17 January, 2020

GB players continue busy starts to 2020 as Tokyo countdown continues

After spending the first week of 2020 at a GB training camp in Sheffield, it’s back to club action for many of the GB players this weekend as the Spanish, German and Italian Leagues continue across Europe.

Terry Bywater’s CD Ilunion head into the second-half of the season in Spain, currently top of the Division de Honor, winning all nine of their games so far this season.

It will be a record Bywater and his Madrid-based club will be wanting to extend when Fundacion Vital Zuzenak travel to the Spanish capital on Saturday.

CD Ilunion are currently one point ahead of BSR Amiab Albacete at the top of the table, with Albacete losing to the league leaders in an enthralling game to end 2019; their only defeat of the 2019/20 campaign.

Featuring four GB players – Gaz Choudhry, Lee Manning, Harry Brown and Kyle Marsh – Albacete host bottom of the table, CB Las Rozas FDI, looking to start the new calendar year with a win.

There’s a thrilling battle in prospect in Bilbao as third-placed Bidaideak Bilbao take on fourth-placed Mideba Extremadura, who feature five GB players.

After a mixed opening half to the season, Phil Pratt, Gregg Warburton, Abdi Jama, Ben Fox and George Bates are all re-focused and determined to push on in the second-half of the season.

Three British players will be in action in Gran Canaria as Lewis Edwards and Sam Mack travel to James MacSorley’s Gran Canaria with Iberconsa Amfiv.

Gran Canaria ended 2019 with back-to-back wins, while Edwards ended the calendar year strongly for Amfiv, scoring 43 points across the final three gameweeks of 2019.

Thomas Smith will be hoping his Rincon Dental Amivel return to winning ways when they take on Fundacion Grupo Norte having lost their last three games.

In Italy, Ian Sagar and Martin Edwards will be targeting their first wins of 2020 after defeats last weekend.

Sagar top-scored for Special Sport Bergamo with 27 points, but that wasn’t enough to stop Bergamo beginning the new year with a 72:93 defeat to Porto Torres. Sagar faces another tough test this weekend as Bergamo take on league leaders S. Stefano Avis.

Martin Edwards scored 18 points last weekend as SSD Santa Lucia suffered a narrow 64-67 defeat to Studio 3A Millennium Basket. Santa Lucia host Porto Torres on Saturday, who are second in the table.

In Germany, Simon Brown will be hoping his 2018 World Championships teammate Jim Palmer can help Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden to victory and end RSB Thuringia Bulls’ unbeaten record this season.

League leaders Thuringia Bulls are currently one place above Brown’s RSV Lahn-Dill at the top of table, with both teams level on points, but Thuringia Bulls have played a game less.

RSV Lahn-Dill host RBB Munchen Iguanas with Lahn-Dill’s only defeat this season coming against Thuringia Bulls.

Complete fixture list, featuring GB players:
RSV Lahn-Dill v RBB Munchen Iguanas Simon Brown
RSB Thuringa Bulls v Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden Jim Palmer
Bidaideak Bilbao v Mideba Ben Fox
George Bates
Abdi Jama
Phil Pratt
Greg Warburton
BSR Amiab Albacete v CB Las Rozas FDI Kyle Marsh
Gaz Choudhry
Harry Brown
Lee Manning
BSR Gran Canaria v Iberconsa Amfiv James MacSorley (Gran Canaria)

Lewis Edwards (Amfiv) Sam Mack (Amfiv)
CD Ilunion v Fundacion Vital Zuzenak Terry Bywater
Fundacion Grupo Norte v Rincon Dental Amivel Thomas Smith
Special Sport Bergamo v S. Stefano Avis Ian Sagar
SSD Santa Lucia v GSD Porto Torres Martin Edwards
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