Around the NBL - Week 18 Recap -

Around the NBL – Week 18 Recap

Check out our latest round-up of all the action across the four divisions of the NBL as the race for league titles continue.

Division One

Essex Leopards (14-4) continue to lead the way in D1 after a strong second half display helped them to an 81-66 win at home to Westminster Warriors (4-14). Will Ashby top scored with 18 points, while Lawrence Brown pulled down 16 rebounds to go with his 13 points on 6-8 FG shooting.

Marc Steutel’s Team Northumbria (13-5) are gathering momentum with eight wins in their last nine league games. They defeated Leicester Warriors (9-10) 91-85 on the road, on Saturday, behind a 25-point haul from Lewis Champion.

Domestic double winners Manchester Magic (11-7) continued their fine form of late with a double-winning weekend at home to two title contenders. They began with a 61-56 win against Reading Rockets (12-7) with 19 points coming from Alvaro Alaron Lizaur. Ellis Cooper then produced an astounding performance to guide Manchester to an 81-74 victory over Derby Trailblazers (13-6) in overtime. The American finished with 30 points (12-14 FT) and 22 rebounds including 10 offensive boards. The loss saw the Trailblazers drop to third in the table, having beaten Bradford Dragons (8-13) 82-72 the previous day with Dan Watts contributing 18 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists.

Kent Crusaders (12-6) also lost ground in the title race after falling to an 83-70 defeat at Bradford. Akwasi Yeboah had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a third straight defeat. Rihards Sulcs top scored for the Dragons with a game-high 23 points.

NASSA (4-15) fell to back-to-back home defeats this weekend. First, Darren Best scored 28 points in 21 minutes to lead Hemel Storm (7-13) to a 98-78 win, before Tees Valley Mohawks (7-11) claimed a 98-91 success with 26 points from Romonn Nelson. The Mohawks had beaten on the road the day before by Worthing Thunder (8-11) who recorded an 85-79 win. Milton Chavis and Hank Rivers combined for 55 points, while the visitors were again led by Nelson, who had 22 points.

Division Two

London Lituanica (18-1) edged closer to the D2 title with a double-winning weekend on the road. Austidas Petraitis had a monster game with 41 points, 23 rebounds and 6 assists in a dominant 110-43 win at Worcester Wolves II (4-13). On Sunday, they followed up with a 79-73 win at London Greenhouse Pioneers (7-9). Lancashire Spinners (17-2) are still close behind after surviving a second-half comeback from the Pioneers to win 91-89. Steven Gayle led his side with 20 points, while Tyrell Isaacs had a game-high 23 points along with 6 assists for the visitors. Miodrag Vidakovic added 22 points and 18 rebounds in the loss, while Kenny Ogunneye produced these three dunks, below:

Jerelle Okoro led Loughborough Student Riders (12-7) to a 72-58 victory at Brixton Topcats (8-10) with 23 points and 7 rebounds. Max Richardson added a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds. Ipswich Basketball (13-6) defeated Birmingham Mets (6-13) 85-65 to move third with Leigh Greenan top scoring with 25 points. Derbyshire Arrows (11-7) dropped to fifth with an 87-83 home loss to Eastside Eagles (5-13) despite 31 points from Chris Dixon. Also, London Westside (4-13) saw off London United (2-13) 65-51.

Division Three

Liverpool (18-1) all but secured the D3 North title after beating closest rivals Nottingham Hoods (18-3) 81-60 with Chris Bigley top scoring with 16 points. Hull Wasps (5-15) suffered back-to-back defeats after losing 86-76 to City of Sheffield Saints (13-8) before a 77-69 defeat against Leeds Allerton High Force (4-16) with both games at home. Leeds bounced back from a 59-41 loss away at Tees Valley Mohawks II (5-16) the day before. Kieran Jones had 39 points to help Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights (14-6) to a 99-97 victory at Mansfield Giants (9-12). Also, Derby Trailblazers II (13-7) beat Sefton Stars (10-11) 78-65.

In the South, Thames Valley Cavaliers (15-3) claimed outright lead at the top with a 94-74 win away at Barking Abbey (5-13). Plymouth Raiders II (12-5) lost ground in the title race with an 85-69 loss at Middlesex LTBC (7-9) with 33 points from Sarunas Antanavicius. Hackney White Heat (8-7) scored 37 points in the opening quarter on their way to a 110-89 win at Oxford City Hoops (2-14). Team Solent (9-8) also beat Oxford as they recorded a 92-65 home success, while Cardiff Met Archers (5-11) were awarded a 20-0 win over Northants Thunder (6-10).

Division Four

In the East Midlands, there’s still a two-way tie at the top after Brentwood Fire (12-2) and Barking & Dagenham Thunder (12-2) picked up wins. Brentwood defeated Hertfordshire Warriors (3-11) 77-64 on the road, while the Thunder saw off Oaklands College Wolves (2-12) with a 66-47 victory. Also, College of West Anglia Fury (9-5) moved into joint third with a crushing 113-68 win at home to Northants Taurus (7-7).

Doncaster Danum Eagles (14-1) defeated Nottingham Hoods II (5-11) 105-37 to remain on course to claim the Midlands title. Matt Martin top scored with 20 points for the hosts and also caught the below alley-oop lob during the game. Derby Trailblazers III (7-8) beat Sheffield Hallam Sharks (6-9) 86-63 and there was a narrow 69-68 victory for Sporting Club Albion (8-7) over Birmingham Mets II (4-10).

Team Newcastle University (19-0) wrapped up the D4 North title with back-to-back wins on the road. Ian Hewitt’s side beat Sefton Stars II (4-13) before earning a 93-85 victory at Tameside (14-4). Myerscough College Giants (17-2) secured second place with a convincing 108-60 win at home to Kendal Warriors (3-16). Liverpool II (1-16) were handed their first win of the season as Sunderland City Predators (5-13) forfeited their away fixture, before Liverpool II conceded defeat the following day against Gateshead Phoenix (12-7). Prestons College (11-6) defeated Lancashire Spinners II (6-11) 86-61, and Leeds Tigers (7-11) claimed an 87-65 win at Sefton Stars II.

In the South-East, Brunel Ducks (17-3) defeated London Greenhouse Pioneers II (0-19) 95-63, while BC Crawley United (16-3) kept up the pressure on the leaders with an 85-70 home win over Greenwich Titans (14-5). Sussex Bears (14-5) moved up into joint third after edging past Kent Crusaders II (9-10) 73-70, and Folkestone Saints (10-10) were given a 20-0 win against London Westside II (2-15), before beating London United II (3-15) 71-68. Brighton Cougars (12-7) then defeated London Westside II 111-59. Twickenham Tigers (7-12) claimed a forfeited win against the winless Pioneers II.

Oxford Brookes University (17-0) are still perfect in the South-West after beating Oxford Sealers (6-11) 99-51. Second placed Swindon Shock (13-4) were beaten 79-72 at home to Thames Valley Cavaliers II (11-7). The visitors made it a successful double-header with an 87-70 home win against Bristol Academy Flyers II (10-8) the following day. The Flyers had beaten Southampton University Sharks (3-14) 91-55, on Saturday. Reading Rockets II (4-13) beat Cardiff City (6-10) 82-61 with Tom Politi scoring 41 points, while there was a 67-64 win for Woking Blackhawk Flyers (11-6) over Bristol Storm (5-13).

Get to any games? What did you make of the latest NBL action? Leave your comments below!

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