ABL 2021/22 – Sweet Sixteen recap

The road to the 2021/22 ABL Play-off final began this week with the opening round of the post-season.

Sixteen academy teams – the top two sides from each of the six conferences, plus the four best third-placed teams – were whittled down to nine, with one game still to played on Monday that will reduce the field further ahead of the Elite Eights.

Due to the COVID pandemic, there was no ABL season in 2020/21 and the previous post-season was cut short before the 2019/20 play-off final, leaving Haringey Sixth Form College and New City College to be crowned as the league’s most recent co-champions. 

Both those teams made it through to the next round after successes this week, with Haringey seeing off Queen’s School 90-64 as New City beat Stoke-on-Trent College 84-52.

There was a big win Eastern conference winners Dagenham Park as they continued unbeaten run in 2021/22 to defeat Crest Academy 103-59.

Northolt High School went 15-1 to win the Western conference and made short work of third place finishers Sigma 6, winning 113-51.

St Charles are no strangers to a post season run as former ABL winners and they got their playoffs underway with a W, besting Riverside Sixth Form 85-66.

Bracknell and Wokingham College squeezed through a nail-biter against Mayfield School with the hosts coming out on top 83-80, leaving Northern conference winners Aston Manor Academy as the other team to progress, they beat Carmel College 78-68.

That leaves just one Sweet Sixteen game to be played, with HTS Storm and COHENEL locking horns early next week.

Once that tie is completed, Elite Eight games are scheduled for 16 March as teams continue their journey to the ABL finals in Manchester on Wednesday 30 March.

The next round of the playoffs is as follows:

Haringey Sixth Form College v St Charles Sixth Form College
Northolt High School v HTS Storm/COHENEL
Dagenham Park v Bracknell & Wokingham College
New City College v Aston Manor Academy

Elite Eights: 16 March

Finals Fours: 23 March

Final, National Basketball Performance Centre, Manchester: 30 March