BBL Round-up - Week 4 -

BBL Round-up – Week 4

The latest round of BBL action proved to be a good weekend for the North-East sides as Newcastle and Durham enjoyed two victories apiece while Leicester’s perfect start came to an end.

On Saturday, the Riders improved to a 4-0 record after Conner Washington’s game winner at the buzzer helped them to an 88-87 win against Cheshire Phoenix on BBL TV. The visitors were denied the victory they need to kickstart their season having been led by Demond Watt’s 24 points and 12 rebounds. New signing Mike DiNunno made his debut, as a replacement for Aleek Pauline, with 16 points while Devan Bailey missed the weekend’s action with an ankle injury. Neil Watson was influential for the Riders with 21 points and 10 assists while Derrick Roland stepped up after Tyler Bernardini went off injured, scoring 19 points to maintain the winning start.

However, Rob Paternostro’s side were unable to make it five out of five in the league less than 24 hours later as Glasgow recorded an 80-71 triumph at the Emirates Arena. Tommy Freeman led the way with a 24 point haul with three other starters in double figures while Rashad Hassan paced the visitors with 23 points and Watson added 22. GB’s Kieron Achara had another solid game with 18 points and 8 rebounds with the Rocks having released American centre Paul Egwuonwu during the week.

Newcastle have climbed to the top of the table, also with a 4-1 record, after they picked up wins over Bristol and Cheshire at the weekend. New American guard Andre Jones made his debut in the 98-72 win at home against the Flyers as Andy Thomson top scored with 20 points in his 100th BBL league game and Rahmon Fletcher dished out 8 assists to go along with 17 points. On Sunday, the Eagles recovered from an early deficit to beat Phoenix 88-81 on the road with Charles Smith hitting 30 points. For the hosts, Watt added another double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds – as did King, who had 16 and 13.

Lee Davie’s Durham side returned to winning ways in style this weekend with a successful back-to-back on the road in the South-West. The Wildcats edged out Bristol 72-61 on the Saturday before an impressive shooting display carried them to a 101-88 in Plymouth the following day. Five players reached double figures, led by Panos Mayindombe’s 19 points as the visitors made 14 of their 29 attempts from downtown. Ralph Bucci passed 1000 points and 500 assists over the weekend whilst making his 100th league appearance. For the second week running, Brent Benson had 28 points for the home side in defeat.

It was a disappointing end to the week’s action for the Raiders after earning a battling win on the road against Leeds Force on Friday. Benson again led the way with a 20 point haul with Louis Sayers and David Evans both contributing 14 points apiece. As for Leeds, a valiant effort fell short in the absences of Zak Wells and Pat Nyeko. Daniel Bethune had a game-high 21 points, captain Armand Anebo added 17 points and 12 rebounds while Will Hall was impressive from the bench with 18 points and seven boards.

Also on Friday, Worcester improved to a 3-1 mark after seeing off the challenge of Surrey with an 82-68 victory. Chavis Holmes top scored with 23 points while the visitors were led by Trevor Setty’s 26 points and 10 rebounds as they fell away in the final quarter. Sheffield avenged their recent defeat to Manchester with a 96-80 success at home with Nick Lewis and Mike Tuck both scoring 20 points in their side’s win.

The two losing sides then met in Manchester on Sunday for the final game of the weekend, and it was the home side who came out on top by securing a 101-90 victory. Ingus Bankevics shot 7-10 from 3-point range on his way to 28 points while Stefan Gill made all four of his attempts as he racked up an additional 23 points. The visitors rallied from a 14-point deficit to close within just four points heading into the fourth but were left to rue a slow start as the visitors pulled away. Kirk Crecco had 27 points while Setty (19-10) and Kramer Knutson (12-11 + 5 blocks) added double-doubles.

Results: Friday– Leeds Force 79-83 Plymouth Raiders; Newcastle Eagles 98-72 Bristol Flyers; Worcester Wolves 82-68 Surrey United; Sheffield Sharks 96-80 Manchester Giants. Saturday– Leicester Riders 88-87 Cheshire Phoenix; Bristol Flyers 61-72 Durham Wildcats. Sunday– Plymouth Raiders 88-101 Durham Wildcats; Glasgow Rocks 80-71 Leicester Riders; Cheshire Phoenix 81-88 Newcastle Eagles; Manchester Giants 101-90 Surrey United.

Standings: Eagles/Riders 4-1; Wolves 3-1; Sharks/Wildcats 3-2; Giants/Flyers 3-3; Lions 2-0; Rocks 2-2; Raiders 2-4; Phoenix/United 1-4; Force 0-4.

Star 5 from Week 4: Rahmon Fletcher, Ingus Bankevics, Ralph Bucci, Charles Smith, Kieron Achara

*Notable mentions: Neil Watson, Brent Benson, Tommy Freeman, Trevor Setty, Demond Watt

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