- National Teams
Check out our latest round-up of action in the BBL as two unbeaten teams remain and one side recorded their first win of the season.
Newcastle Eagles continued their unbeaten start to the season after claiming back-to-back wins on the road this weekend to make it six straight in the league. On Sunday, the defending champions held off a spirited challenge from Plymouth Raiders to win 99-93 behind a 33-point haul from Charles Smith. The reigning MVP also added five rebounds, six assists and five steals in an impressive performance while Andy Thomson had an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Plymouth were looking for their first win of the season and made a bright start by earning a 29-23 lead at the end of the first. However, by half-time, the Eagles had levelled and began to pull away in the second half. The home side rallied late on but were unable to stop Newcastle from closing out another win. BJ Anthony produced 20 points and 12 rebounds while Daryl Corletto also reached 20 points and dished out nine assists. Richie Edwards had 18 points on debut.
Fab Flournoy’s side made it five in a row the previous day after an untroubled 84-71 win away at Bristol Flyers. Andy Thomson led the way for Newcastle with 19 points and nine rebounds as the visitors never looked back from a blistering start as they opened up an early double-digit lead. Tyrone Lee top scored for the home side with 19 points, to go with the 15 he scored off the bench on debut for the club.
Bristol had gone into Saturday’s encounter on the back of their first league win of the season after they stunned London Lions with a 76-64 victory in the capital. The Lions were without the injured Demond Watt for Thursday’s clash and would surrender a half-time lead to fall to their second consecutive loss. Cardell McFarland led the revival with a game-high 25 points while Danish forward Mathias Seilund had the hot hand in the third to fire Flyers in front.
Leicester Riders remain the only other unbeaten side in the league as they needed to dig deep to defeat Glasgow Rocks 64-60 on Saturday evening in a close-fought encounter. Jamell Anderson played an important role at both ends down the stretch and he would finish with 10 points and 10 rebounds along with GB captain Drew Sullivan, while Tyler Bernardini hit the dagger triple to cap his 14 points.
The Rocks responded in the best possible manner by beating Cheshire Phoenix 78-76 on the road, less than 24 hours later. With Kieron Achara limited to eight minutes through injury, Will Hall stepped up with 22 points and 9 rebounds while Marcus Ware also added 22 points along with his 11 boards from the bench as the visitors overturned a five-point deficit heading into the fourth.
Phoenix had led after each of the first three quarters but were left reeling after conceding a 12-2 start to the final quarter. They had a chance to snatch victory having scored five points in quick succession in the final 30 seconds but had left themselves too much to do as their wait for a first league win at the Cheshire Oaks Arena continues. Akeem Ellis had a game-high 26 points for the hosts, who now drop to a 3-2 mark, while Jordan Williams added 19.
Worcester Wolves moved into second place after overcoming a slow start to beat Manchester Giants 87-72 away from home. The visitors had parted ways with Malik Smith since their last game, but came together to record their third win and inflict a third straight defeat on their opponents in the process. Disraeli Lufadeju and Pavol Loskonsky weighed in with 20 points apiece to counter a game-high 25 from Callum Jones.
Finally, Leeds Force made it two straight wins after they saw off Surrey Scorchers on Friday night with a 74-69 victory. Debutant D’Andre Bullard made an immediate impact for Force with an all-round display of 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists with Louis Sayers (pictured) also adding 17 points. Rob Marsden pulled down an impressive 17 rebounds before fouling out with more than five minutes remaining.
Scorchers had lost guards Elvisi Dusha and Desmond Lee in the lead up to the game as they both left the club and Tayo Ogedengbe stepped up to lead his under-manned side with 26 points but the visitors were unable to grind out another road victory.
Results: Thursday- Lions 64-76 Flyers; Friday- Force 74-69 Scorchers; Saturday- Flyers 71-84 Eagles, Riders 64-60 Rocks; Sunday- Raiders 93-99 Eagles, Phoenix 76-78 Rocks, Giants 72-87 Wolves.
Standings: Eagles 6-0; Wolves 3-1; Phoenix 3-2; Riders 2-0; Lions/Scorchers/Rocks 2-2; Giants/Force 2-3; Flyers 1-5; Sharks 0-2; Raiders 0-3.
Hoopsfix Star 5: Cardell McFarland, Jamell Anderson, Charles Smith, Will Hall, Rob Marsden