Around the NBL - Week 19 Recap -

Around the NBL – Week 19 Recap

Check out our latest round-up of all the action across the four divisions of the NBL as the playoffs are set in D3 & D4.

Division One

Essex Leopards (15-4) moved a step closer to winning the D1 title after coming from behind to beat Derby Trailblazers (13-7) 63-60. Albert Margai top scored with 20 points with the hosts also boosted by the late arrival of Will Ashby, who represented UEL at last weekend’s BUCS Final 8’s. The visitors were led by Raheem May-Thompson’s double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds with their title hopes all but over.

Kent Crusaders (13-6) kept their slim hopes alive after 19 points from Tola Akomolafe and a further 18 from Josh Steel helped them to an 84-71 win at Westminster Warriors (4-16). Veteran Julius Joseph had a game-high 23 points in vain for the hosts. Milton Chavis led Worthing Thunder (9-11) to a 94-86 win at Hemel Storm (7-14) with a 25-point haul. Elsewhere, Bradford Dragons (9-13) defeated NASSA (4-16) despite 29 points from Nick Rhodes.

Reading Rockets (13-7) returned to winning ways with a convincing 92-69 home win over Tees Valley Mohawks (7-12) after Danny Carter netted 26 points. Manchester Magic (12-7) are not far away from a top-four finish as they continued their recent momentum with a 79-43 win on the road at Westminster.

Division Two

In D2, London Lituanica (19-1) maintained their hold on top spot after a commanding 109-76 win over Derbyshire Arrows (11-8) at the weekend. Paulius Rašamavicius top scored with 25 points to help his side to their 14th straight league victory, whilst extracting revenge on the Arrows – who remain the only team to beat the high-flyers this season.

Lancashire Spinners (18-2) remain on course for a final-game decider with London Lituanica after they kept up the pressure with a 107-70 win at Birmingham Mets (6-14). Mark Rangeley shot the lights out for a career-high and franchise-best total of 43 points. Also, Brixton Topcats (9-10) edged out London Westwide (4-14) with an 88-87 win.

Division Three

Liverpool wrapped up the D3 North title with a double-winning weekend on the road. A crushing 129-62 victory at Sheffield Sabres (3-19) secured the title, before a 95-65 win at Derby Trailblazers II (13-9) followed with Chris Bigley scoring 23 points.

Nottingham Hoods (19-3) finished in second and they ended their regular season campaign with a 76-73 win at home to Derby, who would narrowly miss out on the playoffs. City of Sheffield Saints (14-8) slipped in after beating Leeds Allerton High Force (4-17) to seal fourth spot. Also, Kieran Jones scored 25 points as Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights (15-6) beat Tees Valley Mohawks (5-17) 79-42, and Mansfield Giants (9-13) were beaten 104-80 at home to Sefton Stars (11-11).

North: Liverpool 20-1; Nottingham Hoods 19-3; Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights 15-6; City of Sheffield Saints 14-8; Derby Trailblazers II 13-9; Team Birmingham 11-10; Sefton Stars 11-11; Mansfield Giants 9-13; Hull Wasps 5-15; Tees Valley Mohawks II 5-17; Leeds Allerton High Force 4-17; Sheffield Sabres 3-19

In the South, Solent Kestrels (15-3) beat Cardiff Met Archers (5-13) 98-54 to win the division title with Thames Valley Cavaliers (15-3) missing out on head-to-head.
Plymouth Raiders II (13-5) finished third with an 86-74 win at Oxford City Hoops (2-15), while Team Solent (10-8) took the final playoff spot after beating Middlesex LTBC (7-10). Hackney White Heat (9-7) were the team to miss out, despite their final-game 85-71 win at home to Northants Thunder (7-11). The Thunder bounced back from that loss to beat Cardiff 101-67 on Sunday.

South: Solent Kestrels 15-3; Thames Valley Cavaliers 15-3; Plymouth Raiders II 13-5; Team Solent 10-8; Hackney White Heat 9-7; Northants Thunder 7-11; Middlesex LTBC 7-10; Barking Abbey 5-13; Cardiff Met Archers 5-13; Oxford City Hoops 2-17.

Playoff quarter-finals: (28th/29th March)
Liverpool v Team Solent; Thames Valley Cavaliers v Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights
Solent Kestrels v City of Sheffield Saints; Nottingham Hoods v Plymouth Raiders II

Division Four

The playoffs are set in D4 with the five regional champions heading the field of 16.

East Midlands: Brentwood Fire 12-2; Barking & Dagenham Thunder 12-2; College of West Anglia Fury 9-5; Cambridge Cats 9-5; Northants Taurus 7-7; Hertfordshire Warriors 3-11; Anglia Ruskin University 2-12; Oaklands College Wolves 2-12

Doncaster Danum Eagles (15-1) secured the D4 Midlands title after beating Sporting Club Albion (8-8) 91-69 behind Matthew Martin’s 24 points. Loughborough Student Riders II (15-1) were awarded a 20-0 win against Sheffield Hallam Sharks (6-9) to leave them needing Sunday’s result to go their way to lift the title, but it wasn’t to be. Also, City of Birmingham (9-7) claimed an inner-city 76-63 win at Birmingham Mets II (4-11).

Midlands: Doncaster Danum Eagles 15-1; Loughborough Student Riders II 15-1; City of Birmingham 9-7; Sporting Club Albion 8-8; Derby Trailblazers II 7-9; Sheffield Hallam Sharks 6-9; Nottingham Hoods II 5-11; Birmingham Mets II 4-11; TCAT Shropshire Warriors 2-14

In the North, Team Newcastle University were handed a fitting 20-0 forfeited win against Liverpool II (1-17) to finish with a perfect 20-0 record in the league. Myerscough College Giants (18-2) ended their regular season campaign on a high with a comfortable 102-69 win at Tameside (15-5). The home side had beaten Lancashire Spinners II (7-12) 77-62 the day before. Sunderland City Predators (5-15) lost twice on the road; beaten 98-50 by Prestons College (12-6) and 88-60 by Gateshead Phoenix (13-7), who had 24 points from Troy Baugh. Kendal Warriors (4-16) defeated Leeds Tigers (7-12) 75-72, while the Spinners second side claimed a 79-63 success at Sefton Stars II (4-14).

North: Team Newcastle University 20-0; Myerscough College Giants 18-2; Tameside 15-5; Gateshead Phoenix 13-7; Prestons College 12-6; Lancashire Spinners II 7-12; Leeds Tigers 7-12; Sunderland City Predators 5-15; Sefton Stars II 4-14; Kendal Warriors 4-16; Liverpool II 1-17

With Brunel Ducks already assured of the D4 South-East title, Sussex Bears (15-5) set up a playoff showdown after beating BC Crawley United (16-4) 90-75 to finish third. Brighton Cougars (13-7) narrowly edged past Kent Crusaders II (9-11) 74-72, while London Westside II (3-16) defeated London United II (3-17) 85-67. Also, Charles Yassi-Pepin scored a game-high 34 points to lead London Greenhouse Pioneers II (1-19) to their first victory as they eased to a 120-62 win at home to London United’s second team.

South-East: Brunel Ducks 17-3; BC Crawley United 16-4; Sussex Bears 15-5; Greenwich Titans 15-5; Brighton Cougars 13-7; Folkestone Saints 10-10; Kent Crusaders II 9-11; Twickenham Tigers 7-12; London Westside II 3-16; London United II 3-17; London Greenhouse Pioneers II 1-19

Oxford Brookes University (18-0) finalised their perfect record in the South-West with a dominant 127-88 win at home to Woking Blackhawk Flyers (11-7). Elsewhere, Southampton University (4-14) won the final quarter 20-9 to beat Oxford Stealers (6-12) 72-70.

South-West: Oxford Brookes University 18-0; Swindon Shock 13-4; Woking Blackhawk Flyers 11-7; Thames Valley Cavaliers II 11-7; Bristol Academy Flyers II 10-8; Cardiff City 6-10; Oxford Stealers 6-12; Bristol Storm 5-13; Reading Rockets II 4-13; Southampton University 4-14

Playoff 1st round:
Team Newcastle University v Greenwich Titans; Barking & Dagenham Thunder v BC Crawley United
Brentwood Fire v College of West Anglia Fury; Brunel Ducks v Sussex Bears
Oxford Brookes University v City of Birmingham; Myerscough College Giants v Swindon Shock
Doncaster Danum Eagles v Woking Blackhawk Flyers; Loughborough Student Riders II v Tameside

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