Monday 24th June 2019
Asphalt Assassins and Sharks were yesterday crowned UK champions in the men’s and women’s categories respectively at Red Bull’s unique basketball tournament, Red Bull Reign.
Asphalt Assassins, based in London, started the day slowly with a loss in their first group game but went on to dominate proceedings, cruising to victory in the final. Meanwhile Sharks – also from London – grew stronger throughout the women’s tournament finally clinching victory by a single point in a dramatic final.
Each side will now head to the global final in Toronto, Canada – the home of 2019 NBA Final winners, Toronto Raptors.
Celebrating the best of streetball culture, the fast paced and attack packed competition made its debut with three qualifiers in London where teams fought to earn a spot in the national final which took place on Clapham Common. Across the world, hundreds of teams across 16 countries put their skills to the test in the one of a kind tournament.
Milly Watkins, who captained Sharks, was in disbelief: “I can’t really believe it. We were just trying to play each game as it came – it was such a close finish with the free-throw to tie the game. We’re all so excited to be heading to Toronto!”
Justin Hitchman from Asphalt Assassins added: “We’re ecstatic. We worked hard to get here and get the win so I’m really happy to be here with my teammates. We started really sloppy, we lost a couple of games but we picked it up – we started figuring out our strengths and that’s what we executed.”
Red Bull Reign uses a unique set of rules based on the gameplay of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) guidelines. Each game promises to be fast-paced and exciting, having a 21-point maximum and coming to an end if a team reaches 21 before the 10-minute time cap. Making each fixture even more exhilarating, if the game finishes in a draw it goes to a tie break, with the first team to score two additional points given the win.
The London qualifiers took place on the following dates at the following locations:
- Turnpike Lane – Sunday 12th May
- Clapham Common – Sat 25th May
- Finsbury Park – Sunday 9th June
Last year’s competition saw almost 8,000 participants take part from 16 different countries and five continents.