- National Teams
The Final 8’s line-up has been complete after the four teams from the North division claimed wins in the Sweet 16 games on Wednesday.
Durham, Sheffield Hallam, Leeds Beckett and four-time defending champions, Worcester were the four victors and they join Northumbria, Loughborough and South duo East London and Brunel in the Final 8’s held at UEL Sportsdock on 14th/15th March.
For the third straight year, all six teams from the Premier North division make the quarter-finals, leaving two teams to represent the Premier South.
Leeds Beckett (3-7) were the first team to secure one of the four remaining spots after they recorded a 104-83 victory on the road against Bath (4-6). The visiting Head Coach Matt Newby was pleased with the win and described his opponents as a ‘well prepared team’ who ‘shot the ball very well’. Ricky Fetske top scored with 25 points to set a quarter-final clash with his former team, Northumbria, while James McCann added 24 points and Darell Bethune had 22.
Durham (4-6) were dominant against Oxford (2-8) as they completed a routine 115-46 win at home. David Buchberger top scored with a game-high 34 points, while Charles Rhodes added 31 and Chris Jones had 16 as the visitors set up a meeting with South winners, East London, who won all 10 regular season games.
“Overall, I’m happy we are able to get to the final 8’s,” said Durham Head Coach Ralph Bucci. “It was a good team performance, and we had all 7 guys available which hopefully we can take that forward.”
On facing opposition from the South, he added: “It’s tricky either way. The North has been really strong, so we’ve avoided teams we have already played with BBL connections, but we now face the unknown, because we don’t know much about them. We will make sure we are prepared for their strengths.”
Worcester (5-5) remain on course to mount another charge at the BUCS Championship title after they crushed UCL (0-10), 102-38. The visitors were already up against it, having not won any of their 10 regular season games in the South. Paul James’ side produced a rampant display and they will go head-to-head with Brunel in the Final 8’s. Louis Fawl and Kalil Irving both top scored with 16 points apeice, while Caylin Raftopoulos added 14 points.
Finally, Sheffield Hallam (4-6) completed the full sweep of teams from the North participating in the Final 8’s as they defeated London South Bank (6-4) 77-57 on the road. Despite finishing bottom of their divison, Atiba Lyons’ men still had enough quality to see off LSBU and book a showdown with Loughborough in just under 10 days time.
UEL v Durham
Loughborough v Sheffield Hallam
Northumbria v Leeds Beckett
Brunel v Worcester
UEL/Durham v Loughborough/Sheffield Hallam
Northumbria/Leeds Beckett v Brunel/Worcester
(to be played at UEL Sportsdock, 14th/15th March)
Check out highlights of last year’s Final 8’s: