- National Teams
Check out our latest BBL round-up as the play-off race continues to be tight, while the BBL Trophy semi-final line-up was completed.
Newcastle Eagles saw off title rivals Leicester Riders with a 95-89 win on the road in another gripping BBL TV encounter. The visitors started well before being pegged back in part due to foul trouble as an exciting finish ensued. Tyler Bernardini top scored with 22 points and had 9 rebounds, while the Eagles were led by Andrew Thomson’s 16 points with five players in double figures as they shot 22-28 from the free throw line.
Fab Flournoy’s men had started the weekend with a 98-71 home win over Durham Wildcats. Role player Stuart Thomson stepped up with 21 points on 8-9 shooting in less than 20 minutes to lead the Eagles with Darius Defoe adding 16 points. Five players reached double figures for Durham with David Buchberger producing a team-high 15.
Leicester bounced back less than 24 hours on from Saturday’s defeat; recovering from a slow start to defeat Surrey United 102-89 on the road. Anthony Downing poured in 31 points against his former side, while Kramer Knutson posted a big double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds but it wasn’t enough for the hosts. Hassan top scored for the Riders with an efficient 28 points
Worcester Wolves responded by edging out Durham Wildcats on Sunday to record a 66-58 victory away from home. Robert Thurman led the way with 18 points and 15 boards with Alex Owumi and Paul Guede the only other players in double figures with 15 and 11 points respectively. The Wildcats were led by John Puk’s 15 points with Fran Urli adding 14 from the bench as they fell to successive defeats over the weekend despite leading at the end of the first.
Plymouth Raiders defeated Glasgow Rocks 104-99 in a high-scoring game at the Emirates Arena on Friday night, before losing 116-107 to Cheshire Phoenix two days later. Ben Mockford scored a game-high 31 points on 6-10 shooting from downtown, while Brent Benson added 22 in the absence of Jordan Clarke for the weekend. Danny Huffor had 22 to lead the Rocks with Kieron Achara pulling down 16 rebounds to go along with 15 points.
On Sunday, the visiting Nix strengthened their top-4 position as they scored a season-high points total with the aid of only five scorers with Demond Watt starring with a dominant 33-point, 11-rebound double-double with Mike Di Nunno scoring 27 off the bench and duo David Aliu and Taylor King adding 21 points apiece.
Mockford took his weekend tally to 60 with a 29-point haul including seven triples, while GB team-mate Gareth Murray added 24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Louis Sayers scored 18 from the bench, all in the first half, while Josh Wilcher increased his impressive assist numbers with an impressive 17 to make it 30 for the two games. The Raiders shot 17-44 from beyond the arc, whilst conceding 100+ points in a game for the seventh time this season.
The Rocks managed to bounce back from their loss to Plymouth as they claimed a 77-70 win away at play-off rivals Manchester Giants. Tayo Ogedengbe led the visitors with a game-high 21 points, while Callum Jones narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in the loss. The result means that the Giants are just two points ahead of 9th placed Bristol Flyers, after they came from behind to beat Surrey 70-62 on Friday with Bree Perine and Greg Streete top scoring with 22 points apiece.
The semi-final line-up in the BBL Trophy was completed on Friday night as London Lions beat Sheffield Sharks 86-80 at the Copper Box Arena in the last quarter-final clash. Lovell Cook had a game-high 22 points to lead the hosts, while Makal Stibbins contributed a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds as London survived a late surge from the Sharks. Mike Tuck led the visitors with a 22/12 display. The Lions handed a debut to new signing and former NBA centre Olumide Oyedji.
Results: Friday– Bristol Flyers 70-62 Surrey United; Newcastle Eagles 98-71 Durham Wildcats; Glasgow Rocks 99-104 Plymouth Raiders; (BBL Trophy) London Lions 86-80 Sheffield Sharks. Saturday– Leicester Riders 89-95 Newcastle Eagles. Sunday– Surrey United 89-102 Leicester Riders; Durham Wildcats 58-66 Worcester Wolves; Plymouth Raiders 107-116 Cheshire Phoenix; Manchester Giants 70-77 Glasgow Rocks.
Standings: Eagles 22-2; Wolves 20-5; Riders 18-5; Phoenix 17-6; Lions 12-9; Rocks 10-11; Sharks 10-13; Giants 10-15; Flyers 9-17; Wildcats 8-16; Raiders 7-15; Force 6-19; United 4-20
Star 5: Josh Wilcher, Tyler Bernardini, Ben Mockford, Demond Watt, Robert Thurman. 6th man- Mike DiNunno