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MVP Teel’s Leopards' real deal
LEOPARDS completed a treble as England Basketball announced their Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year awards for Division One.
The Big Cats’ excellent form which helped them with the Division One regular season title and the National Cup has seen guard Vernon Teel win the MVP and Dejan Mihevc take the coach’s award Teel edged team-mate Ousman Krubally into second place as they secured a one-two in the MVP.
The Leopards point guard is leading the league in points (25.9ppg) and assists (7.78apg) as well as averaging an impressive 9.1 rebounds per game which is likely to see him finish in the top 10 at the season’s end.
He also posted an impressive ten triple-doubles.
For Krubally, it’s a second successive runner-up spot, but he looks set to get some consolation by winning the rebounding award, having finished second in that last season.
He goes into the play-offs averaging 13.9 boards and is fourth in scoring with 20.3 points per game.
Coach Mihevc’s award will come as little surprise to anyone.
Since the Leopards lost at Medway Park in early December, they have reeled off 20 straight Division One wins to take the regular season title and qualify for the Final Fours this weekend.
In the process they won the National Cup final, and have suffered only one loss in their last 24 games.
But Mihevc had praise for his team and assistant coach Ozbej Stane.
“I believe that this represents a lot more than just me,” said Mihevc.
“It is everything and everybody in our team, in our organisation and I really want to share it with all of those that helped me and especially with my assistant coach and my players.
“When I think of the players and how hard they have worked the whole season and how committed they have been from the start, not only playing together but for each other, I am flattered to have the privilege of coaching them.
“They are not just talented players, but they are players of high character and what is the most important great human beings and good friends.”
After guiding the BA Leopards women’s team to third place in Division One, Mark Clark completed a treble for the Big Cats.
They finished with a 13-8 record, losing only two games against sides outside the top two.
They will face City of Sheffield Hatters in the play-off semi-finals at the Amaechi Centre on Saturday.