fix (@BblFix) January 30, 2022
🎥 Sky Sports pic.twitter.com/bnPk8gzTol
In the end, Namon Wright retained his title with his own two-footed Eastbay to secure the perfect score needed to go back-to-back.
Finally, was the BBL Trophy finals which saw the Leicester Riders and the Manchester Giants face off. The game started out pretty tight with the score at one point tied 20-20, with neither teams being able to get separation. The Riders then put their foot on their gas. They managed to get themselves a 45-28 lead and from there, it was pretty much all she wrote. The Riders went on to win the BBL Trophy with a score of 83-69 and MVP honours going to none other than Geno Crandall who finished with 26 points.
Overall, a great spectacle for British Basketball and with it hopefully comes more opportunities for our game to showcase what it can really bring to the table.