- National Teams
Check out our latest recap of the BBL action as Newcastle Eagles stay perfect at the top while two teams lose their unbeaten starts.
After winning their opening two games, Manchester Giants dropped to .500 after falling to back-to-back defeats away from home this weekend. Yorick Williams’ side were denied a third successive scalp when Surrey Scorchers edged their way to an 84-83 success courtesy of two late free throws from Desmond Lee. Andreas Schreiber led the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Will Neighbour added 16 points for the Scorchers.
The Giants made a strong start by taking the opening period 25-16, but the home side responded in the second to level the game at 41-41 going into half-time. Once again, the Giants made their move to go up by eight in the third but needed a three from Olu Babalola at the buzzer to lead 61-58 heading into the fourth. After numerous lead changes, Giants went up by three on a 5-0 burst before Tayo Ogedengbe’s basket and clutch free throws from Lee sealed the win in the final 20 seconds.
On Sunday, Glasgow Rocks collected their first win of the new season after claiming an 81-71 victory over the Giants. Kieron Achara stepped up with 22 points for his side as they marked their opening home game with a win. Warren Gillis weighed in with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds while Marcus Ware had 13 off the bench.
Following an even start where the home side edged ahead after one quarter, Ingus Bankevics scored seven of his 18 points at the start of the second to put his side up by nine at 26-35. Glasgow responded with a dominant 18-1 run and never looked back as they held on to move to a 1-1 mark.
Newcastle Eagles made it four straight wins to stay top of the BBL Championship as they inflicted a first loss on London Lions with a 92-84 win at Sport Central. Rahmon Fletcher led five players in double figures with 21 points and seven assists with Darius Defoe adding a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double.
The Eagles gradually edged away throughout the contest and racked up 32 points in the third to leave their opponents trailing by 12 ahead of the fourth. The lead peaked at 19 in the final stages before Lions’ late rally despite the absence of Demond Watt, who suffered a fractured ankle during the game and is expected to miss the next six weeks. Jamal Williams scored eight of his team-high 19 points in the fourth, while Nick Lewis also flourished late on as he passed 1000 career BBL points in his 15-point effort.
Leeds Force were another team to record their first victory of the campaign as they saw off Bristol Flyers down the stretch to win 71-68, and keep their opponents winless. Louis Sayers scored an equal team-high along with American debutant Kwan Waller as they each recorded 17 points. Dwayne Camille was the game-winner with his 3-pointer in the final minute proving the difference to decide the search for a first win.
Bristol had enjoyed the better of the early stages but after losing the third period 24-13, they soon found themselves facing a 13-point deficit three minutes into the fourth. However, they produced a late revival as they have done previously this season, and would eventually tie the game on a Cardell McFarland three to cap a 17-4 spell. Mathias Seilund top scored with 19 points in their fourth loss.
Cheshire Phoenix moved second after continuing their perfect record away from home as they came from behind to beat Sheffield Sharks 97-89 at the EIS. American Jordan Williams netted a BBL season-high of 36 points to power Phoenix to their third win with David Aliu adding 23 points. Akeem Ellis filled the stat-sheet with an impressive 20 points along with eight rebounds and seven assists while Jeff Dirkin finished with 10 rebounds to go with seven points and five blocks.
Jerrold Brooks starred for the Sharks after sinking six triples in his 30-point haul as his side surrendered a double-digit lead. Sheffield had led 27-15 at the end of the first but Phoenix kept battling and managed to turn a 73-66 deficit late in the third into a 73-83 advantage in the fourth following a pivotal 18-0 run that was enough for them to see out the game.
Results: Friday- Surrey Scorchers 84-83 Manchester Giants, Newcastle Eagles 92-84 London Lions, Sheffield Sharks 89-97 Cheshire Phoenix, Leeds Force 71-68 Bristol Flyers; Sunday- Glasgow Rocks 81-71 Manchester Giants.
Standings: Eagles 4-0; Phoenix 3-1; Lions/Scorchers/Wolves 2-1; Giants 2-2; Riders 1-0; Rocks 1-1; Force 1-3; Sharks/Raiders 0-2; Flyers 0-4
Hoopsfix Star 5- Rahmon Fletcher, Akeem Ellis, Jordan Williams, Andreas Schreiber, Kieron Achara