Sunday’s action in the BBL

RIDERS GROUND OUT WIN IN GLASGOW AS NEWCASTLE KEEP UP THE PRESSURE & LIONS AND WOLVES DO DOUBLE DUTY FOR THE WEEKEND

Sunday 24th February

Leicester Riders recovered from a slow start to defeat Glasgow 76-72 on the road to stay top of the league standings while Newcastle Eagles enjoyed a 90-78 success in Guildford over the Surrey Heat (full report to follow).

Pavol Losonsky led the Riders‘ charge with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists as Leicester made it EIGHT straight victories whilst ending the winning run of the Rocks. Sterling Davis’ men led 24-15 at the end of the opening quarter but succumbed to the impressive defence of the visitors and Glasgow now drop back to fifth in the table.

The teams were tied at 11 after a sluggish start before Glasgow took control with an 11-2 close over the final three minutes to lead by nine. Gareth Murray sparked a 7-2 burst for the home side with five points in quick succession and the advantage had peaked at THIRTEEN points. However, this time it was the visitors’ turn to put together a run at the end of the quarter as an 11-3 spell helped cut the gap to 41-36 at the break.

When play resumed, the Rocks re-established their double digit lead but were then forced into a baron spell for nearly four minutes as the Riders reduced their arrears to a single point as Zaire Taylor capped a 9-0 run with a triple. Leicester finally took the lead- for the first time since mid-way through the first- on the buzzer as they turned defence into defence with a block from Drew Sullivan at one end transpired into an Anthony Rowe basket at the other.

EJ Harrison completed a three point play early with the first score in the fourth to restore the Rocks‘ advantage but that was to be their last lead of the contest as an 8-2 response from the Riders put them up by six. Spurred on by the Emirates crowd, Glasgow pulled themselves to within a point but crucially missed their final SEVEN shots from the field as Leicester could afford three spurned free throw attempts before Losonsky nailed two successfully to clinch an ELEVENTH straight win in all competitions.

STAT: Leicester have now won their last three league games in Glasgow.

Worcester Wolves capitalised on Surrey‘s loss to leapfrog the Heat in the table and keep alive their top four chances after beating Durham 83-79 on the road. The visitors gained the advantage with a strong spell after the half-time interval before holding off a final quarter fightback from the Wildcats. Alex Owumi led all scorers with 24 points while Mike Baldarelli had 23 for Durham and Andrew Keister contributed a 22p-14r double-double.

STAT: Carlos Fernandez came close to a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and SEVEN assists in 40 minutes.

London Lions also recorded their second win of the weekend after an 81-64 triumph at home to play-off rivals Manchester. The tip was delayed by 90 minutes as the Giants arrived late due to traffic. The Lions weren’t affected by the wait as they raced into an early 29-17 lead and never looked back. Adrien Sturt had a season-high 31 point haul for the hosts while the visiting Giants were led by a 24p-12r double-double from Ben Eaves, who also fired in four 3-pointers.

In the BBL Trophy, Sheffield opened up a 14 point advantage with a 74-60 victory in Cheshire to take into the second leg of their semi-final clash. A domiant 26-12 third quarter from the Sharks proved the difference as they took a step closer to a first major final since 2011. Mike Tuck was in inspired form for his side and led from the front with a huge 16p-19r double-double while Micah Williams added 16 points to celebrate his birthday with a win.

The finalists will become clear next week as the Sharks and Phoenix meet in the second leg while Leicester and Worcester do battle in successive nights in their semi-final. Mersey look for a first win as they entertain Newcastle while on Sunday, Surrey aim to return to winning ways when they host Cheshire and Glasgow play host to the Wildcats.

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Friday Night Action in the BBL

PLYMOUTH AND WORCESTER KEEP UP PRESS FOR TOP FOUR WHILE LONDON AND MANCHESTER BOOST PLAY-OFF HOPES

Friday 22nd February 2013

Plymouth Raiders left it late to deny Durham a second win in Devon this season with a 104-100 victory in a topsy-turvy encounter. Gavin Love’s men move back level on points with the Glasgow Rocks to remain as outside contenders for the title.

Michael Ojo top scored for the home side with 29 points but Andrew Lasker stole the show with an impressive stat-line of 21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists as well as four steals. Plymouth led by as many as nine points early on but some clinical 3-point shooting from the Wildcats kept them in touch and they trailed by four at the end of the first at 29-25.

In the second, Paul Elderkin topped and tailed a 16-2 tear with a triple as the visitors took the lead at 44-35. Plymouth battled back after that poor spell but still found themselves 55-50 behind as they reached half-time. When play resumed, the Raiders embarked on an 11-2 run to regain the lead at 64-60.

The momentum was with the home side and Javarris Barnett fired in two scores from long range to help give Plymouth an 87-77 advantage to take into the final quarter. However, back came Durham as they opened the fourth with 13 unanswered points to take the lead and keep their opponents scoreless for almost four minutes.

Ojo stopped the rot with a pair of free throws but Durham still looked in control with 3:25 remaining as they led 100-96. Plymouth stepped up their defensive efforts with Andreas Schreiber denying Andrew Keister at one end to allow Lasker to tie the game at the other with just under a minute left. The 30 year-old then put the Raiders in front and when Brad Guinane missed from beyond the arc, Ojo held his nerve to knock down another pair of free throws to seal the win.

Plymouth were deadly from the foul line as they made 23 of their 25 attempts with Ojo and Lasker leading the way with a perfect 6/6. The Wildcats missed their final seven shots including four from 3-point range during a baron final three minutes although they still finished with an overall 62% shooting accuracy. Keister top scored with 26 points but leaked six turnovers while Elderkin and Mike Baldarelli added 19 points each with a combined 9/13 from long range.

STAT: With 21 points and 11 rebounds it was Lasker‘s third double-double in the league this season.

Manchester Giants (9-17) boosted their play-off hopes with an 94-78 victory over their rivals Cheshire (9-17). Devan Bailey put in an outstanding performance with 22 points on 9-10 shooting including 4/4 from 3-PT range whilst grabbing six boards, providing five assists and earning two steals. Chez Marks and Alif Bland led the visitors with 21 points each in the defeat.

London Lions (10-16) stole a march in the play-off race to move clear in seventh after a comfortable 78-58 win on the road against the Mersey Tigers (0-24). Orlan Jackman had a game-high 16 points for the visitors while the Tigers were led by a 15 point haul from Joshua Lockett. The tip-off was delayed by 45 minutes due to the late arrival of the London side in Merseyside.

STAT: Nathan Schall made his debut for the Mersey Tigers following his move from Manchester.

The final game saw the Worcester Wolves (14-9) defeat Surrey Heat (14-8) 99-81 to move level on points despite being a place below in the standings. Kai Williams was hot early on from downtown and finished with 24 points to lead the Wolves amongst a number of standout performances.

Alex Owumi came close to a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and EIGHT assists while Stanley Ocitti also bagged a 16p-10r double-doubleand Aruras Masiulis had 11 points, 12 rebounds and SEVEN blocks in the win. Sam Cricelli top scored for the visiting Heat with 22 points as Surrey fell to their sixth loss in seven games in all competitions.

Next up for Creon Raftopoulos’ men is a visit from the Newcastle Eagles in front of the Sky cameras on Sunday. Also in action are the Glasgow Rocks as they play host to the league leaders Leicester Riders in what promises to be an entertaining game. London entertain Manchester in a battle for the play-offs clash; Worcester travel to Durham to take on the Wildcats and Sheffield Sharks play Cheshire in the first leg of the BBL Trophy semi-final.

 

Sunday round-up in the BBL

RIDERS BACK ON TOP; GLASGOW BREAK INTO TOP 3 & DURHAM BOOST PLAY-OFF CHANCES

Leicester Riders moved back level on points with Newcastle at the top of the table with a 72-51 win at home to the Sheffield Sharks. Drew Sullivan led the way with a game-high 21 points while Olu Babalola had 13 for the visitors, who were restricted to shooting a below-par 32% from the field. Sheffield had an early four point lead but this was cancelled out when Sullivan slammed the ball home to tie the game at 16 at the end of the first. A 7-0 run at the latter stages of the second, consisting of four points from Pavol Losonsky and a three point play from Jamell Anderson, helped the Riders into a 32-28 advantage at the interval. The home side increased their defensive efforts in the second half as they contained the Sharks to just 23 further points to complete a routine victory in a game to be televised on Sky Sports.

Glasgow Rocks made third place their own with a 94-84 victory over Plymouth which secured the head-to-head series against their rivals. The home side did the damage in the second quarter when they outscored their opponents 30-18 and the Raiders struggled to get back in the game. Michael Ojo continued his fine run of form with a 30 point haul but 24 points from Donald Robinson and a further 20 from player-coach Sterling Davis helped the Rocks to their sixth consecutive win. Plymouth did close the gap to five points in the fourth quarter but a baron spell of no points in four minutes proved costly as they now lie in fifth position.

Durham Wildcats joined a host of teams on 16 points after an 89-84 success at home to the London Lions. Keith Page was the star for the hosts with a 29 point haul which included 8/9 from the FT line while Mike Baldarelli and Brad Guinane contributed 19 and 15 points respectively. After a tight first ten minutes, the home side began to establish their authority and a 12-4 burst towards the end of the third gave them a 71-60 advantage to take into the fourth. The lead peaked at 16 points at 80-64 before the visiting Lions roared back into life with a 15-1 tear capped by a Tayo Ogedengbe dunk. Page sealed the win with four free throws down the stretch to give his side their eighth win of the season and hope of making the play-offs.

Here is the current table in the BBL Championship:

Newcastle move clear at the top; Plymouth and Glasgow keep the heat on Surrey

Newcastle Eagles eased to a 106-65 victory away to local rivals Durham with Charles Smith producing a scintillating display to help his side move two points clear at the top.

The 37 year-old finished with an incredible stat-line consisting of 49 points, including 8/10 from long range, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and a block. Joe Chapman joined in the fun with a triple-double (18 points-10 rebounds- 11 assists) to inflict a second defeat on the Wildcats for the weekend.

Newcastle made a blistering start and opened up a 27-point advantage at the end of the first quarter after racking up 40 points. The home side battled back in the second before being outscored again in the second half on their way to a 41 point defeat. Andrew Keister had 11 points and 18 rebounds but Molten BBL Player of the Month for December and January, Ralph Bucci could only manage seven points.

Glasgow left it late to beat the London Lions as EJ Harrison‘s late three helped the Rocks defeat his former side 69-66. The victory helped the hosts maintain the pressure on Plymouth and Surrey as they remain just outside the top four. Orlan Jackman tied the game at 66 with a minute left, to take his points tally to a game high 26, before Harrison struck in the dying seconds.

The visiting Lions were quick out of the blocks and made four triples in an 18-3 close to the opening quarter to lead 29-14. In the second, their lead grew to 19 points before the trio of Andrew Wedemire, Sterling Davis and Harrison combined for a 22-2 tear to put Glasgow ahead. Jordan Spencer responded with a three to give the London side a half-time lead which transpired into a three-point advantage heading into the fourth where the tense finale ensued.

Plymouth moved level on points with third-place after a 100-93 win in Cheshire. Michael Ojo top scored with an impressive 40 point haul to guide the Raiders to victory against the ‘Nix. Chez Marks led his side with 31 points but a second defeat for the weekend results in Cheshire dropping outside the play-off places although they are level on points with London.

This is how Sunday’s action changes the shape of the league standings:

1- NEWCASTLE (17-2) 34pts; 2- LEICESTER (16-2) 32pts; 3- SURREY (14-5) 28pts; 4- PLYMOUTH (14-6) 28pts; 5- GLASGOW (13-8) 26pts; 6- WORCESTER (11-9) 22pts; 7- SHEFFIELD (8-12) 16pts; 8- LONDON (8-14) 16pts; 9- CHESHIRE (8-14) 16pts; 10- MANCHESTER (7-15) 14pts; 11- DURHAM (7-15) 14pts; 12- MERSEY (0-21) 0pts

*See BBL Current Table for a more in-depth look at the league standings.