Around the NBL – Week 22

The latest NBL recap looking at the action around the leagues from D1 down to D4..

Division One

Team Northumbria (19-3) remain in pole position at the top of D1 after a double-winning weekend on the road. Marc Steutel’s side defeated Loughborough Student Riders (12-9) 68-75 before recording a 51-61 triumph over Manchester Magic (15-4) with Malcolm Smith netting 30 points in each victory.

However, Reading Rockets (17-3) are close behind after extended their impressive winning run to 16 games. First, they posted a 73-82 win at Leicester Warriors with Chris Hooper posting 33 points and 16 rebounds prior to a convincing 105-69 success over London Lituanica (8-11) as Juan Valerio Rojas netted 28 points.

Derby Trailblazers round out the top four as they started the weekend with a 96-60 win against Lituanica with a game-high of 34 points from Jake Wesselingh, but then suffered an agonising 98-99 loss in overtime against Lancashire Spinners.

Mark Rangeley scored 25 points in the road victory as the Spinners had bounced back from a 64-79 loss at home to Hemel Storm (9-11) the day before. Solent Kestrels (12-7) inflicted an 82-65 loss on Essex Leopards (5-15) with a 17-3 final period, while Worthing Thunder (5-16) were beaten 70-95 by Manchester as Simon Anumba put up 34 points on 15-21 shooting.

Westminster Warriors (1-18) finally claimed their first win of the season as they beat Essex 58-64 behind 29 points from Jon J Johnson, before going down 57-84 at home to Leicester with the visitors paced by Leome Francis’ 21-point haul.

Also, Bradford Dragons (11-10) made it back-to-back home losses for Loughborough after recording an 86-99 road success as Rihard Sulcs netted 25 points to help boost his side’s position inside the top eight.

Division Two

Team Newcastle University (16-2) have had their advantage at the top of D2 cut after suffering a 73-66 defeat away at London Greenhouse Pioneers (7-10), on Sunday. Dean Prosenica netted 26 points to inflict a second loss on the North-East side.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (15-3) have closed the gap after 35 points from Martelle McLemore helped them to an impressive 90-93 success on the road against Kent Crusaders (14-3). The home side had 23 points apiece from Amin Adamu and John Shodipo, but a 32-point third period helped the Cavaliers take control.

Elsewhere, Doncaster Danum Eagles (5-12) improved their survival hopes with a hard-fought 98-96 success over Ipswich (10-9), despite 27 points from Leigh Greenan as the hosts won the fourth 28-19. Newham Neptunes (4-14) were also victorious as they defeated Derbyshire Arrows (7-11) behind a 36-point haul from Lukas Volskis.

Nottingham Hoods (7-11) claimed a 55-70 win away at London Westside (10-8) with D Powell netting 21 points, while Charlton Jones scored 34 points to lead Tees Valley Mohawks (7-11) to a 96-76 success over Liverpool (5-13).

Division Three

University of Chester (15-2) recorded a convincing 80-113 victory over Mansfield Giants (2-16) in D3 North as Niel Gillard netted 30 points. Team Birmingham Elite (14-3) kept up the pressure with a 108-54 win against Sheffield Hallam Sharks (8-10), while Daniel Belgrave had 28 points to lead Birmingham Mets (9-8) past Coventry Tornadoes (5-11) 90-97.

In D3 South action, Middlesex LTBC (14-3) defeated Oxford Brookes University (4-9) 92-77 with Modestas Krasauskas netting 31 points. Abdoulaye Sylla had 34 points in vain for the visitors having scored 35 the day before in a 100-97 victory against Thames Valley Cavaliers II (0-15).

Meanwhile, Gedi Juozapaitis poured in 41 points to lead Southwark Pride (7-7) to a 98-90 victory at home to Northants Thunder (5-10). Brunel University Ducks (8-7) beat Greenwich Titans (8-10) 91-72 with Korry Callum scoring 19 points, while Solent Kestrels II edged out Cardiff Met Archers (8-8) 67-65.

Division Four

Calderdale Explorers (8-6) recorded a 76-90 win away at Stockport Falcons (4-11) in D4 North with 23 points from Nathaniel Akins, while Kendal Warriors (5-11) were awarded a 20-0 victory over Kingston Panthers (6-10).

In D4 Midlands, Northants Taurus (15-1) continue to lead the way after they defeated Team Wolverhampton (12-2) 87-92 on the road in a battle between the top two. Shropshire Warriors (12-4) are in third after beating Kings Lynn Fury (5-11) 52-58, while Nottingham Hoods II (5-11) beat Derby Trailblazers II (6-9) 78-67.

Also, Warwickshire Hawks (10-7) claimed a 59-71 win on the road against Sheffield Sabres (3-14) and City of Birmingham (8-7) eased to a 99-49 success over Birmingham Mets II (2-12) as Matt Catlow netted 27 points.

Barking Abbey Crusaders (12-5) lead the way in D4 South-East as they defeated Kent Crusaders II (9-7) with Jubrile Belo top scoring with 19 points. Essex Blades (11-3) remain well placed in second after beating Cambrdige Cats (4-12) 65-77, while Middlesex Saxons (11-4) eased past Anglia Ruskin University (0-16) 84-55 and Folkestone Saints (8-8) were beaten 64-72 at home to Chelmsford Lions (10-6).

In D4 South-West action, Patrick Likosso netted 40 points to lead Cardiff City (12-2) to a 111-62 success against Reading Rockets II (7-9), while Southampton University (3-10) lost 67-74 to Bristol Storm (8-6), despite 30 points from D Amargianitakis.

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