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Basketball First division proving to be the most competitive for a long time

Basketball League competitions, in its 8 categories, took an Easter week break, ahead of the business end of the season which started on Tuesday with 2 matches, the second of which having probably clinched the Women’s League for Europa Valmar.
Before the break, Bavaria Blue Stars Blue were crowned Under 16 Girls champions, with the last round of matches left to play. Currently, they have a 4 wins - 1 defeat record, with Bavaria Blue Stars Pink, Europa Valmar and Lincoln Bayside on 2-3, in a very competitive league which saw the champions win their four matches by 1, 8, 5 and 3 points, having lost their one match by just 1 point.
The men’s First Division is proving to be the most competitive for a long time, with holders Bavaria Blue Stars and Lincoln Bayside joint leaders with 3-2 records, but Europa Valmar, on 3-1, and GibYellow Animals, on 2-1, are not only in the hunt but better placed to top the table at the end of the 8 - match race. Newcomers Hercules have lost their 5 matches but have proved to be tough opposition. The top four are involved in tussles against each other in the next 5 weeks, starting tonight with Lincoln Bayside v GibYellow Animals (tip-off 8.15 pm).
The Second Division has just passed the halfway mark, with Bavaria Blue Stars Reserves unbeaten with 12 points in the lead. Europa Valmar Reserves and Lincoln Bayside Reserves follow with 4-2 records (10 points), GibYellow Beasts on 3-2 (8), Europa Valmar Fusion 0-5 (5) and Damex Gators 0-4 and 2 non-appearances (4). BBSR are well placed but there’s some way to go, and the chasing pack, who they still have to face, could make it difficult for the leaders.
The Under 18 men’s has come down to a two - horse race between unbeaten leaders Bavaria Blue Stars Pink on 12 points, and Lincoln Bayside, a point behind. The leaders face third placed Europa Valmar, the League Cup winners, on 9 points, and out of the running, tonight at 8.15 pm. LB played GibYellow Soldiers last night. The results of these two matches will set the scene for an almost certain title decider on Monday week.
Europa Valmar lead the Under 15 Boys’, which has also come down to two contenders. EV is unbeaten on 12 points with 2 matches left, ahead of Lincoln Bayside, 3 points behind with a game in hand. Both are expected to win their remaining matches, before meeting each other for the final showdown a fortnight tomorrow, where LB would need to win by more than 7 points to overcome their head-to-head deficit.
Bavaria Blue Stars only have to play their last two matches to take the Under 13 Boys’ title, as closest followers, Damex Gators, could only tie them on points, should they win their last 3 matches, and BBS would take it on head-to-head. Currently, BBS are unbeaten on 14 points, 4 ahead of DG.
Europa Valmar have an identical situation at the head of the Senior Women’s table in a competition that has been depleted by the retirement of Markor Thundercats. The unbeaten leaders have 8 points with 2 matches left, 4 ahead of Bavaria Blue Stars Pink, on 4 with a match in hand, but with an inferior head-to-head.
Finally, Damex Gators lead the Under 13 Girls League with a 5-1 (11 points) record, but Bavaria Blue Stars are on 4-1 (9 points). Teams play 9 matches and the two leaders have beaten each other once, so it will probably be decided in their third and final clash on 11 May. - J.G.

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