- National Teams
Check out our latest round-up of all the action across the National Leagues as the regular season reaches its conclusion in D1 and the playoff semi-finals are set in D2.
The playoff quarter-finals were set after the final weekend saw a number of teams jostling for position within the top eight.
Derby Trailblazers (17-7) secured second spot in the league with a 72-60 win over Leicester Warriors, while other results went their way. Chris Shalvoy and Raheem May-Thompson led the way for the home side with 17 points apiece, while Carl Pearson had a game-high 19 points in the loss. Elsewhere, Kent Crusaders (16-8) fell to a final day defeat at Hemel Storm (9-15) with point guard Bode Adeluola producing a 26-point haul.
Manchester Magic (17-7) narrowly missed out on a top-two finish courtesy of their head-to-head record with Derby, despite winning their last eleven games in the league. First, they eased their way to an 81-57 win over the league champions, Essex Leopards (18-6), with Ellis Cooper again leading the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. The American then starred in their second win of the weekend as Magic defeated Team Northumbria (15-9) 82-62 behind 22 points from Jack Minister and 20 for Cooper.
Marc Steutel’s side will have the chance to avenge Sunday’s defeat as they take on Manchester in the quarter-finals, although they will go into the game on a run of four straight defeats. Westminster Warriors (6-18) rounded off their season with a 100-81 victory at home to Northumbria on Sunday, in what was Junior Williams’ last game having announced his retirement. Veteran duo Mike Martin and Julius Joseph combined for 31 points to lead the Warriors to their sixth win.
Worthing Thunder (11-13) secured their place in the playoffs after recording a 103-81 win over NASSA (4-20), who finished bottom of D1 and fielded just five players. Milton Chavis (pictured) top scored with another 30-point haul for the season, with Hank Rivers adding a customary double-double of 22 points and 17 rebounds. Tees Valley Mohawks (9-15) were one of three teams to just miss out on the top eight, despite winning their final game with a 72-71 success over Reading Rockets (15-9) with Bryan Hockaday producing a monster double-double with 18 points and 19 rebounds.
FINAL Standings: Essex Leopards (18-6), Derby Traiblazers (17-7), Manchester Magic (17-7), Kent Crusaders (16-8), Reading Rockets (15-9), Team Northumbria (15-9), Worthing Thunder (11-13), Bradford Dragons (10-14), Tees Valley Mohawks (9-15), Leicester Warriors (9-15), Hemel Storm (9-15), Westminster Warriors (6-18), NASSA (4-20).
Quarter-Finals: Essex Leopards v Bradford Dragons (12th, 4pm); Kent Crusaders v Reading Rockets (11th, 4:15pm); Derby Trailblazers v Worthing Thunder (11th, 7:15pm); Manchester Magic v Team Northumbria (11th, 6:30pm).
The top four seeds in the playoffs all advanced to the next round to set up two intriguing semi-final clashes this weekend.
D2 winners, London Lituanica, moved closer to a double-trophy winning season as they brushed aside London Westside with a 75-50 win on Sunday with Titas Putna leading all scorers with 23 points. Loughborough Student Riders will meet the league champions in the semi-finals after they saw off London Greenhouse Pioneers, 79-66. Jerelle Okoro top scored for the hosts with 15 points, while the visitors were led by Dean Prosenica’s 26 points and 16 rebounds.
Lancashire Spinners remain on course to add to their Patrons Cup title after coming from behind to beat Brixton Topcats, 85-80. The home side trailed by a point heading into the fourth and took over to make it into the last four. Josh Houghton top scored with 24 points, while Steven Gayle and Mark Rangeley both added 16 points each. Ipswich Basketball will be the Spinners opponents this weekend after they claimed a 97-80 win against Derbyshire Arrows. Josh Johnson top scored with 33 points, while Leigh Greenan, who has become the club’s first pro-signing, weighed in with 24 points.
Semi-Finals: London Lituanica v Loughborough Student Riders (12th, 12pm); Lancashire Spinners v Ipswich Basketball (11th, 5:40pm)
Semi-Finals: Liverpool v Thames Valley Cavaliers (12th, 2pm); Solent Kestrels v Plymouth Raiders II (12th, 1pm)
Semi-Finals: Barking & Dagenham Thunder v College of West Anglia Fury (11th, 6pm); Oxford Brookes University v Doncaster Danum Eagles (12th, 3pm)
Image credit: Worthing Thunder
How do you see the playoffs panning out? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!