- National Teams
All 13 teams were in action in the latest week in the BBL as the table continues to take shape.
Newcastle Eagles extended their winning streak to ELEVEN straight games in the league with a convincing 99-83 victory at home to Durham. Scott Martin starred with 23 points with five 3-pointers, while Andy Thomson added 21 and four other players reached double figures. Chris Jones led the Wildcats with 20 points, as the visitors struggled to keep pace with their opponents in the second half.
After suffering defeats last Sunday, Leicester and Worcester both returned to winning ways to keep up the pressure on the runaway leaders.
Neil Watson finished with 25 points, despite struggling to find his range early on, while Conner Washington played a key role with 16 points from the bench as the Riders avenged their recent Cup defeat to Glasgow with a 93-82 success. Debutant TrayVonn Wright made an instant impact with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Rashad Hassan added a double-double of his own with 18 points and 11 boards.
November Player of the Month Kieron Achara had an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double as all starters hit double figures, with Paul Egwuonwu making his second debut from the bench. The visitors looked in control at 60-49 in the third before a run of 17 unanswered points swayed the game in favour of Leicester, and they held on to claim the Head-to-Head series.
Meanwhile, the Wolves picked up an impressive win on the road as they defeated Plymouth 95-88. Worcester trailed heading into the fourth, but pulled away to register their 10th league win of the campaign. The hosts were led by Brent Benson’s 25 point haul, a total matched by Robert Thurman, who collected another double-double by adding 14 rebounds. Chavis Holmes dished out eight assists to compliment his 21 points as the visitors shot above 55% from the field, with Jamal Williams scoring 15 and adding 8 boards & 7 assists.
Glagow would fall to back-to-back defeats on the road as they lost 80-61 to Cheshire Phoenix less than 24 hours later. The Nix charge continued as they held onto fourth place to extend their winning run to six games. Demond Watt dominated with a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 10-11 from the field. 7’8″ centre Paul Sturgess made his first appearance with 3 points and 5 boards in 12 minutes.
London Lions made it three wins in a row as Zaire Taylor dropped 30 points on Manchester Giants, while Makal Stibbins chipped in with a valuable 17 points and 10 rebounds in an 87-79 win on the road. Drew Sullivan and Lovell Cook also added double figure scores as Rod Brown made his return from injury. Ingus Bankevics led the hosts with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
It capped a disappointing weekend for the Giants as they lost 72-67 in Bristol the previous day. Alif Bland came up big for the Flyers with 20 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks as they snapped a run of four consecutive defeats. Greg Streete added 19, while Roy Owen and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye weighed in with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Surrey released Trevor Setty during the week and brought in Lithuanian centre Donatas Visockis and ex-Rocks forward Patrick Manifold. However, it would prove to be a frustrating afternoon for United as they suffered a 44-point loss at the hands of Durham. The Wildcats produced an efficient display, shooting 60% from the field to bounce back from Friday’s loss. Five players hit double figures, led by 19 points apiece for Panos Mayindombe and Sam Martin – who also both netted five triples. Anthony Downing led the visitors with a game-high 24 points, with Kramer Knutson and Kirk Crecco each adding 13.
Leeds Force were unable to lift themselves off the bottom on Friday night as they were beaten 71-52 by the visiting Sheffield Sharks in the renewed Yorkshire derby. Nick Lewis top scored with 19 points, while Allen Payne and Mike Tuck both contributed 15 points. Leeds were still without Will Hall, while Gio Estrada added nine points on his debut. Compatriot James McCann had a game-high 23 points, with five coming in the second quarter to help his side avoid a pointless period.
RESULTS: Friday – Leeds Force 52-71 Sheffield Sharks, Newcastle Eagles 99-83 Durham Wildcats. Saturday – Leicester Riders 93-82 Glasgow Rocks, Bristol Flyers 72-67 Manchester Giants. Sunday – Durham Wildcats 101-57 Surrey United, Plymouth Raiders 88-95 Worcester Wolves, Cheshire Phoenix 80-61 Glasgow Rocks, Manchester Giants 79-87 London Lions.
STANDINGS: Eagles 11-1, Wolves 10-2, Riders 9-2, Phoenix 9-5, Lions 8-3, Rocks 6-7, Giants/Wildcats 6-8, Flyers 6-10, Sharks 4-6, Raiders 4-10, United 2-10, Force 2-11.
STAR 5 – Zaire Taylor, Panos Mayindombe, Scott Martin, Alif Bland, Robert Thurman (6th man- Conner Washington)