With the British Basketball League now in full flow, check out all the action from Week 3 in our weekly roundup!
Worcester Wolves are the only unbeaten team left in the BBL Championship but had to work hard for it, after being taken to overtime two nights in a row.
Thursday night saw Worcester hold on for a dramatic 63-62 overtime win at London Lions in the live BBL TV game (box score). London Lions, who had Matthew Bryan-Amaning making his BBL debut (15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 7 blocks in 23mins), gave the game away after leading by four with 29 seconds remaining. Will Creekmore had a hot start for Worcester, finishing with 17 points to lead the Wolves.
Twenty-four hours later, Worcester went the extra distance again, defeating Cheshire Phoenix 94-90, behind monster games from Will Creekmore and Zaire Taylor to remain in first place (box score).
Creekmore had a 28 point, 22 rebound (10 offensive) double double, whilst Taylor finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Reggie Middleton’s 31, 6 and 8 was not enough for Cheshire.
“A tremendous effort by the team,” said Wolves’ coach Paul James.
“We started off really well and had double figure leads in both games.
“Each time, we came out in the third quarter and lost out our way a little bit, went behind, then found ourselves a way to get back into the game and win in overtime.”
James believes the backroom team at the Wolves deserve some praise for their conditioning work with the players, which meant the likes of Zaire Taylor, who was carrying an injury, and Will Creekmore, were able to play major minutes.
“Tremendous weekend for both guys,” enthused James.
“There was no question of Zaire not playing.”
“Creekmore was just unbelievable against Cheshire, 28 points, 22 rebounds, just a phenomenal effort on his behalf. He played a lot of minutes so he’s earned himself a couple of days off!”
Glasgow Rocks’ 89-73 defeat at home to Plymouth University Raiders on Sunday saw the Scottish side lose their unbeaten record (box score). Plymouth’s Donald Robinson torched his former team for 30 points, whilst GB Future Shane Walker’s 19 point, 10 rebound double double helped Raiders to their second straight win.
Glasgow’s defeat allowed Durham Wildcats to move up to fifth place on Sunday following their 100-79 win at Surrey United. Wildcats’ Devin Ginty led the way with a 28-point haul, which included seven three-pointers, while United’s Ceslovas Kucinskas had 24 on his debut.
“Devin shot the ball extremely well,” said Wildcats’ coach Lee Davie.
“He’s one of our best spot-up shooters, so when it comes to him and if he’s got time and space, we want him to [shoot].”
Davie was delighted to have won against a battling Surrey side but still sees plenty of room for improvement.
“We did what we needed to but it wasn’t our best performance by far,” he explained.
“We did well in the first half but we took our foot off the gas in the second, not doing the things that made us successful in the first half.”
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and One Health Sharks Sheffield share second place in the table after both teams won at the weekend.
The Sharks had to withstand a mammoth 45-point haul from Birmingham’s Brent Benson on Saturday evening, escaping with a 102-95 victory on the Knights’ home debut (box score). Benson went 7/13 from three point range, 16/27 overall, adding 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in what will no doubt be one of the stat lines of the season.
It was rather more straightforward for the Newcastle Eagles, with no less than five players finishing with double doubles as they handed Birmingham a 129-70 defeat on Friday evening (box score) and then held off a late Manchester Giants rally to record a 112-98 road win on Sunday (box score) behind 32 points from Malik Cook. Stefan Gill flirted with a triple double for Manchester, finishing with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, along with 2 steals for good measure.
Finally, Leicester Riders showed their defensive prowess once more as they kept an opponent below 45 points for the second straight week, running out 78-43 winners on Sunday away to Cheshire Phoenix (box score). GB captain Drew Sullivan led Leicester with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
What are your thoughts three weeks into the season? Let us know in the comments!