Surrey have released Martelle McLemore due to an ongoing injury issue that has plagued the American in recent weeks.
McLemore suffered the ankle injury back in November when Surrey lost to Plymouth in the BBL Trophy and only returned in the middle of January. The 24 year-old played in ten matches this season and averaged 17.5 points per game with a season-high 25 points coming in October’s home victory against Sheffield.
Speaking to BBL Fans last month, McLemore was excited ahead of his return and wanted to have the chance to fire Heat to a possible BBL Championship. McLemore had played in over 100 games in all competitions in two and a half seasons for Heat with an average of 16.1 points per game in the league in that time span.
However, coach Creon Raftopoulos has made the difficult decision to let the Detroit native go as Surrey now search for a replacement. Chavis Holmes’ twin brother Travis was signed as a short-term replacement for McLemore during his time on the sidelines but Raftopoulos has ruled out his return citing a breakdown in a financial agreement.
Surrey now face Plymouth and Worcester on the road in the next few weeks before hosting the Mersey Tigers in a televised game on Sunday 24th at Surrey Sports Park.
McLemore was popular with the Surrey faithful, who will be disappointed to see the American leave. London Lions’ Tayo Ogedengbe took to Twitter to express his feelings about the ‘shock move’:
3 season top scoring for a franchise leading it, then u get injured and then u get CUT!!! Wtf !!!
Worcester Wolves reached the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy after a 94-88 win over last season’s winners Newcastle at Sport Central.
Alex Owumi had 34 points on 7-12 shooting from long range whilst pulling down nine rebounds to help the Wolves set up a last four clash with the Leicester Riders. Charles Smith top scored for an Eagles side without Fab Flournoy and Damon Huffman with 23 points. The teams were tied at 61 heading into the final quarter and when Sherrad Prezzie-Blue fired in a triple to give Worcester the lead, they didn’t look back. Smith made it a one point game with a three-pointer with two minutes to go but Owumi responded in kind with one of his own before nailing four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
STAT: This is the first time Worcester have reached the BBL Trophy semi-finals.
Manchester Giantsdefeated Surrey Heatfor the second time at home this season with an 83-70 victory. Steffan Gill was on fire from downtown making 6/7 3-pointers on his way to a game high 28 points. Nick George contributed a further 16 points as he continues to impress with his spell with the Giants. The visiting Heat fell behind early and struggled to get back in the game with a sixth loss for the season putting their title ambitions in jeopardy while Plymouth and Glasgow close in. Julius Joseph had 18 points for Surrey while Frank Holmes had a huge double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds. Prior to the game, Martelle McLemore was released by Surrey after the American has struggled since returning from injury.
STAT: Surrey have now lost their last four games on the road in the league.
Glasgow Rockscontinued their push for a place in the top four with an emphatic 97-58 victory away to the Mersey Tigers. The visitors shot above 50% from the field and were a collective 17/18 from the FT line to draw level on points with Plymouth and Surrey in the standings. Donald Robinson top scored with a game high 20 points while four other players (Harrison, Fantazia, Vanderbeken and Wedemire) all reached double figures. Glasgow only held a seven point lead at the half-time break but a 21-1 run in the third broke the resistance of Mersey, who suffered their 22nd consecutive defeat in the league this season. Phil Wait had a team-high 13 points for the Tigers with Gael Hulsen adding a further 12.
In the final game of the evening, London Lionssecured a vital win against their play-off rivals Cheshire to move up to seventh place. Tayo Ogedengbe and Adrien Sturt both top scored with 20 points while Orlan Jackman had 19 for the hosts. The visiting Phoenix were led by 23 point hauls from Chez Marks and Jerome Gumbs. The third quarter proved to pivotal as the Lions outscored their opponents 27-15 to take a 13 point lead into the final quarter. The lead peaked at 20 in the fourth and despite Cheshire‘s late rally it was a comfortable win for the London side.