- National Teams
The 2019-20 NBL season continued this past weekend, while Solent Kestrels and Worthing Thunder also stole the attention in the BBL Trophy as they set up a quarter-final showdown.
Barking Abbey (2-9) collected their first victory since October after overcoming fellow strugglers Essex & Herts Leopards (1-13) 82-74 to start the New Year in style.
Veron Eze led the young side with 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting and was closely followed by Flynn Boardman-Raffet’s 22 points, while Louis Norton filled the stat-sheet with 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and six steals for the home side.
BA opened with a 24-15 first quarter and pulled clear in the second half, leading by as many as 28 points at 74-46 early in the fourth. The Leopards rallied to close the gap and were paced by Jerelle Okoro’s 19 points.
Fresh from their impressive win away at BBL leaders London Lions in the BBL Trophy, Solent Kestrels (14-0) continued their dominant winning run in D1 with a 79-113 success at Essex & Herts Leopards (1-13).
Jonathan Lashley posted 25 points and 14 rebounds from the bench with Luke Busumbru adding 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Ian Smith scored 21, Travis Charles also hit 20 and Elliot Dadds weighed in with 18 points in a balanced scoring effort.
The Kestrels scored 31 points in the first and fourth quarters to book-end another strong display, though the hosts did take the second quarter 28-23 with Prince Lartey leading the resistance with 25 points and eight assists as the Leopards dropped their second game on the weekend.
Hemel Storm (11-3) maintained second spot in D1 with their sixth home win of the league campaign after holding off Liverpool (2-12) for a 94-85 victory.
Greg Poleon finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds to guide his side to the win as they needed a strong final quarter effort. Mike Williams and Bode Adeluola both added 19 points apiece, while Tyme Regent-Bascombe netted a team-high 22 points for Liverpool in defeat.
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The visitors edged the opening period by a single point before Hemel responded to open up a 10-point cushion going into the half-time break. Liverpool hit back with a similar 10-minute effort of their own to regain a slender advantage only for a 10-0 burst from Storm to prove decisive in the fourth as Adeluola hit back-to-back threes.
Reading Rockets (10-4) picked up their 10th win in the league this season as they eased past Westminster Warriors (3-11) 96-78. Liam Davis – on loan from BBL side Bristol Flyers – had 21 points with Nick Richards adding a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists.
Loughborough Student Riders (8-5) beat Nottingham Hoods (5-9) 96-84, despite 28 points from Delaney Powell, while Derby Trailblazers (8-5) gained success on the road with Malcolm Smith posting 25 points and 13 rebounds in their 79-86 win at Leicester Warriors (6-8).
Manchester Magic (7-3) started 2020 with a bang as they handed Team Newcastle University (9-2) their second loss with a convincing 86-63 victory. A 28-12 opening quarter paved the way for success with Andre Gayle top scoring with 25 points, while Richard Bell added 20 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Meanwhile, Myerscough College (8-2) were able to close the gap on the leaders as they defeated Derbyshire Spartans (4-7) 93-65 on Sunday behind 22 points from Lewis McGlasson as six players reached double figures in the win.
Bristol Hurricanes (2-8) claimed victory in the local derby against Bristol Academy Flyers (5-7) with a 68-60 success as Zygimantas Kosarevas and Benas Andriekus combined for 41 points. Also, there was a 95-78 win for Derbyshire Arrows (6-6) over Sheffield Hallam University (0-9), despite 38 points and 11 rebounds from Jacob Cauthorn.
Ipswich Basketball (6-3) moved into second place with a 77-85 victory away at Solent Kestrels II (3-7) as Jake Enyon led the way with a 29-point haul; supported by Ethan Price’s double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Yonathan Napoleon fired in 35 points to guide London Greenhouse Pioneers (5-3) to a 91-108 win on the road against London Westside (5-4) to leapfrog their opponents into fourth spot.
North – Liverpool II 87-97 Newcastle Eagles U23 (Joseph Scibeli 31 points); Lancashire Spinners 78-65 Barrow Thorns.
Midlands – Mansfield Giants 66-95 Warwickshire Hawks (Curtis Hadley 31 points); Birmingham Mets 119-91 Derby Trailblazers II (Daniel Belgrave 28 points); Stourport Spartans 81-63 Sheffield Sabres; Coventry Flames 57-79 City of Birmingham; Doncaster Eagles 96-73 Derbyshire Arrows U23 (Oliver Hylands 31 points).
East – Bury St. Edmunds Bulldogs 63-74 University of Nottingham; County Upper Wolves 73-74 Essex Rebels II.
South-East – Chelmsford Lions 73-60 Canterbury Academy Crusaders; Barking Abbey II 112-34 London Warriors.
South-West – Oxford Stealers 63-91 Taunton Tigers (Alex Potter 32 points); Bognor GSD 78-113 Cardiff City (Lewis Tucker 42 points); Cardiff Met Archers II 92-118 RCT Gladiators (R Williams 42 points)
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