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BA London Lions look to Da Silva to do the business - posted 8th Sep

Former Brixton Topcats star and Portuguese international Lavinia Da Silva is coming back to the WBBL after she agreed to join BA London Lions for the new 2018-19 season.

Last playing in the league during 2014-15 before moving to CAB Madeira in Portugal's top flight, Da Silva has spent the past three seasons in Italy.

Her arrival is a major coup for Lions, since she competed for Carispezia Spezia in the top flight A1 last year, which is rated one of the top leagues in Europe. The centre also did the business in a big way and amassed an eye-catching 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

“Lavinia will add more experience and physicality to our roster,” declared Head Coach, Mark Clark.

"Her ability to make things happen both ends of the floor is a great attribute for us to have.

“Lavinia's relentless effort and ability will add to our already strong front line, while her leadership qualities will make us a far better team,” added the play-caller.

Da Silva is the third frontcourt player to be announced this week, coming hot on the heels of Diana Voynova and Urysla Cotton. Meanwhile Great Britain rising star Loren Christie is also back on board to provide Lions with an impressive looking rotation.

More player announcements are scheduled for next week.

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BA London Lions looking to Cotton to help spark push for Play-Offs - posted 7th Sep

BA London Lions have bagged themselves another returnee after frontcourt star Urysla Cotton committed to continuing to wear the club’s colours during the 2018-19 WBBL season.

Cotton used her previous NCAA experience to rack up more than eight points and eight rebounds per game last year during what was her rookie campaign in the league.

Lions’ Head Coach Mark Clark is thrilled to be getting Cotton back on the roster and eager for her to help the team challenge for a post-season slot, having missed out in 2017-18.

He enthused: “Urysla will be back with us again after completing her Masters at the University of East London and it means she will focus solely on playing this time around.

“It is always great to have continuity and retaining Urysla gives us another quality forward who can help us get back into the mix for the Play-Offs.”

The Elon graduate joins new arrival Diana Voynova, while also linking back up with many of her team-mates from last season, including the likes of Tereza Brantlova, Macy Spinks, Loren Christie and Teresa Da Silva.

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Former Northumbria favourite to give BA Lions added bite - posted 6th Sep

BA London Lions have turned to the popular powerhouse forward Diana Voynova to help spearhead their challenge for the forthcoming 2018-19 WBBL campaign.

The Bulgarian international is returning to the league after two seasons on the Continent playing in the highly-rated DBBL in Germany and also the Central European Women's League.

Voynova averaged more than 8 points and 6 rebounds per game last year with BC Marburg, where she also spent the 2016-17 season.

The Duquesne alumni played with distinction in the WBBL at Team Northumbria during the inaugural campaign and then returned to the North-East after a spell in Italy with Castellammare di Stabia.

The last time she was suited up in the WBBL was in the capital after signing off in style by helping Team Northumbria to WBBL Play-Off success at The 02 in 2016.

Now Voynova is heading back to London on a more permanent basis, with BA Lions' play-caller Mark Clark delighted to be able to bring her on board.

He declared: "After her spell in Germany, the former Northumbria standout will join us as part of what we are hoping will be a formidable front line.

"We are excited about bring Diana to London since she will not only bring great quality and physicality to our line-up, but also great leadership which will help the team and especially the younger players," added Clark.

BA Lions have already added a quartet of returnees from last season in the shape of Loren Christie, Teresa Da Silva, Macy Spinsk and Tereza Brantlova.

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BA boys depart to Madrid for pre-season - posted 3rd Sep

Barking Abbey boys departed to Madrid this week for pre-season in what has become an annual trip for the programme over the past four years.

The trip, funded by Erasmus+, will see Barking Abbey enjoy two weeks in Spain, as they will be put through a rigorous pre-season schedule, which will include physical testing, two-a-day practices, and three games against Spanish sides including powerhouse Estudiantes.

The successful Erasmus+ bid gives students an opportunity to experience professional basketball in a European country, living the life of a professional, and experience international culture of the sport through playing against and watching Spanish teams.

Not only on the court, the team will also get to indulge in the cultural experiences of Madrid, visiting local landmarks, and heading to an ACB pre-season tournament.

"We're delighted to be heading back to Spain," BA Director of Operations Lloyd Gardner commented.

"Last year it was the girls, and so this year it is the boys' turn. It's always a great experience for our student-athletes, one that will help them develop both on and off the basketball court. We're definitely looking forward to it, and should help give us a head start in our preparation for the season, giving the players plenty of time to bond and build chemistry, whilst ensuring they are in shape for the season ahead."

The squad will be staying in Pinto, Madrid, with first class facilities, and the local arena where they will be practicing, a 5 minute walk away. Luis Guil, a well-respected Spanish coaching figure who previously coached at BA for a year, helped organise the trip as the host via the Erasmus+ bid.

The team will return to the UK on September 9.

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Veteran guard Brantlova back with BA London Lions - posted 15th Aug

BA London Lions are set to benefit from the experience of former FIBA Youth World Champion Tereza Brantlova as they head into the new 2018-19 WBBL campaign.
 
The Czech shooting guard will once again suit up for the Lions, having played for the club during all four years since the inception of the WBBL.
 
Last term, Brantlova joined the club mid-season and is set to continue where she left off, using all of her priceless veteran know-how to pass on to Lions’ glut of young players from Barking Abbey.
 
“Tereza brings so much quality and experience to the table, that her presence again this season will give us a big boost,” said Lions’ Head Coach, Mark Clark.
 
“As a former World Champion and a vastly travelled international player, she also brings an ability to stretch the floor and provide us with a scoring touch.
 
“The return of Tereza is another piece of the jigsaw as we look to try and make a return to the Play-Offs in 2019,” added the play-caller.
 
Lions have already announced the return of young guns, Loren Christie, Tereza Da Silva and Macy Spinks.

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Young duo land back at BA London Lions - posted 3rd Aug

BA London Lions will continue to offer some of the most exciting talent in the British Game an opportunity to impress in the WBBL after the club confirmed the return of both Teresa Da Silva and Macy Spinks.

Having already sealed the signature of Great Britain forward Loren Christie, Lions will have another two Barking Abbey young guns on their roster again for 2018-19.

“Both Teresa and Macy grew in maturity last year in different ways,” enthused Head Coach, Mark Clark.

“Macy through her performances in Division 1, while Teresa had to deal with the challenge of having an injury ravaged season.” 

Both players are expected to continue their growth in the top flight this season, with Da Silva particularly keen to get back onto the floor after losing so  many minutes through being sidelined in 2017-18.

She stated: “I’m looking forward to the upcoming season coming as I will be playing with some new players that I haven’t played with before. I also know there are new teams entering the league too.

“As I missed most of last season due to injury, I’m so excited to come back and work hard - hopefully, we’ll do well.”

Meanwhile Spinks added: “I look forward to building on both the positives and challenges of last year during this upcoming season.

“Playing in the WBBL is key for my development and I'm excited to do this with a number of new teammates, as well as returning players.

“I believe we'll be very competitive and will be better each time we step on the court,” she concluded.

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Great Britain rising star Christie back at Lions - posted 30th Jul

BA London Lions have tipped off their recruitment for the 2018-19 WBBL season by re-inking Great Britain rising star, Loren Christie.

The frontcourt ace arrived at Barking Abbey last summer from Oaklands Wolves and proceeded to land the WEABL title, while also recently impressing for her country at the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship Division B in Oradea.

She is also now preparing to step out with GB at the forthcoming FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship Division B in Austria.

Last season, Christie averaged more than six points and five rebounds per game in the WBBL Championship.

“I’m looking forward to coming back into the WBBL and starting the new season off the back of two European Championships with Great Britain,” stated Christie.

“Also because this year, we’re bringing in some new players that will give us the leadership and support we didn’t have last season.

“I think it’ll give us the chance to compete with all the teams in the league and still allow the academy players to develop.”

Head Coach Mark Clark added: “Loren has already shown with U20 National Team that she has huge upsides and as she develops as a forward, she can fulfil her huge potential.

“Meanwhile last year was our most frustrating in the top flight of UK basketball and we need to step things up during 2018-19 - and we will.”

Further player announcements by Lions will be made during coming days.

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Two BA players named to initial GB Under-18 Women's Squad - posted 23rd Jul

Two Barking Abbey student-athletes have been named to the initial 14-person Great Britain Under-18 Women's squad vying for a place at the Division B European Championships this summer.

Loren Christie and Charlotte Ellmore have both been named to the team after a season which saw them both suit up in the WBBL for BA London Lions and win a National Championship with the WEABL squad.

Christie makes the step up from the GB Under-16s last summer, whilst Ellmore makes it her second year with the Under-18s after playing last year.

"Well done to both Loren and Charlotte for making the initial squad," said BA Director of Operations Lloyd Gardner.

"Both thoroughly deserve their spots and we have no doubt they will be an asset to the squad. Good luck to them both in making the final 12."

Led by Head Coach Vanessa Ellis and Assistant Coaches Jamie Smith and Chantelle Handy, the team will play their first competitive game against hosts Austria when the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship begins on Friday 3rd August.

GB are drawn in Group C and will also face Turkey, Montenegro, Netherlands and Denmark in the opening stage.

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4 BA Players Named in Final GB U20 Men's Squad - posted 11th Jul

Four Barking Abbey players have been named in the final twelve Great Britain Under-20 Men's squad to compete at the Division A European Championships starting on Saturday in Germany.

Current student-athletes Caleb Fuller and Sean Nealon-Lino, along with alumni RJ Eytle-Rock and Dan Akin have all made the final team, that also features BA's Lloyd Gardner as an assistant coach.

The squad flew to Germany on, playing a prep game against the hosts today, before opening the tournament against Turkey.

They will follow it up with games against Montenegro and Lithuania to complete the opening round.

GB U20 Head Coach Marc Steutel said, "We have a talented group of players who will be tested against the best young players in Europe but we have had a good training camp and we know these boys can perform at the highest level."

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BA players selected in final GB U20 Women's squad - posted 7th Jul

Seven Barking Abbey players, past and present, have been selected to the final Great Britain Under-20 Women's squad.

The team open up the Division B European Championships in Romania today, as they will be fighting for promotion.

Current student-athletes Zoe Willis, Flora Durgerian, Loren Christie and Megan Sheret - all a part of BA's 2018 WEABL National Championship winning squad - all make the cut, along with alumni Imani Whittington, Savannah Wilkinson and Sarah Round.

"We're incredibly proud all the BA players who will be competing for Great Britain in Romania," BA's Director of Operations Lloyd Gardner said.

"We wish them all the best for the Euros and have no doubt they will represent BA and themselves well, they are a credit to our programme."

Britain play the opening game of the tournament against Israel in Oradea on Saturday and face group games against hosts Romania as well as Lithuania, Ukraine and Greece.

Every game will be streamed live via British Basketball's Facebook page and FIBA's YouTube page.

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