Around the NBL – Week 4

The fourth week of the 2017-18 National Basketball League (NBL) season, recapping the start of D1 & D2 along with D3 & D4.


Division One

(1-0) Derby Trailblazers 80-71 Lancashire Spinners (0-1)

Derby opened the league season with a hard-fought win over Lancashire Spinners at home.

Oli Stanley led the way with 22 points with Matthew Ward-Hibbert adding 15 points and eight rebounds in the win.

The Trailblazers led 26-13 at the end of the first quarter with their advantage peaking at 19 points in the contest en route to victory.

Loick Pouale had 27 points for the visiting Spinners as they still search for a first win this season.

Box score.

(1-0) Team Northumbria 73-71 Solent Kestrels (0-1)

Last season’s league champions, Northumbria began their defence with a narrow victory over Solent Kestrels.

Malcolm Smith top scored with 24 points, while Lewis Champion had an all-round display of 20 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

The hosts were held to 34% from the field, but put together a strong 25-16 third quarter to take control before needing Champion’s late game-winner.

Joe Tagarelli netted 18 points for Solent as they open with an agonising defeat.

Box score.

(1-0) Bradford Dragons 80-77 Loughborough Riders (0-1)

Bradford claimed victory in their league opener as they edged out Loughborough in an entertaining encounter.

The Dragons were 15 points behind early on, but battled back with a late shooting blitz from Rafi Saipe helping to get his side over the line.

Saipe finished with 20 points with Rihard Sulcs adding 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Ricky Fetske had 16 points and 13 boards in the win.

“They came out far more aggressively and with much more intensity than we did and we really struggled to contain their speed and transition game,” said Head Coach, Chris Mellor.

“To only go in down 8 at the half was important and we were better in the third. We got ourselves ahead in the fourth, with Rafi hitting some big shots and we also got some key stops down the end.”

(1-0) Manchester Magic 79-69 Kent Crusaders (0-1)

Manchester Magic opened with a 10-point victory at home to last season’s D2 champions, Kent Crusaders.

Stefan Gill poured in 31 points to lead Magic to victory with Michael Anumba contributing 15 points and nine assists.

Magic led by nine after a strong opening quarter, but Kent battled back to tie the game at 40 before the home side pulled away to the win.

Micah Savery-Richards had 17 points for the Crusaders as they start with defeat.

Box score.

(1-0) Worthing Thunder 72-57 Leicester Warriors (0-1)

Worthing survived relegation last season, but made a strong start to their 2017-18 campaign with a convincing home win against Leicester.

James Grinham top scored with 16 points in the win with a further 14 points apiece from Zaire Taylor and Brendan Okoronkwo, who also added seven assists.

The hosts raced out to a 27-11 advantage after the first quarter and led by as many as 29 points before a spirited effort in the fourth from the Warriors.

Martyn Gayle led the visitors with 13 points with Elliott Sentence also in double figures with 12.

Box score.


Division Two

Essex Leopards started their D2 campaign with a 77-83 win away at Westminster Warriors in the battle of the two relegated sides from last season.

Nottingham Hoods opened with a convincing 89-50 victory against Team Birmingham Elite with 25 points from David Watts, while Derbyshire Arrows defeated Ipswich 88-72 as Joseph Baugh had 21 points.

Meanwhile, London Greenhouse Pioneers recorded a 51-78 win away at Sussex Bears with Liverpool edging out Thames Valley Cavaliers 57-58 on the road with David Ulph netting 24 points.

Middlesex LTBC began their campaign on Sunday with a 74-64 success over London Westside.


Division Three

North

University of Chester (2-0) made it two from two as they took down Doncaster Danum Eagles 78-57 with 29 points from Phil Brandreth and 28 from Murtagh.

Worcester Wolves II lost 70-76 at home to Team Sunderland, while WLV Albion saw off Sheffield Hallam Sharks 72-62 with Mason netting 30 points.

Loughborough Student Riders II (1-0) earned their first win with a 61-83 victory at Coventry Tornadoes.

South

Greenwich Titans (1-1) bounced back from an opening loss as they beat Essex Blades (0-1) 58-76, while Oxford Brookes University (1-0) opened with a commanding 90-74 win over Southwark Pride (0-1) with Miller netting 37 points.

Cardiff City (0-1) were edged out 80-84 by Cardiff Met Archers (1-0) as James Dawe netted 24 points for the visitors. Solent Kestrels II (1-0) defeated East London All Stars (0-1) 85-79 and Northants Taurus (1-0) beat Swindon Shock (0-1) 85-71.


Division Four

North

Newcastle Eagles U23 (2-0) picked up another win as they edged out Sheffield Sabres (1-1) 91-88, while Calderdale Explorers (2-0) defeated Blackpool (1-1) 81-86 on the road behind 29 points from Nathaniel Atkins.

Meanwhile, Kingston Panthers (2-0) continued their unbeaten start with a 65-71 win at Barrow Thorns (0-2) as Pandellev had 25 points. Tameside (2-0) also moved to two from two as they beat Manchester Magic II (0-2) 59-51.

Myerscough College (1-1) earned their first win as Radostin Papazov and Tashkov scored 29 points apiece, beating York Vikings (0-2) 78-83, while Stockport Falcons (1-1) eased past Sefton Stars (0-2) 60-82.

Midlands

Nottingham Hoods II (1-1) got the right result with a narrow 78-80 success at Birmingham Mets II (0-2) with 20 points from Daniel Wong.

University of Nottingham (1-0) beat Warwickshire Hawks (1-2) 79-75, while Shropshire Warriors (1-1) defeated Northants Thunder (0-2) 69-59 with 27 points from Hoar.

South-East

Barking Abbey Crusaders (2-0) joined Chelmsford Lions at the top with an emphatic 108-59 win at home to Anglia Ruskin University (1-1) with 27 points from Spyros Kapsalos. Kent Crusaders (2-2) claimed their second win as they defeated London Lewisham-Thunder (1-3) 59-67 behind Elliot Bailey’s 28-point haul.

Cambridge Cats (1-1) beat Richmond Knights (0-2) 88-82 with 24 points for Richardson, while Norfolk Titans (0-2) were beaten 92-111 by BC Medelynas London (1-0) with a combined 64 points from two players.

South-West

Taunton Tigers (2-0) are the early joint-leaders after beating Oxford City Hoops 91-80, despite 32 points from Furlong with London United (2-0) seeing off Oxford Stealers (0-2) 92-74 as Victor Olareni netted 34 points.

Bristol Academy Flyers II (1-1) won 45-72 at Southampton University (0-1), while Gloucester Saxons (1-0) edged out Thame Valley Cavaliers II (0-2) 67-64 in their opener.


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