All-Star 5 – Week 21
It’s a guard heavy BBL All-Star 5 this week, led by a pair of new faces for this season after sharpshooting performances from Kimbal Mackenzie and Ty Gadsden, who is one of two from Plymouth City Patriots after they bounced back with a pair of key victories.
Kimbal Mackenzie – Leicester Riders
It’s four straight league wins for Leicester Riders as Kimbal Mackenzie celebrated a recent Great Britain call-up with a career-high scoring night to secure a road win at Cheshire Phoenix and a first All-Star 5 appearance of the season. He poured in 31 points in 34 minutes, shooting 11-15 (73%) from the floor and a perfect 7-7 at the free-throw line, along with five assists and four rebounds, including an incredible buzzer-beating triple on half time among 12 second stanza points in an 11-0 push over the break that all but settled the game.
Ty Gadsden – Plymouth City Patriots
Another maiden All-Star 5 showing of the season comes for Plymouth’s recent acquisition in American guard Ty Gadsden as they returned to form with back-to-back wins over the weekend against two teams below them, Gadsden excelling in both. On Friday they came through overtime to beat Surrey Scorchers on the road, with Gadsden scoring 32 points on 8-13 (61%) shooting including 4-7 (57%) from the three-point line and 12-14 (85%) at the charity stripe as he proved hard to handle all night, also posting four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Patriots had to come from behind, with Gadsden scoring seven points in five third quarter minutes, followed by nine in the fourth.
Luke Nelson – London Lions
Another Great Britain international guard, Luke Nelson makes his second appearance in the All-Star 5, but first since week four, after London Lions beat Surrey in a midweek clash at the Copper Box Arena. Coming from the bench, Nelson was close to a double-double in just over 22 minutes as he scored 17 points on 3-6 (50%) three-point shooting and handed out nine assists, with four rebounds and three steals. Lions trailed early on until Nelson scored eight points in five first quarter minutes to put them ahead, before pulling the strings in the second with four assists.
Elvisi Dusha – Plymouth City Patriots
Elvisi Dusha, November’s Molten BBL Player of the Month, makes his first All-Star 5 appearance since that time, and second overall, after Plymouth’s overtime win at Surrey on his old stomping ground. Dusha scored 19 points on 7-11 (63%) shooting, with six assists, five rebounds and two steals, including seven points inside the last two minutes to force overtime and the go-ahead basket in the extra period.
Jeremiah Bailey – Caledonia Gladiators
Leading all players with eight appearances for the season, American forward Jeremiah Bailey turned in another big performance in Caledonia’s significant win over Cheshire Phoenix as those two teams chase a top four finish, with Gladiators winning the head-to-head at the Emirates Arena on Friday. Bailey had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, with three assists, two steals and two blocks, including six points and three boards in three minutes with the triple that sparked a 13-2 burst that took them from behind to leading for good.
Off the bench: Jamell Anderson (Cheshire Phoenix), Hasahn French (Newcastle Eagles), Kyle Carey (Surrey Scorchers), Kosta Koufos (London Lions), Carrington Love (Leicester Riders), Anthony Roberson (Manchester Giants), Jelani Watson-Gayle (Bristol Flyers).