- National Teams
Check out our latest BBL round-up as Newcastle Eagles take another step closer to the title, while Manchester Giants see their playoff hopes dented with consecutive defeats.
Newcastle Eagles sent out yet another statement of intent with a dominant 119-92 win over Cheshire Phoenix, on Friday night. Scott Martin netted five triples in a 28-point display, whilst adding 11 boards and five assists as the Eagles made it 14 straight victories. Andre Jones scored a further 26 with Charles Smith filling the stat-sheet with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. Rahmon Fletcher dished out 9 assists to compliment his 12 points as six different scorers hit double figures in the absence of Andy Thomson. The visiting Nix were again without Mike DiNunno and saw the league’s top scorers, Taylor King and Demond Watt combine for 42 points and 18 rebounds.
Worcester Wolves remain second after they eased to an 89-73 home win over the under-manned Durham Wildcats. The visitors were without suspended trio Panos Mayindombe, Fran Urli and Joel Madourie for their roles in an altercation with Cheshire’s Paul Sturgess at the beginning of the month. Alex Owumi led his side to the win with a 25-point haul containing seven 3-pointers, while recent addition Robertas Binitas shot 6-11 from downtown for his 18 points and Robert Thurman added a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards. Durham remained competitive despite a six-man rotation with David Buchberger netting 7-14 from beyond the arc in his 25 points, while Ralph Bucci was one assist shy of a triple-double; finishing with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists.
Leicester Riders continue their push for contention with a comfortable 81-68 win at Bristol Flyers on Friday night. Rashad Hassan top scored with 18 points, and Neil Watson provided nine assists to go with his 14 points as four starters hit double figures. Bristol hold onto the final playoff spot, but only have five games remaining to tighten their grip. A fourth quarter surge made the scoreline respectable and they were led by 18 points apiece from Bryquis Perine and Greg Streete.
Meanwhile, Friday night also saw Sheffield Sharks boost their playoff hopes after 24 points from Nick Lewis helped them to a 93-88 win against Plymouth Raiders, in overtime. The former GB under-20 guard hit 3-5 of his triples in a pivotal role off the bench with Mike Cook scoring 21. Plymouth were led by Brent Benson’s 19 points and had looked like securing a huge win on the road after taking a nine-point lead into the final quarter. A big three from John Barber Jr. tied the game at 79 in the final 30 seconds to force the extra period and the Sharks would eventually close out the win from the free throw line.
London Lions claimed an important 94-83 win on the road at Plymouth with the Raiders playoff hopes all but over. Makal Stibbins put in a dominant performance with 32 points on 14-19 shooting along with eight rebounds with Lovell Cook contributing 19 points from the bench. Zaire Taylor had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists in an all-round effort as the Lions recorded their 15th league win. The home side made a bright start, but fell away in the second half. Jordan Clarke top scored with 21 points with Pierre Hampton finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lions had also beaten Manchester Giants 86-73 in mid-week as they look to continue their momentum ahead of the playoffs. Drew Sullivan top scored for the hosts with 23 points with Stibbins and Cook also hitting double figures.
For the Giants, it would prove to be back-to-back losses as they were beaten 91-82 at home to fellow play-off hopefuls Glasgow Rocks. Ingus Bankevics top scored with a game-high 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to help Manchester to the win. Tayo Ogedengbe led the Rocks with 18 points; Reggie Middleton added 16 and there were identical 16-point, 11-rebound efforts from Paul Egwuonwu and GB’s Kieron Achara, who also produced four blocks.
Cheshire bounced back from Friday’s crushing defeat to beat Surrey United 97-63 behind a strong second half display. King again top scored with another 22 points, while Watt had 21 points and 15 rebounds with Dustin Salisbery adding 19. The visitors were led by Kramer Knutson’s 26-point haul as they surrendered an early double-digit lead. Coach Coffino’s side went into half-time with a two-point lead before outscoring their opponents 52-20 in the second half.
Results: Thursday- London Lions 86-73 Manchester Giants. Friday- Sheffield Sharks 93-88 Plymouth Raiders (OT), Newcastle Eagles 119-92 Cheshire Phoenix, Worcester Wolves 89-73 Durham Wildcats, Bristol Flyers 68-81 Leicester Riders. Sunday- Plymouth Raiders 84-93 London Lions, Cheshire Phoenix 97-63 Surrey United, Manchester Giants 82-91 Glasgow Rocks.
Standings: Eagles 25-2, Wolves 23-6, Riders 21-5, Phoenix 21-9, Lions 15-11, Rocks 14-11, Sharks 12-15, Flyers 12-19, Giants 11-17, Wildcats 8-20, Raiders 7-20, Force 7-22, United 4-23
Star 5– Neil Watson, Nick Lewis, Alex Owumi, Scott Martin, Makal Stibbins