- National Teams
Check out our latest round-up of all the action across the four divisions of the NBL including the semi-finals of the Patrons Cup.
Essex Leopards (10-2) moved to the top of the D1 table after ending the 8-game winning streak of Kent Crusaders (9-2) with a 66-55 home win on Saturday. Will Ashby shot 4-6 from downtown on his way to a game-high 16 points, while Courtney Van Beest added 14 from the bench. The visitors were led by Adetola Akomolafe’s double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds.
The Crusaders quickly returned to winning ways with a 79-61 success at home to Team Northumbria (8-5) the following day. After an even start, Kent began to pull away to a comfortable victory – led by Josh Steel’s 22 points. Marc Steutel’s side had beaten Hemel Storm (4-10) 87-78 on the road 24 hours previously. Reading Rockets (9-3) continued their rise with a double-winning weekend to close the gap on the leaders. First, they defeated Bradford Dragons (5-9) 80-67, before another home win followed as they beat Hemel 83-71 with Danny Carter scoring 22 points.
Also, Leicester Warriors (7-7) moved level with Worthing Thunder (7-7) after coming away from the Worthing Leisure Centre with an 83-81 victory. American Derek Knutty played a big role with a huge 21 points and 17 boards, with Tucker adding 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. The hosts were without leading stars Milton Chavis and Hank Rivers, with Brendan Okoronkwo top scoring with 22 points.
Recent National Cup winners Manchester Magic (6-7) fell to a disappointing 76-71 defeat away at NASSA (3-11). Ellis Cooper had 15 points and 9 rebounds, but the visitors shot below 40% from the field and were punished by their opponents, who were led by Wayne Yeboah’s 29-point haul.
Lancashire Spinners (13-2) used a big second quarter as a platform to set up an 87-77 win over Worcester Wolves II (2-10) and stay top in D2. London Lituanica (12-1) are still in hot pursuit with the better W/L% after two more victories. They saw off Birmingham Mets (3-11) 81-71 at the weekend, before beating also beating the Wolves, 106-64, at home on Tuesday.
Chris Dixon dropped 47 points to give Derbyshire Arrows (10-3) an important 94-85 victory over Ipswich Basketball (10-4). Loughborough Student Riders (9-5) eased to an 84-68 win over London Westside (1-11), while Brixton Topcats (6-7) pulled out a 67-61 win at Eastside Eagles (4-9).
Steven Gayle guided Lancashire Spinners into the Patrons Cup Final with 27 points in an 82-60 win at London Greenhouse Pioneers. The D2 leaders will meet rivals London Lituanica in the final after they defeated Ipswich Basketball 85-81 as they used a 35-20 third quarter to take control. Leigh Greenan led Ipswich with 25 points.
Liverpool (14-1) held on top spot in D3 North with a comfortable 93-45 win over Tees Valley Mohawks II (2-14). Nottingham Hoods (14-2) remain level on points after they saw off Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights (11-5) with a 71-51 win on the road.
The Knights bounced back the next day with Kieran Jones scoring 40 points in an 85-49 win at City of Sheffield Saints (9-7). They themselves had come off the back of a 69-62 victory at home to Team Birmingham (8-8), but couldn’t complete the double-header in style. Hull Wasps (4-10) defeated Sefton Stars (8-8) 66-57, while Leeds Allerton High Force (2-12) were beaten 86-56 by Sheffield Sabres (3-11), at home.
In the South, Solent Kestrels (11-1) maintained their advantage at the top after beating Middlesex LTBC (6-7) 72-62, with Plymouth Raiders II (11-3) crushing Cardiff Met Archers (2-9) 101-53. Hackney White Heat (6-6) recorded a 76-66 home win against Barking Abbey (4-9), while Northants Thunder (5-7) defeated Oxford City Hoops (1-10) 83-78.
Marlan Henry led Barking & Dagenham Thunder (10-1) to an 83-81 road win at Hertfordshire Warriors (2-8) with 28 points. College of West Anglia Fury (6-3) eased past Anglia Ruskin University (1-10) 102-74 away from home, while Cambridge Cats (8-3) triumphed 104-96 at Northants Taurus (5-5).
In the Midlands, Doncaster Danum Eagles (11-0) are still unbeaten after a convincing 109-79 win at home to Sheffield Hallam Sharks (4-6). Loughborough Student Riders II (11-1) are in touching distance after they beat Nottingham Hoods (3-9) 68-44, while Sporting Club Albion (6-5) defeated Derby Trailblazers II (6-6) and TCAT Shropshire Warriors (1-11) claimed their first win at Birmingham Mets (3-7); winning 63-58.
Team Newcastle University (13-0) maintained their perfect record in the North, after seeing off Leeds Tigers (5-8) 74-57 on the road, paced by Maurice Cole. Prestons College (8-5) overcame the challenge of Gateshead Phoenix (7-7) with a 68-52 win to stay clear of their opponents in the standings. Lancashire Spinners II (6-8) beat Sunderland City Predators (4-9) 63-56, and Sefton Stars II (4-8) denied Liverpool II (0-11) a first win with an 82-75 victory.
The South-East title race remains close with BC Crawley United (13-3) currently holding the advantage despite avoiding a shock defeat as they edged past London Greenhouse Pioneers II (0-13) 92-88. It was another good week for the Brunel Ducks (11-2) as they defeated Kent Crusaders II (6-7) 85-67, before beating Brighton Cougars (8-6) 112-87 on the road. Sussex Bears (11-3) are also in the mix and they claimed an important 73-61 win at Greenwich Titans (10-3) to leapfrog them in the table. Also, London United II (3-12) suffered a 91-81 loss at home to Twickenham Tigers (5-9).
Oxford Brookes University (12-0) were made to work hard to keep their winning record in tact after beating Thames Valley Cavaliers II (7-3) 83-78. Elsewhere in the South-West, Woking Blackhawk Flyers (7-5) beat Bristol Academy Flyers II (7-5) 87-75, Bristol Storm (4-8) edged past Cardiff City (3-5) 52-49 and Oxford Sealers (5-6) triumphed 80-63 over Reading Rockets II (2-10).
Get to any games? What are your thoughts on the weekend results? Let us know in the comments!