Battle in the Capital ’19: U16 & U14 Review!

Posted by on Jan 2, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The U16 & U14 edition of Battle in the Capital ‘19 took place on December 28th & 29th at UEL SportsDock, and was even bigger and better than the ‘18 edition with 34 teams from 7 European countries across BU16, GU16 and BU14 categories. The arena was packed with coaches, players and 500+ supporters, creating a highly-charged atmosphere which matched the electric on-court action from both foreign and UK teams.

The ‘19 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 and Poetry Film Productions.

Boys U16

The UK teams were significantly more competitive this year, with national championship contenders Newham Youngbloods, Reading Rockets, Baltic Stars and Manchester Magic all looking strong. Defending champions Apollo Amsterdam had a smaller and less experienced group this year, and were joined by fellow Europeans Hennuyers of Belgium, Falkirk Fury and Northern Ireland National team. The 16-team category was fiercely competitive, and the boys left it all on the line every time they stepped on the court, which made for some intense viewing.

After 2 days of intense play, the championship game would see two unbeaten tournament teams go head to head for the silverware. Newham Youngbloods were strong, athletic and well-drilled, and would face off against the skilled and smart Reading Rockets team.

Youngbloods were led by ultra-talented Great Britain international Sultan Adewale, who was relentless on the glass at both ends and had multiple dunks throughout the tournament, with plenty of firepower also coming from crafty guard Marcus Myen Danchie. Rockets had their own man in the middle James Okonkwo, a rebounding and shot-blocking machine, as well as slick guard Cooper Shannon who did a fantastic job running the show for the Rockets.

Youngbloods pushed to secure a double-digit lead in the 2nd half, before a Rockets comeback ensued with a barrage of stops and scores. However Youngbloods would hold strong, and a huge one-hand slam from MVP Adewale would seal the deal at 59-54 to the team from Newham.

Final standings:

1. Newham Youngbloods
2. Reading Rockets
3. Baltic Stars
4. Manchester Magic
5. London United
6. Luton Basketball
7. London Thunder
8. Oaklands Wolves
9. Southend Rockets
10. Northern Ireland
11. Apollo Amsterdam
12. Hennuyers
13. West Herts Warriors
14. Sussex Bears
15. Surrey Rams
16. Falkirk Fury

MVP: Sultan Adewale, Newham Youngbloods

Girls U16

This years GU16 category featured one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs, FC Barcelona, who set an incredible standard for the group in as far as professionalism, selflessness, style of play and team culture. Joining them was fellow Spanish side ADC Boadilla, as well as some of the UK’s best including Newham Youngbloods, Oaklands Wolves, Luton Basketball, Exeter Spartans, Norfolk Iceni and a BTM Select team with multiple national team players. The category was highly competitive, with crucial games being decided by a mere few points and the UK teams having to step up their game to keep up with the Spanish giants.

After a nail-biting semi-final versus BTM Select, the awesome Newham Youngbloods reached the championship game to take on tournament favourites FC Barcelona in front of a packed SportsDock crowd.

Barca had multiple weapons, including guard Judit Valero who could score in a variety of ways and play lock-down defense, and forward Silvia Gonzalez who was unstoppable around the basket. Meanwhile Youngbloods were led by Fatmata Janneh, a super-skilled and highly competitive Great Britain international, and the brilliant Ines Goryanova who can light it up from downtown.

The game was an incredible back and forth affair, with Youngbloods showing the competitiveness and talent of British girls while Barca displayed the IQ and instinct that makes Spain such a dominant basketball world power. In the end it was the Spanish that pulled away to win 48-43, helped by some incredible scores in transition in which the ball didn’t touch the floor. MVP of the GU16 category was the aforementioned Judit Valero, who consistently played great, unselfish basketball from the start of the tournament to the final buzzer.

Final standings:

1. FC Barcelona
2. Newham Youngbloods
3. BTM Select
4. Exeter Spartans
5. Oaklands Wolves
6. Luton Basketball
7. Norfolk Iceni
8. ADC Boadilla

MVP: Judit Valero, FC Barcelona

Boys U14

Many familiar UK faces returned for the BU14 category, including last year’s runners-up Manchester Magic who came back eager to claim what was nearly theirs in ‘18. Other strong British teams in the lineup included Newham Youngbloods, Baltic Stars and Richmond Knights, three London based clubs that consistently put a ton of talent and skill onto the court every season.

International clubs in the category were Zentro Basket, a strong Madrid-based academy, fellow Madrid-based club ADC Boadilla and the Dublin Lions, a great group of players and coaches who would show the UK what Irish basketball was all about.

Split into 5-team groups, the route to the championship game was very simple – win every game! After some down to the wire finishes, joyful celebrations and heartbreak, the two teams that would battle for supremacy would be Newham Youngbloods, whose teams had reached every single Battle in the Capital ‘19 final, and ‘18 runners-up Manchester Magic.

Youngbloods were led by the “one-man fastbreak” Moziah Danchie, younger brother of U16 star Marcus Myen Danchie, whose finishing around the basket was of a level way beyond his years. Another key factor for the team from Newham was Sampson Onuoha, an inside force who was tough to contain in and around the paint. The Magic had a variety of threats from inside and outside, with composed and clutch guards Matthew Goodwin and Luca Lara-Sanchez on the perimeter, while Tyler Dawson-Wagsvc patrolled inside.

In probably the tensest and most spectacular of all three finals, the final result came down to some late game heroics from Magic’s Matthew Goodwin, who scored a tough left-hand layup and knocked down a deep three to give his team a hard-fought 41-39 win, while claiming the MVP award for his efforts. It was a sensational display of basketball from both teams, who refused to give up until the final buzzer, and a promising look into the future of British basketball.

Final standings:

1. Manchester Magic
2. Newham Youngbloods
3. Baltic Stars
4. Richmond Knights
5. Zentro Basket
6. Dublin Lions
7. Sussex Bears
8. ADC Boadilla
9. Surrey Rams
10. Southend Rockets

MVP: Matthew Goodwin, Manchester Magic

Huge thank you to all the players, coaches, staff and supporters that helped make the event happen, we really appreciate you. Next year’s Battle in the Capital U16 & U14 tournament will be even bigger and better than the 2019 edition – if you want to register your interest in attending Battle in the Capital 2020 please click the button below. We expect demand to be high so please register early.

Register your interest for BITC 2020

About BTM
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.