The final BBL All-Star 5 before Christmas includes a pair of players from each of the Cheshire Phoenix and Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks after their big wins in the BBL Championship on Sunday, alongside the joint-most frequent member of the weekly team from Manchester Giants after they made the BBL Cup Final.
Jordan Johnson – Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks
Glasgow’s point guard posted another double-double – his fifth of the season – as they bounced back from BBL Cup semi-final heartbreak to narrowly beat Bristol Flyers at the Emirates Arena, securing his fourth All-Star 5 appearance of the season, which is third most among all players. Johnson played all 40 minutes and finished with a game-high 28 points and 13 assists, including 11 points in a crucial third quarter that broke open an otherwise tight game, as well as going 4-4 from the line in the final two minutes to keep the visitors at arm’s length.
Larry Austin Jr. – Cheshire Phoenix
Making his first All-Star 5 appearance is Cheshire’s late addition Larry Austin Jr., a native of Springfield, Illinois, who joined from professional campaigns in Turkey and Portugal. The 6’2″ guard posted a double-double off the bench in Sunday’s win over Plymouth City Patriots, putting up 21 points and 10 assists in just 21 minutes, with five rebounds and three steals, including the first six points of the second stanza as Cheshire took a double-digit lead for good.
Jordan Harris – Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks
Glasgow’s high-flyer gains weekly honours for the second time this season after hitting a rich vein of form culminating in perhaps his best all-round performance so far against Bristol on Sunday. He finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists and six steals, while shooting 5-5 inside and proving a handful all night by drawing nine fouls and going 9-11 (81%) from the free-throw line. The teams were rarely separated by more than two shots, but he was all-action in a third quarter where Rocks scored 13 unanswered, with five points, three assists and three steals.
Tyrik Armstrong – Manchester Giants
Manchester’s point guard now joins reigning Molten BBL Player of the Season, Geno Crandall, at the top of the appearances chart for this season’s All-Star 5, with this being his fifth after Giants astonishingly came from ten points down to progress to the BBL Cup Final. In last Wednesday’s semi-final second leg, Armstrong finished with 25 points on 9-14 (64%) shooting, with seven assists and three steals. With Giants trailing by 12 on aggregate heading into the final five minutes, they hit a 16-1 surge in which Armstrong either scored or assisted in all-but-one of the baskets, with six points and three assists including the go-ahead tip-in.
Noah Dickerson – Cheshire Phoenix
Another player putting up a double-double in Cheshire’s big win on Sunday, and also making his first showing in the weekly team, is American big man Noah Dickerson. He finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds in just 23 minutes, including four points in a fast 7-0 start that set the tone, with five points and seven boards in a third quarter that Cheshire won 28-8 to put the game beyond their visitors.
Off the bench: Rashad Hassan (Plymouth City Patriots), Geno Crandall (Leicester Riders), Trejon Jacob (Bristol Flyers), Raphell Thomas-Edwards (Bristol Flyers), Marc Loving (Leicester Riders), Martaveous McKnight (Manchester Giants), Wesley Person Jr. (Newcastle Eagles).