BBL Power Rankings: Road To The O2 - Week 4 -

BBL Power Rankings: Road To The O2 – Week 4

We are now a month into the season as we continue our BBL Power Rankings to track the progression of all 12 teams throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

London City Royals are the only team without defeat, while Cheshire Phoenix picked up their first win to leave three sides without victory.

[last week’s position]

[icon name=”minus” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 1 [1]: London City Royals (4-0)

The only 100% record left in the BBL Cup as the Royals managed to overcome Worcester Wolves last Friday in an unbeaten clash on the road. Matt Scott fired in 27 points to lead his side to their fourth win from four having to hold off a fourth quarter fightback from the home side.

Even with Andrew Lawrence on the sidelines, last season’s Trophy winners put in a strong showing before heading back to the capital for their British Basketball All-Stars Championship debut, but fell to the eventual champions London Lions to miss out on the semi-finals. They face the winless Surrey Scorchers on the road on Saturday with the chance of moving a step closer to the last eight in the Cup.

[icon name=”minus” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 2 [2]: Newcastle Eagles (4-1)

No move for the Eagles as they head the week off and remain in top spot in the North Group. Rodney Glasgow impressed in the opening round to help Newcastle advance to the semi-finals at the All-Stars Championship before falling to a 41-36 defeat against the Lions. Back in Cup action this weekend, they host Sheffield Sharks on Friday night ahead of the reverse fixture between the two next week.

[icon name=”arrow-up” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 3 [4]: Worcester Wolves (3-1)

Worcester make another small rise due to the Riders injuries, despite suffering their own defeat last weekend. Matt Newby’s side were aiming to extend their unbeaten start, but fell to a 65-67 loss having battled back from 15 down. Kofi Josephs marked his return with 20 points, while Raheem May-Thompson’s outside shooting book-ended a 12-0 run in the fourth as the Wolves rallied late.

The return meeting at Crystal Palace looms later this month, but Worcester take on Plymouth this weekend in a double-header with the chance to strengthen their position within the South Group with six games still to play.

[icon name=”arrow-up” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 4 [6]: Sheffield Sharks (3-1)

The Sharks are picking up momentum. Atiba Lyons’ side made it three wins on the bounce in the Cup with a convincing 16-point victory at home to Glasgow with Mackey McKnight leading the effort with an efficient 22-point haul. Nick Lewis contributed 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists and there was also a first appearance for Norweigan Bouna Ndiaye against his former side.

Sheffield then enjoyed a run to the final of the All-Stars Championship before going down 39-33 against London Lions having beaten Surrey, London City and Leicester on route to the title showdown. An important double-header over the next two weeks against Newcastle will be good indication of how much they are progressing.

[icon name=”arrow-down” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 5 [3]: Leicester Riders (3-2)

Two home defeats in a row for the Riders, but it will be the mounting injuries that cause more concern. After Mo Walker was ruled out for the season without playing, Kyron Cartwright went down hurt against Cheshire before Josh Ward-Hibbert suffered a knee injury at the All-Stars Championship to curtail his dynamic start to the season.

The Riders were beaten 58-66 on Friday night with Namon Wright posting 15 points and eight rebounds in defeat, though the strength in depth was highlighted two days later when young guard Alex Roberts was the hero in an opening round victory against the Phoenix. A semi-final loss to Sheffield Sharks ended their title bid and they face Glasgow Rocks at the Emirates Arena on Sunday.

[icon name=”arrow-down” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 6 [5]: Glasgow Rocks (2-2)

Eli Pepper was the one main highlight for the Rocks this past week after putting in a big-time performance in an otherwise disappointing showing on the road in Sheffield. The American played the full 40 minutes in the 84-68 loss with 26 points – including 6 of 8 shooting from 3-point range – along with 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Glasgow finally defeated Newcastle Eagles at the All-Stars Championship in their tournament opener on Sunday, after overtime heartbreak in previous editions, only to then be eliminated by the same opponent as part of the double-elimination group phase. The Rocks sit fourth in the Cup standings with a big home game against a wounded Riders side on Sunday.

[icon name=”arrow-down” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 7 [7]: London Lions (0-2)

The Lions are still without a win in the Cup this season after another week off, but received a huge boost – financially, too – as they claimed the British Basketball All-Stars Championship title for the second time and in front of their home fans at the Copper Box on this occasion. Brandon Peel starred as the tournament MVP with the Lions going unbeaten with two victories over the Sharks, including the 39-33 final triumph, as well as successes against London City Royals and Newcastle Eagles.

A roster change followed with the Lions announcing the departure of Trent Weaver as he returns to the US. An important game to ignite their campaign comes away at Bristol Flyers on Saturday before hosting Plymouth Raiders in mid-week.

[icon name=”arrow-up” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 8 [9]: Bristol Flyers (2-2)

That’s how you respond to back-to-back losses: a dominant 20-point win over your rivals. Bristol produced the goods at the SGS Wise Arena with an emphatic 92-72 victory as Fred and Gentrey Thomas combined for 33 points, while Daniel Edozie and Lewis Champion each added 14 points with nine players on the scoresheet overall.

The Flyers improve to .500 after four games and move up to third in the South standings and have the chance to extend the gap to the teams behind them if they can beat London Lions on Saturday.

[icon name=”arrow-up” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 9 [10]: Cheshire Phoenix (1-4)

A troublesome start for Cheshire Phoenix looks a whole lot better now following their eight-point win on the road against Leicester Riders. Ben Mockford’s addition had the desired effect with the GB guard netting a game-high 20 points with four triples in the win.

Ben Thomas’ side battled on in the absence of injured captain Momcilo Latinovic and are still without Karim Mouliom as they look to mount a run to climb the standings in the North group. Luck was not on their side at the All-Stars Championship with two losses at the buzzer to exit and they face North-West rivals Manchester Giants on the road on Friday night.

[icon name=”arrow-down” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 10 [9]: Plymouth Raiders (1-2)

Plymouth’s first road game of the season ended in a heavy 20-point loss in a derby battle against Bristol Flyers. The Raiders never recovered from a 22-10 first quarter deficit and fall to a 1-2 record in the South Group, though they remain in the crucial top four positions. Denzel Ubiaro top scored in the loss with 16 points with Josh Wilcher adding 15 points, despite being held to 2 of 10 shooting.

Paul James’ side now have a weekend double-header against Worcester Wolves with their home fixture two days after their visit to the University of Worcester with two wins seeing them climb above their opponents.

[icon name=”minus” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 11 [11]: Surrey Scorchers (0-3)

Creon Raftopoulos’ side title defence at the All-Stars Championship failed to make it beyond the double-elimination group stages with defeats against London City Royals and Sheffield Sharks curtailing their tournament. Another meeting with the Royals bares more prominence this weekend as they host the unbeaten South Group leaders at Surrey Sports Park, aiming to finally get themselves off the mark in the win column.

[icon name=”minus” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 12 [12]: Manchester Giants (0-3)

A complete week off from action for the Giants to give them extra time to prepare for a crunch clash at home to Cheshire Phoenix. A North-West derby for the opportunity of ending a losing start to the season with Manchester hoping to count on the support of their home fans. They have also appealed the BBL’s decision to order a replay of their opening game against Glasgow with their opponents also fined for fielding three ineligible players.

Agree? DISAGREE? Let us know your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *