BBL Round-up - Week 3 -

BBL Round-up – Week 3

Leeds Force claimed their first win in the BBL with a first round Cup success while Leicester Riders maintained their perfect start to the season in week 3 action in the BBL.

The last eight in the BBL Cup has been confirmed after five teams joined last season’s top three sides in the draw for the quarter-finals.

Friday night saw Leeds down Manchester Giants 80-69 in a battle of the Roses with American James McCann inspiring a knockout with 21 points from the bench while Darrell Bethune added a valuable 20 point haul. Branimir Mikulic produced a monster double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds after Zak Wells suffered a knee injury having started with 10 points in 10 minutes. Recent addition Ingus Bankevics led the Giants with 18 points as the only scorer in double figures.

Fellow new-boys Bristol also progressed in the Cup as Andreas Kapoulas’ side enjoyed another double-winning weekend. The Flyers defeated local rivals Plymouth 93-92 in a double-overtime thriller in their first round clash before heading to Manchester to pull off an 82-73 victory on the road.

Doug Herring and Mathias Seilund combined for 50 points in Saturday’s cup win while Herring also starred less than 24 hours later with a 23-point haul to inflict a first home defeat on the Giants Seilund added another 18 points while Alif Bland contributed 10 points after a 19-14 double-double against Plymouth. As for Bristol’s opponents, Josh Wilcher racked up 24 points and 7 assists in nearly 50 minutes of court time for the Raiders while Bankevics again top scored for Manchester with 17 points as they drop to .500 with a 2-2 record.

Leicester began their weekend double-header with a 98-80 win against Surrey to start the defence of their BBL Cup title, led by Tyler Bernardini’s 28 points. The Riders then produced an impressive comeback from as many as 17 down to beat Plymouth 99-91 on the road to improve to a 3-0 league record. Rashad Hassan had a very efficient game on his way to 26 points while compatriot Neil Watson added 20 points as well as dishing out 6 assists. Brent Benson shot 7-11 from downtown on his way to 28 points while Gerald Robinson added 26 of his own as the Raiders fell to a 1-3 mark in the league.

The only other league game of the weekend saw Newcastle record their first home win of the season after a dominant display from Darius Defoe helped the Eagles beat Sheffield 95-84. Newcastle didn’t seem to be affected by the decision to cut American guard Ricky Taylor as Defoe produced 30 points and 12 rebounds while Charles Smith and Scott Martin added 20 and 15 points respectively.

GB co-captain Kieron Achara led Glasgow Rocks to a 62-56 success over London Lions on Sunday with an impressive 16 points and 12 rebounds in the first round clash. The Rocks have now won their last 8 games at home to the Lions, who were finally able to give debuts to reigning MVP Zaire Taylor and new American Lovell Cook.

Cheshire Phoenix were the final team to make it into the quarter-finals after a convincing 88-65 win at home to the Durham Wildcats. It was the visitors who prevailed in last year’s first round clash between the two, but ‘Nix came out on top this time around. New arrival Taylor King top scored with 24 points while Demond Watt had a flawless 9-9 from the field on his way to 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Star 5 of the weekend: Doug Herring, James McCann, Darius Defoe, Rashad Hassan, Demond Watt

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