Sheffield Steelers introduced club teams from around Europe to British Wheelchair Basketball’s new elite training centre, as they hosted the EuroLeague 2 Final (formerly the Willi Brinkmann Cup), at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield between Friday 27th April until Sunday 29th April.
Hosts Sheffield Steelers swept through their group games relatively unchallenged to finish top of the table, 3-0, whilst Russia’s Nevskiy Alliance snatched the second place defeating Germany’s Koln 99ers in a thrilling game, 76-64 and Italian’s ASD Handicap Sport Varese, 51 – 47.
Group B saw Spain’s BSR ACE Gran Canaria finish first with three wins, their most challenging game coming from France’s Le Cannet, who finished second with only one defeat at the hands of Gran Canaria. The Netherlands’ Only Friends and Italy’s GSD Porto Torres having to settle for third and fourth in the standings.
The first semi-final saw Steelers battle it out against France’s Le Cannet and the hosts continued their winning streak with a dominant performance, 84 – 65. In the other semi-final, Gran Canaria proved too much for the Russian’s Nevskiy Alliance and comfortably made their way through to the final winning, 80-54.
In front of a raucous home crowd, Sheffield Steelers matched up against Gran Canaria, in the finals. The game was arguably the most hotly contested of the tournament and it did not disappoint, a strong second quarter from Steelers saw them lead by 5 points at halftime and despite the best efforts of Gran Canaria, it was a gap they could not overcome. The game-ending 71 – 60 as the hosts triumphed on home turf, winning the EuroLeague 2 Final trophy.
All-Star 5: Abdi Jama (1, Sheffield Steelers), Phil Pratt (3, Sheffield Steelers), George Bates (4.5, Sheffield Steelers), Jared Arambula (2.5, Gran Canaria), Dalius Žymantas (2, Nevskiy Alliance)
Article written by Dylan Cummings, IWBF Junior Writer.