Last weekend, Cunningham Park in Harrow hosted the third and final qualifier of Ball Out – London’s biggest streetball basketball competition.
As part of FIBA’s official qualification tournament for the world 3×3 championships, Ball Out has been attracting teams from all across Europe this summer in their quest to take the London title which provides an automatic place in the world semi-finals in Hungary. Teams from Poland, France, and Lithuania battled British ballers in the picturesque surroundings on one of London’s ‘best kept secret’ outdoor courts known as ‘C-Park’.
‘Team GB’ featured MM winners Samuel Toluwase and Jules Dang-Akodo who were quick to book their place in the Ball Out finals at the end of August as semi-finalists on the day. Toluwase will undoubtedly be a player to be reckoned with in the finals as his combination of strength, speed, explosiveness coupled with a feathery soft mid-range jumper could and should send warning signs to FIBA 3×3 players across Europe. Dang-Akodo is just that guy. Period. His ability to get busy indoors and out have many labelling him as the heir apparent to MM legend Germayne Forbes as he is ready to play against anybody, at anytime and welcomes all competition. Certified baller.
Despite the welcomed addition of Team GB to the mix, it was the French invasion who set the ultimate standard on the day with the University of Bordeaux showing the french region can do more than make a fine wine. Led by 3-point gunner Eddy Steiner, Bordeux went to work on Poland’s ‘Born2Ball‘ in the semi-final, setting up a final against the Asphalt Assassins, led by Tarryn ‘The Teacher’ Algar, Jon Jay Johnson and Adam ‘Biscuit’ Lovelock. The Assassins beat Team GB in the semi’s, advancing to their second qualifier final of the summer.
In the final, Steiner’s uncontainable 3 point bombs proved to be too much, even for the sharp shooting assassins as Bordeaux ran out 15-8 winners.
All roads now lead to the Ball Out Championship Finals on Saturday 27th August 2016 at Turnpike Lane, which event organiser Julius Joseph says is already heating up: “The level of competition we’ve seen through the qualifiers from so many different countries coming to London to represent has been fantastic. The better teams have already started talking up what they are going to do in the finals so we know it’s going to be special. It’s free to watch and we’ll have the music going, prizes and giveaways along with food support from our our sponsors Chiquen. It’s the one everyone is talking about so we’re looking forward to a great day of summer hoops in the heart of the community as we find out who will be crowned Ball Out Champions for 2016.”
For more information on Ball Out, please visit www.ball-out.co.uk, or email event organiser, Julius Joseph, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.