Myerscough vs Charnwood – EABL Final Preview

The 2015-16 EABL season culminates on Wednesday with the Championship Final between defending champions Myerscough College and last year’s semi-finalists Charnwood College at Leicester Community Sports Arena.

It pits the number 1 and 2 seeds from the West against each other, as Myerscough rolled through the season undefeated at 11-0, while Charnwood went 10-2. The top two seeds went head-to-head in Week 16 with Myerscough repeating last year’s semi-final victory with an 85-73 success.

However, that encounter between the two teams was not a true reflection of the match up we will see in the final – Charnwood were without starting point guard Andre Arissol and big man Henri Langton – both England junior internationals, whilst Myerscough lost their starting point guard, Alex Roberts – also a junior international – in the opening minutes.

Roberts remains a gametime decision for the final, playing limited minutes in Myerscough’s semi, while Arissol and Langton will both be present for Charnwood.

In last week’s semi-finals, Myerscough were the first team to book their spot in the Final as they defeated Itchen College 74-58 before Charnwood secured their place in the title showdown the following day after coming from behind to beat City of London Academy 77-80 on the road.

Myerscough led the league in almost every statistical category during the regular season, including offensive rating, defensive rating, shooting percentage, and assists with a number of weapons.

Kyle Carey has been their main threat, averaging 19.1ppg (5th), 9.5 rebounds (5th), 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals per outing, meanwhile Alex Roberts (11.9ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.9apg, 2.3spg) has controlled the team from the point guard position, with England Under-18 Zion Tordoff chipping in with 13.8ppg and 5.2rpg.

“We’re really excited about making successive appearances in the championship game,” said Myerscough Head Coach Neal Hopkins.

“We are fired up and looking forward to taking on Charnwood on their own floor, I’m expecting a real battle. Our preparations are going well and the guys are locked in, it should be a great final.”

As for Charnwood, they have plenty of scoring options with no less than six different players averaging double figures in points, led by Sesan Russell (13.3ppg) and Thomas Yome (12.5ppg).

Arissol ranked 5th in assists with an average of 4.4 per game during the regular season, to go with his 10.1ppg, while Langton had 1.8bpg to lead the league and also averaged 10.6ppg.

“It feels great to advance to the EABL Final after falling short in the semi final last year,” said Head Coach Josh Merrington.

“We had a particularly tough run to get here, defeating two very good teams in Barking Abbey and CoLA along the way. We know Myerscough will be another tough opponent in the final but we are in a confident mood and we have a good rhythm at the moment.

“We’ll continue to do the things that have helped us get to this point and hopefully with the game being played in Leicester we can get an added boost from the crowd.”

It is the first final in the past four years that doesn’t feature SGS College, who failed to make the playoffs this season.

The final tips at 6pm at the LCS Arena with the ABL (1pm) and WEABL (5pm) finals also taking place tomorrow (Wednesday).

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