EABL Elite Eight recap – 15 March, plus Final Four preview

The EABL playoffs are already underway, with the post-season field reduced from eight to four following yesterday’s action.

#1 seeds Myerscough and Barking are both safely through, as are #2 seeds and defending champs Charnwood, leaving #3 seeds Manchester to stage the only upset of the round as they beat #2 CoLA.

We take a look at all four of yesterday’s contest, plus there’s a look ahead to what’s in store for next week’s Final Fours.

#1 Myerscough College 90-55 #4 The Canterbury Academy

Myerscough made it eight Final Four appearances in a row as they easily beat The Canterbury Academy 90-55.

Peter Asante led all scorers for the hosts with 29 points, with Euan Birch (16pts), Daniel Azancot and Stephen Asante (13pts each) all playing well.

Shem Onadeko was the standout for the Kent programme, but with 12 points, he was the only player to make it to double digits for the visitors.

“The guys really competed today and remained locked in,” said Myerscough coach Troy Culley.

“Defensively, the guys were tough to break down. That run [27-3 in the 2nd quarter] helped us put a stranglehold on the game and gave us a lot of confidence to build off our defence and get out in transition.

“That’s positive to see at this point in the year.”

#1 Barking Abbey 76-62 #4 Derby College Trailblazers

Barking rode 20 points from Moziah Danchie to book their place in the next round, coming out on top against Derby 76-62.

Derby got good contributions from Chris Yapo (16pts) and Joe Webster (15pts), but wouldn’t have enough to seal the upset.

Jamari Seri (15pts) also put in a shift for the hosts and deserves recognition, doing his part to extend a 37-36 Barking lead at the half into an eventual 14 point win.

#2 City of London Academy – Southwark 58-70 #3 The Manchester Magic Academy

The only upset of the round was in London yesterday as South #2 seeds CoLA were dumped out of the post season by Manchester, with a 70-58 final score.

Magic enjoyed a balanced offensive attack, led by the duo of Matt Goodwin (17pts) and Joe Buchanan (16pts), with Ben Brown adding nine more.

Max Coupe was a clear leader for the hosts, he had 27 points but no other CoLA player made it past the 10 point mark.

#2 Charnwood College Riders 96-68 #3 Itchen College

Charnwood’s defence of the EABL title is still on track after they beat South #3 seed Itchen 96-68.

The Riders shared the load to secure the win, with Lamarana Diallo (20pts), Dan Hadley (18pts), Lane Campbell and Oscar Curran (15pts each) all playing well.

The Fairbairns, Tyler (20pts) and John (17pts), did the heavy lifting for the South coast programme, but it wouldn’t be enough to keep their season alive.

Final Fours Preview

With both #1 seeds progressing, Barking and Myerscough will be the hosts of next week’s Final Four contests.

Myerscough will get reacquainted with North West rivals Manchester after Magic’s road upset against CoLA.

‘Sco did the double over Magic in the regular season, winning 88-57 in Manchester a few weeks ago and sealing a hefty 92-54 victory at home on the first week of the season.

That’ll no doubt give Myerscough plenty of confidence that they can advance to their third EABL final in a row, though Manchester are sure to want to keep their underdog status intact.

South winners Barking will entertain reigning champs Charnwood in a repeat of the famous 2018/19 final.

Charnwood came back to win that day against all the odds but BA are #1 seeds for a reason and have more than enough talent to book a spot in yet another playoff final as one of the most successful teams in the competition’s history.

Both games will take place on Wednesday 22 March 2023, with the EABL final taking place on Wednesday 29 March 2023 at Manchester’s National Basketball Performance Centre.

Tickets to attend the final are free, but still need to be purchased for capacity reasons.

To secure your ticket, please head to the Basketball England shop by clicking here.

Main image credit – Graham Hodges

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