The National Basketball League (NBL) is back with the 2017-18 season tipping off with four different competitions over the weekend.
Our annual weekly round-up begins with National Trophy action – if we’ve missed anything or you have a story to share, email email@example.com.
Pool 1: Derby Trailblazers, Manchester Magic, Lancashire Spinners
Pool 2: Team Newcastle University, Team Northumbria, Bradford Dragons
Pool 3: Solent Kestrels, Kent Crusaders, Reading Rockets, Worthing Thunder
Pool 4: Hemel Storm, Leicester Warriors, Loughborough Riders, London Lituanica (withdrew)
(1-0) Derby Trailblazers 104-72 Lancashire Spinners (0-1)
Derby opened their campaign with a convincing victory over a new-look Spinners side – whose partnership with Myerscough Academy ended this summer. Matt Ward-Hibbert top scored with 24 points, while new signings Kadeem Thompson (21) and Eric Benedick (19) combined for a further 40 points.
The home side poured in 31 points in each of the first two quarters as they pulled clear en route to a 32-point win to start the season. Lancashire were led by one of their own summer additions as Loick Pouale netted 24 points with player-coach Anthony Purcell adding 17.
(0-1) Bradford Dragons 70-73 Team Newcastle University (1-0)
Division 1 newcomers, Team Newcastle University, recorded their first National Trophy win with a hard-fought success on the road at Bradford Dragons. The West Yorkshire club led narrowly at the break in the absence of star point guard Marcus Gooding, but the Knights prevailed to take the victory.
Romonn Nelson had 21 points to lead the visitors with Rafi Saipe also putting up 21 in the losing effort for Bradford as the game finished with a high-scoring 25-25 final period.
(1-0) Solent Kestrels 107-85 Worthing Thunder (0-1)
Former BBL MVP Zaire Taylor fired in 30 points on his competitive debut for Worthing, but it was not enough to prevent a 22-point defeat away at Solent. American guard Herman Senior II flirted with a triple-double after putting up 24 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists to lead his new side to victory.
Joe Tagarelli – who also played with Senor II at Quincy University – added a double-double of 19 points and 12 boards with Elliott Dadds and ex-Hemel/Leicester guard Leon Henry scoring 16 points apiece.
Taylor’s 30 points included 6-of-12 from deep with Brendan Okoronkwo going 12/12 from the line in his 27-point haul with Thunder giving up a costly 60 points in the first half.
(0-1) Leicester Warriors 60-72 Hemel Storm (1-0)
Robert Youngblood made a winning start to his spell in charge of Hemel as they claimed a 12-point win on the road. Dave Ajumobi had 19 points to lead Storm to victory with Courtney Van Beest and Michael Darlow also in double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively.
For the Warriors, Elliott Sentence had a game-high 22 points as they were unable to build on a 14-10 opening period.
Week 2 Fixtures:
Lancashire v Manchester; Newcastle v Northumbria; Kent v Reading; Loughborough v Leicester
Reading v Solent
Team Newcastle University won the competition last season, beating Kent Crusaders in the final – both teams earned promotion to D1 and are playing in the National Trophy.
Nottingham Hoods will be looking to build upon their semi-final showing 12 months ago and they made a positive start with a 73-79 road win at Essex Leopards. David Watts netted 25 points in the win with Delaney Powell weighing in with 23 points.
Thames Valley Cavaliers also fell short at the last four stage last season and they opened their campaign with a dominant 71-103 success at Middlesex LTBC with Martelle McLemore firing in a 28-point haul.
Team Birmingham Elite made it three wins out of three for the away sides as they edged past Liverpool for a 71-76 victory behind 26 points from David Stevic ahead of next week’s home clash with Derbyshire Arrows.
Two games opened the Division Four regular season with Team Derby defeating Warwickshire Hawks 82-98 in D4 Midlands as Anderson (36) and Dan Watts (24) combined for 60 points, while Kent Crusaders II claimed a narrow 71-69 victory over London Thunder-Lewisham in D4 South-East action.
First Round Results:
Cambridge Cats 56-72 Norfolk Titans (Sam Richardson 23 – Jardel Kerr 27)
Surrey Rams 42-93 Barking Abbey Crusaders – (Jacob Loveridge 23 – Spyrios Kapsolas 16)
Swindon Shock 99-78 Oxford City Hoops (Spencer Wells 40)
Taunton Tigers 58-61 Bristol Academy Flyers II
Team Derby 103-59 Shropshire Warriors (A Anderson 33, Dan Watts 29)
York Vikings 60-78 Calderdale Explorers (Adam Wright 25 – Cryus Dennis 24)
Gloucester Saxons 56-81 Cardiff City
City of Birmingham Rockets 78-81 (OT) WLV Albion
Northants Taurus 95-91 Chelmsford Lions
London Lewisham Thunder 66-54 Folkestone Saints
Manchester Giants II 61-43 Blackpool
Northants Thunder, Anglia Ruskin University, Middlesex Saxons awarded 20-0 wins
Second Round Draw:
Team Derby v Derbyshire Arrows || BYE – Manchester Magic
Manchester Giants II v Liverpool || BYE – Lancashire Spinners
University of Chester v Calderdale Explorers || BYE – Team Newcastle University
Doncaster Danum Eagles v Nottingham Hoods || BYE – Team Northumbria
Team Birmingham Elite v Coventry Tornadoes || BYE – Leicester Warriors
Northants Taurus v Northants Thunder || BYE – Loughborough Riders
WLV Albion v Birmingham Mets || BYE – Bradford Dragons
Worcester Wolves II v Stoke-on-Trent Knights || BYE – Derby Trailblazers
Sussex Bears v Barking Abbey Crusaders || BYE – Solent Kestrels
Westminster Warriors v Middlesex Saxons || London Greenhouse Pioneers v Greenwich Titans
Oxford Stealers / BC Medelynas London v Swindon Shock || BYE – Reading Rockets
Bristol Academy Flyers v Cardiff City || BYE – Worthing Thunder
East London All Stars v London Westside || Essex Leopards v Anglia Ruskin University
Thames Valley Cavaliers v Middlesex LTBC (Winner advances straight to R4*)
City of London Pride v London Lewisham-Thunder || BYE – Kent Crusaders
Norfolk Titans v Ipswich || BYE – Hemel Storm
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