Battle in the Capital ’18 Review!
The Battle in the Capital ‘18 on December 28th & 29th at UEL’s SportsDock was one of the most memorable and exciting junior basketball tournaments held in the UK, which featured over 300 players representing 30 teams from 5 European countries in Boys U16, Girls U16 and Boys U14 categories. The tournament had over 750 spectators across the two days, contributing to an incredible atmosphere that matched the enthusiastic, passionate and intense basketball being played by the teams on the court.
The event was sponsored by Wilson Basketball, Kappa Clothing, UEL SportsDock, IBIS Styles, Hampton by Hilton, Travelodge and Just Team Sports and supported by the wonderful Kay Parker Therapy, Simon Roe Photography and Poetry Film Productions.
The Boys U16 division featured some incredibly talented players from across Europe, which included the Dutch National Champions Apollo Amsterdam who dazzled the crowd with their elite athleticism, skill-sets and IQ. This group also featured teams who will likely be competing for the UK national championship, including national cup finalists Sussex Storm and semi-finalists Oaklands Wolves, and gave an opportunity for top Conference teams to battle with Premier teams and test themselves against the UK’s best.
There were some highly competitive games across the 2 days, with the championship game resulting in the Dutch powerhouse Apollo Amsterdam facing off against one of the UK’s strongest Sussex Storm. In a tight 1st half which saw Storm take an early lead and Apollo fight their way back, the Dutch team clamped down defensively in the 2nd half, especially on tournament leading scorer Max Gausden. They continued to put the pressure on offensively with their strong physical inside play and stellar outside shooting, notably by the hugely athletic Ibrahima Bayu, one of the best U16 dunkers we’ve ever seen, and their slick point guard Jaron Held, a Dutch national team player. Apollo Amsterdam came away with a convincing 50-31 victory and were crowned Battle in the Capital Boys U16 champions, with MVP honours going to Jaron Held.
The final standings for the Boys U16 tournament were:
1. Apollo Amsterdam
2. Sussex Storm
4. SCE Select
5. London Youngbloods Lions
6. Southend Rockets
7. Oaklands Wolves
8. Surrey Rams
9. Luton BC
10. Southend Scorpions
11. Bracknell Cobras
12. Amon Jeugd Gentson
MVP: Jaron Held, Apollo Amsterdam
Leading Scorer: Max Gausden, Sussex Storm (14.6 ppg)
The Girls U16 division was very competitive, with a great mix of English and foreign clubs that led to some immense battles and nail-biting finishes. On the UK side, the group included U14 national champions Oaklands Wolves and a BTM Select group led by England U15 Girls Coach Cristina Stanciuca, with the foreign unit headed up by current leading Girls U16 Dutch team Flashing Heiloo.
After a round-robin tournament where all the teams had an opportunity to compete against one another, the finals pitted BTM Select of the UK against Flashing Heiloo of the Netherlands, which had been a 7-point win for the Brits in their first match-up on Day 1 of the tournament. Flashing Heiloo played tremendous team basketball, pushing the ball up the floor quickly for fast-break scores and applying a lot of pressure defensively on BTM Select’s guards. However the UK team, who had built up strong chemistry and togetherness throughout the tournament, were not to be outdone and were relentless at both ends, pulling away for a 44-23 victory. MVP honours went to the cool, composed and highly-skilled Asha Andrews, a GB U16 who plays her club basketball for Sevenoaks Suns.
The final standings for the Girls U16 tournament were:
1. BTM Select
2. Flashing Heiloo
3. London Youngbloods Lionesses
4. Cardiff MET Archers
5. Oaklands Wolves
6. Falkirk Fury
MVP: Asha Andrews, BTM Select
Leading Scorer: Jette Hartman, Flashing Heiloo (8.2 ppg)
It was very difficult to predict a winner of the Boys U14 division, with some very evenly matched teams across the board from various parts of England, Scotland, Wales, the Netherlands and Belgium. Last year’s returners included Apollo Amsterdam (3rd in 2017), Manchester Magic (4th in 2017), London Youngbloods Lions (6th in 2017) and Sussex Storm (8th in 2017), mixed with newcomers such as Sussex Bears and East Region, the latter finishing runners-up in the most recent regional tournament.
For the aforementioned East Region, a second place finish wouldn’t be satisfactory for them on this particular occasion, as they battled their way to the final against a thrilling Manchester Magic side coached by the wonderful Sergio Lara Bercial. The game was as intense and hard-fought as predicted, with an accompanying atmosphere from the stands that defines championship game basketball. The East took a double-digit lead into the 4th quarter thanks to some fantastic play including clutch baskets from Efeose Ukegheson, but the resilient Magic team scrapped their way back to a 3-point game on the back of Bradley May’s heroic efforts around the basket. May hauled up a last-second 3-point attempt on the buzzer that fell just short, and the East Region were the Battle in the Capital Boys U14 champions. MVP was Allen Mordi of East region, a humble and hardworking player who made huge play after play for his team.
The final standings for the Boys U14 tournament were:
1. East Region
2. Manchester Magic
3. Apollo Amsterdam
4. London Youngbloods Lions
5. Sussex Bears
6. NEBC Titans
7. Sussex Storm
8. Falkirk Fury
9. Basketball Wales
11. Bracknell Cobras
12. Amon Jeugd Gentson
MVP: Allen Mordi, East Region
Leading Scorer: Allen Mordi, East Region (14.6 ppg)
For complete game results and scorers visit the Battle in the Capital Exposure Events page.
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the event, including the players, coaches, parents, supporters, staff and sponsors. We are already excited for next year’s tournament, which we envision being even bigger, better and more competitive than the Battle in the Capital ‘18.
If you want to register your interest in attending Battle in the Capital 2019 please click the button below. We expect demand to be high so please register early.
Register your interest for BITC 2019
We are a UK based company which offers domestic and international development and competitive opportunities for UK and international clubs and schools. We run a number of tournaments in the UK where we aim to host UK and international teams and we offer tour and tournament packages to the USA, Spain, Portugal, France and other European locations.
Check out our International Basketball Tours and Tournaments page here