BBL Power Rankings: Road to The O2 – Week 21 -

BBL Power Rankings: Road to The O2 – Week 21

We move onto Week 21 of the 2019-20 BBL Power Rankings with the league action returning this weekend following the international break.

London Lions and Glasgow Rocks lead the way at the top of the standings with their 9-3 records with Manchester Giants still awaiting their first win.

[last week’s position]

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 1 [1]: London Lions (9-3, 14-10**)

After beating Cheshire in midweek, the Lions followed with a hard-fought 66-75 win away at Bristol on Valentine’s Day. Justin Robinson shared the love with five assists to go with 14 points and five rebounds with the visitors without Ovie Soko, who would play a starring role for GB in the recent qualifying window.

All eyes will be on the Copper Box on Sunday as March madness begins with the Lions hosting Leicester in a top-of-the-table clash having lost the previous encounter by seven. Head-to-head could be crucial for league title implications with an exciting finish in store in what has become an even shorter league campaign.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ✅✅❎❎✅

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 2 [2]: Leicester Riders (6-2, 15-7)

That four game losing run seems a long time ago now for the Riders as they racked up their fourth straight win in dominant fashion after inflicting a devastating 101-63 defeat on Newcastle. Namon Wright led the way with 29 points, while Kyron Cartwright handed out 12 assists and Jordan Spencer added 10 as they facilitated the offence.

Leicester then used a 36-18 third period to power past Plymouth in a 74-90 road success to move to 6-2 and climb into third spot in the table. They host Sheffield on Saturday before that huge clash at the Copper Box on Sunday as they look for what could be a vital double over the defending champions in the race for the league title.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ✅✅✅✅✅

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 3 [3]: Glasgow Rocks (9-3, 14-10**)

The Rocks are still rolling as they picked up two more victories to move to 9-3 alongside the Lions at the top of the league standings. And, both wins came away from the Emirates Arena as they defeated Surrey 79-95 before brushing aside Cheshire 71-87 two days later.

Terrell Vinson top scored with 25 points against the Scorchers with Glasgow continuing to get contributions throughout their roster with strong displays at both ends of the floor in maintaining momentum. They also have an extended break before returning to action on March 8th.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ✅✅✅❎✅

[icon name=”arrow-circle-up” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 4 [5]: Worcester Wolves (6-4, 15-10)

Kofi Josephs fired in 31 points and Mark Hughes added 29 to lead the Wolves to a 116-91 victory at home to Plymouth to move into a tie for fourth spot alongside Newcastle. The hosts shot nearly 60% from the field in an offensive clinic, pouring in 66 points through the middle periods to take control of the contest.

They take on Bristol on Friday in a repeat of January’s Cup final ahead of a run of games that will see Worcester on the road in five of their next six encounters.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ✅❎✅✅❎

[icon name=”arrow-circle-down” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 5 [4]: Newcastle Eagles (6-4, 15-9)

Week 20: “.. wanted to put Newcastle higher … but the odd result has just tripped them up.” 

Well, their last game turned into a full on tumble as they came crashing down to a heavy loss away to Leicester. The absence of two-time Player of the Month winner CJ Gettys was obviously a huge blow as he joined Drew Lasker and Eddie Matthew on the sidelines.

The Eagles return to action as they welcome Surrey on Friday night in the first of two home games this weekend as they also look to book a BBL Trophy final showdown with Solent as they take a nine-point advantage into their second leg with Cheshire.

Also, credit has to go to the club for the organisation of GB’s clash with Germany as a packed crowd inside the ECA spurred on Marc Steutel’s side to an important victory in the EuroBasket qualifiers.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ❎✅✅❎✅

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 6 [6]: Bristol Flyers (3-5, 14-10**)

Bristol were unable to overturn a huge deficit against Solent Kestrels in the BBL Trophy in order to make another final, though they did return to winning ways by taking the second leg 92-73 behind 27 points from Gentrey Thomas. The result followed a nine-point loss at home to the Lions as they remain outside the league’s top eight.

I̶t̶’̶s̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶q̶u̶i̶e̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶F̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶T̶h̶o̶m̶a̶s̶ ̶r̶e̶p̶l̶a̶c̶e̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶n̶t̶,̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶e̶c̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶f̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶t̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶l̶o̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶d̶o̶u̶b̶l̶e̶-̶h̶e̶a̶d̶e̶r̶.̶ The Flyers welcomed American guard Eric Lockett to add to their roster ahead of their trip to Worcester, while they also host Manchester on Saturday.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ✅❎❎❎✅

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 7 [7]: Sheffield Sharks (5-4, 13-9)

Sheffield do indeed now have a winning league record after they made it three wins from their last four with an emphatic 87-106 victory away at Manchester. They poured in 57 points in the first half to pull clear with six players finishing in double figures, led by Connor Cashaw’s 21 points.

The Sharks take on Leicester on the road this weekend as their re-kindle their early season rivalry in the battle for top spot in the North group in the Cup. With 11 games left, the Yorkshire side are well poised to make a run and avoid getting dragged into a tense battle to make the playoffs.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ✅✅❎✅❎

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 8 [8]: Cheshire Phoenix (5-6, 12-13)

A slow start proved Cheshire’s undoing as they slipped to below .500 in the league – and for the season – in a home loss to the Rocks. Parker Jackson-Cartwright returned with 18 points with Ben Mockford adding 17 points before playing a vital role in GB’s recent victory over Germany on international duty.

Ben Thomas’ side face a testing double-header away from home with a trip to Plymouth followed by the second leg of their Trophy semi-final against Newcastle, though Mockford will feel right at home at the Eagles Community Arena.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ❎❎❎✅❎

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 9 [9]: Plymouth Raiders (2-8, 4-17**)

It can take time for new players to gel, particularly midway through a season and the Raiders are still searching for a spark to push towards a spot in the playoffs as they hit the halfway mark with two wins from 10. Plymouth were outgunned in a 25-point loss in Worcester before seeing their long-running losing streak against Leicester continue with a costly third period proving their downfall.

Matt Scott netted 26 points in both encounters as he picks up his scoring form from earlier in the season with the Royals, while the club have also seen Ron Mvoulika depart since their last game after agreeing his release. They host Cheshire on Friday before heading to Manchester in two days time in an important weekend.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ❎❎✅✅❎

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 10 [10]: Surrey Scorchers (4-8, 7-16)

Surrey have now lost five games in a row in the league to fall from 4-3 to 4-8 having conceded an average of 97.6 points per game in that span. Their latest came at Surrey Sports Park as they were comfortably beaten by the Rocks with 17 points from Tayo Ogedengbe, while Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Skyler White had 16 each.

The Scorchers remain in the eighth and final playoff spot, albeit just a win ahead of Bristol, who have four games in hand. Next up are Newcastle on the road to close out February as one of five away games amongst their final eight.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ❎❎❎❎❎

[icon name=”arrow-circle-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] 11 [11]: Manchester Giants (0-8, 1-18*)

After an incredibly lengthy gap between games, the Giants were back in action and still awaiting their first league win after going down to a 19-point home loss to Sheffield. Ingus Bankevics top scored with 17 points with the hosts producing an improved second half display, though the damage had been done, trailing 40-57 at half-time.

It’s a South-West opposition double-header for the Giants this weekend as they travel to face Bristol before hosting Plymouth less than 24 hours later as their league campaign hits the halfway point.

Last 5 games (most recent first): ❎❎❎❎❎

* Glasgow Rocks 0-20 Manchester Giants – BBL Cup (ineligible players)
* London City Royals 0-20 Glasgow Rocks – BBL Championship (postponed game)
** Plymouth Raiders 90-98 London City Royals – BBL Championship (results removed)
** London Lions 104-89 London City Royals – BBL Championship (results removed)
** Bristol Flyers 95-71 London City Royals – BBL Championship (results removed)

London City Royals withdrew from the BBL in mid-January.

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