- National Teams
Check out the latest BBL round-up before Christmas as the league leaders keep winning, while one team ended a baron run.
Newcastle Eagles set a new club record of 24 straight wins after improving to 16-0 in the BBL Championship with a double-winning weekend. The BBL Cup finalists saw off the challenge of Plymouth Raiders with ease after winning every quarter on their way to a 95-77 victory. Scott Martin led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds as six players reaching double figures with Darius Defoe adding a double-double of 18 points and 11 boards, while Rahmon Fletcher had 10 assists to go with 10 points. For the Raiders, Josh Wilcher top scored with 19 points.
Fab Flournoy’s unbeaten side then were made to work hard for their win on Sunday before eventually prevailing 91-98 away at Cheshire Phoenix. Charles Smith scored 26 points and dished out six assists in the win with Martin adding 22 including a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute to put the nail in the home side’s resistance. Kinu Rochford had 27 points and 10 rebounds as all five starters played the full 40 minutes, but battled hard to tie the game at 73 in the final quarter.
On Sunday, Manchester Giants ended a run of eight consecutive defeats as they earned a 100-102 victory away at Plymouth. The result saw the Giants match their opponents’ four wins this season and took their winning streak over the Raiders to six games. Stefan Gill top scored for the visitors with 31 points, while Ingus Bankevics put up 27. Meanwhile, Daryl Corletto had a game-high 34 for the home side as they suffered their second loss for the weekend.
London Lions saw their hopes of an immediate return to the top four dashed as they fell to successive losses over the weekend – despite the new arrival of Alex Owumi. The Lions were edged out 69-66 away at Sheffield Sharks on Friday night as John Barber netted 20 points in the win after going 6-of-8 from inside the arc. The home side trailed by eight at the half but battled back with a 19-9 third period and would need to score the final four points to take the game.
Glasgow Rocks then cemented their spot in the top four after claiming a 71-84 win in the capital on Sunday. Marcus Ware scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the opening period as the Rocks made a blistering 15-4 start, in a tip-to-buzzer led victory. Warren Gillis added 12 points as six players hit double figures in total for the visitors. Olumide Oyedeji went 6-of-6 from the field in his 14 points, before suffering a fractured hand. The Rocks claimed the head-to-head over the Lions and have now won the last six meetings between the two.
Meanwhile, Worcester Wolves ran out convincing 108-92 winners over Surrey Scorchers despite being without two key players once again. Recent recruit Orlan Jackman filled the stat-sheet with an impressive 27 points along with six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Captain Pavol Losonsky contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes of action, while Javi Mugica had 21 and 11. The Scorchers were paced by KC Ross Miller’s 26 points as they went down fighting.
Leicester Riders play Bristol Flyers on Tuesday in the final game before Christmas.
Results: Friday- Worcester Wolves 108-92 Surrey Scorchers, Newcastle Eagles 95-77 Plymouth Raiders, Sheffield Sharks 69-66 London Lions; Sunday- Plymouth Raiders 100-102 Manchester Giants, London Lions 71-84 Glasgow Rocks, Cheshire Phoenix 91-98 Newcastle Eagles.
Standings: Eagles 16-0; Riders 10-1; Wolves 10-5; Rocks 8-7; Sharks 6-6; Lions 6-7; Phoenix 6-10; Scorchers 5-7; Flyers 5-9; Force 5-10; Raiders 4-10; Giants 4-13
Hoopsfix Star 5: Stefan Gill, Orlan Jackman, Charles Smith, Scott Martin, Marcus Ware