EABL Playoff Final Preview

The two #1 seeds go head-to-head in the EABL Final. 

Northern champs Myerscough College and Southern Conference winners Barking Abbey meet in Manchester as two of the most successful teams in competition history. 

Barking are four-times champions, Myerscough two – with the rivals sharing the title in the 2019/20 season when COVID-19 restrictions meant the final wasn’t played. 

There will be no such issue this time, with both teams coming off the back of impressive regular seasons – Barking were 12-1 and Myerscough 12-2. 

Their previous meeting before the final that never was came at the Final Four stage of the 2018/19 season, with BA squeezing through 63-58. 

Barking have been runners-up once previously and Myerscough three times – including last season – so both know all about life on the big stage. 

Myerscough secured their second EABL final berth in as many years as they beat #3 seeds The Manchester Magic Academy. 

Myerscough huddle up

‘Sco had previously swept aside Canterbury Academy in the Elite Eights round.

Barking ended reigning champs Charnwood’s campaign with a home win at the Final Fours stage.

That followed an Elite Eights victory over Derby College Trailblazers which got their post-season moving.

There will be plenty of talent on display at the National Basketball Performance Centre. Both establishments are committed to a team basketball ethos.

But both have outstanding individuals.

South MVP Nedas Cholevinskas and Ignas Juskveicius will be amongst Barking’s players to watch. The pair are both in the top 10 in the efficiency rankings, while All-Conference First-Teamer Michael Amako and Brennan Geoghegan also figure highly in the three-point shooting category.

Myerscough’s Asante brothers Peter, an All-Conference first team pick, and North Defensive Player of the Year Stephen are among the top assist-makers in the league, whilst Denilson Caschili (11.4PPG) and Euan Birch (11.0PPG) can both contribute on offence.

Barking’s Michael Amako (Hoopsfix)

Barking Abbey head coach James Vear said: “It’s always great to make a national final, we are excited to play against a very good Myerscough team.

“I think it will be a great game and great advert for academy basketball.”

Barking Abbey player Jamari Seri, named on the All Conference second team, said: “I’m excited for the game because it gives me and my team-mates a chance to perform on a big stage and show everybody what we’re capable of.

“We have a chance to make Barking Abbey history.”

Myerscough head coach Troy Culley said: “Making it to the national final is a real testament to our team’s growth, synergy and the effort the group have put in to get to this point.

“As we gear up for the championship game, it’s cliché to say but we have been really locked in on the defensive end which has been a foundation of us playing some of our best basketball at the right time.

“I feel it’s going to be an exciting, hard-fought contest and as a group we’re eager to embrace the challenge.”

Myerscough captain Euan Birch said: “It’s great for the team to reach the final and see all the work we have put in over the season paying off to get us to where we wanted to be.

“I would expect it to be a tough, physical game but that is natural when you have the two number one seeds in the country.

“We have been playing well lately and really locked in as a group and I am confident for the challenge.”

This year’s final will take place on Wednesday 29 March 2023 at Manchester’s National Basketball Performance Centre, with a 5:30pm tip.

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.

You can also watch the game online through the Basketball England YouTube account.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login