It was another action packed week in the BBL, as London Lions went clear at the top of the table after Newcastle Eagles suffered two losses, having gone into the weekend undefeated.
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 68-84 Leicester Riders
Defending BBL champions Leicester Riders handed Esh Group Eagles Newcastle their first loss of the season with a convincing display on the road.
Rob Paternostro’s side showcased their resolute defence in the midst of moving to 2-0 in the BBL Championship, overturning a double-digit deficit, using a 17-6 start to the second quarter to pull away, all without DeAndre Burnett, and Kiefer Douse being limited to four minutes after getting injured.
JR Holder had another standout performance for the Riders with a game-high 19 points along with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals with Andy Thomson shooting 6 of 7 in his 12 points along with nine rebounds against his former side. Jamell Anderson added 13 points.
Rahmon Fletcher led the Eagles with 13 points and 6 assists, but was held to 5-for-13 shooting, and Victor Moses finished with 12.
Worcester Wolves 67-89 DBL Sharks Sheffield
DBL Sharks Sheffield bounced back from a disappointing BBL Cup exit with a victory on the road against Worcester Wolves.
— DBL Sharks Sheffield (@SheffieldSharks) November 3, 2018
Worcester’s struggles continued, as Sheffield established early control and never looked back, despite a 30-point final quarter from the home side.
Worcester Head Coach Ty Shaw confirmed the cause of his team’s seventh consecutive defeat, saying:
“Giving up more than twenty offensive rebounds and more than twenty turnovers – you can’t win a basketball game doing that. We’re repeating the same old story.”
Dirk Williams led the way with 22 points with Marsden adding a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds in an inside battle with Filip Kramer, who had 19 and 16 in defeat. Jordan Whelan led Worcester’s scoring with 21.
BBL Cup, First Round
London City Royals 81-90 Worcester Wolves
Worcester Wolves have progressed through the first round of the BBL Cup after beating London City Royals 90-81 at Crystal Palace.
Robert Crawford (@Rob_Wealthy7) backs down his man and kicks to Terrel Martin-Garcia for the three, and @BBLWolves still lead as we head down the stretch in this BBL Cup clash.#BritishBasketball pic.twitter.com/zaofmbvCLK
— British Basketball League (@BBLofficial) November 3, 2018
It is a first win since the opening night of the season for Wolves, ending their seven game losing streak, as they aim to return to the BBL Cup Final again this year. They advance to face London Lions in the quarter-finals.
The key spell came at the end of the third quarter as Wolves overturned a deficit to score the last seven points of the period, sparked by an Adam Thoseby three-pointer, as they took a 65-60 lead into the fourth. The game was still tight heading down the stretch, settled by a crucial Thoseby triple to make the score 80-73 approaching the final minute.
A trio of players were key for Wolves: Rob Crawford led the scoring with 22 points; while Thoseby hit the key late basket and finished with 19 points on 3-5 three-pointers; and Darell Combs shot 6-9 from the field for 16 points, to go with nine rebounds.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning led Royals with 25 points, Ed Lucas had 14 and new signing Jules Dang Akodo had 13 but it would not be enough, as the London side fell to their third straight BBL defeat.
Bristol Flyers 86-73 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle
Bristol Flyers continued their impressive start to the season with an 86-73 victory at home against Esh Group Newcastle Eagles – as the side from the southwest moved to second in the table.
The Eagles’ second defeat in 24 hours sees the team from the north east fall to third place in the Championship standings, having started the weekend undefeated.
The home team came out of the blocks on fire, outscoring the visitors 29-18 over the opening 10 minutes. The Flyers seized the game’s momentum and never let go.
Fred Thomas produced an impressive display for Bristol, pouring in a game-high 27 points on just 15 shots to go along with eight rebound, Tevin Falzon and Justin Gray had 13-a-piece.
Victor Moses had 19 points and 9 rebounds, Jeremy Smith had 17 and Darius Defoe 13 points and 9 rebounds. Rahmon Fletcher added 11 points and 9 assists, whilst Fab Flournoy had 7 rebounds and 7 assists despite not scoring.
Surrey Scorchers 83-93 DBL Sharks Sheffield
DBL Sharks Sheffield made it two wins from two on the road this weekend as they defeated Surrey Scorchers 83-93 for the second time this season.
— DBL Sharks Sheffield (@SheffieldSharks) November 4, 2018
Atiba Lyons’ side move to a 5-3 record to move into the top four, while the Scorchers drop to 2-6 following another home loss.
Sheffield made a strong start to the game with 28 points in the opening quarter, leading by as many as 13 points in the contest and although Surrey kept it close throughout they were unable to make their move.
The Sharks were clinical on the offensive end with nearly 60% shooting from the field, whilst they were able to keep their opponents to 42 and also handed out 23 assists in the win.
Chris Alexander led the way with 20 points along with six assists for the Sharks with five other players in double figures, while Anthony Collins added eight assists to his 10 points and five rebounds.
Tayo Ogedengbe and Quincy Taylor led Surrey with 20, whilst Josh Steel had 12 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks 72-77 Plymouth Raiders
Plymouth Raiders produced an impressive second-half comeback to beat Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks 72-77 on the road, on Sunday, led by an impressive debut from Rashad Hassan.
— British Basketball League (@BBLofficial) November 4, 2018
Paul James’ side trailed by as many as 17 points, but turned things around to move to 3-4 in the league as Glasgow were denied a second consecutive home victory. Hassan had a debut to remember for the Raiders with a game-high 27 points along with eight rebounds, while Josh Wilcher added 17 points and 9 assists, and Denzel Ubiaro came up with some big plays down the stretch.
Glasgow pulled away in the second quarter to lead by 14 at the half, but the Raiders battled back in the third before making their move in the final period with a pivotal 16-4 spell to take the lead. Plymouth were held to 27 points in the first half and managed to match that total in the final 10 minutes as they came from behind to finish strong against the Rocks.
Bouna Ndiaye led Glasgow with 15, whilst Ali Fraser had 13, and Greg Pryor and Gareth Murray joined them in double digits with 10.
Manchester Giants 83-86 London Lions
London Lions moved clear at the top of the BBL Championship after holding off Manchester Giants 83-86 on the road.
The Lions move to 6-1 ahead of the Bristol Flyers after their 10th win in a row against the Giants, who are now 2-3 after another home loss.
James Jones’ three brought the Giants back within a single score at 65-68 before the Lions responded with a 10-0 run to re-establish control with a double-digit advantage. A late surge from the Giants kept it close late on, but the visitors held firm.
Reigning MVP, Justin Robinson top scored with 22 points with Brandon Peel adding 19 along with seven rebounds and Ladarius Tabb 15. Meanwhile, Willie Clayton had another big game for the Giants with 22 points and 22 boards, and Callum Jones added 21.
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