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Raiders set up BBL Cup Final repeat to complete last four line-up

BBL Cup semi-finals: Plymouth Raiders v Newcastle Eagles; Sheffield Sharks v Leicester Riders

Plymouth Raiders set up a repeat clash of the 2012 BBL Cup Final with the Newcastle Eagles with a 79-74 win on the road against Surrey Heat.

The other semi-final will be between Sheffield and Leicester after both teams secured quarter-final victories on Friday along with the defending champions, Newcastle.

Jeremy Bell top scored for the Raiders with 28 points with the Molten BBL Player of the month for October, Colin O’Reilly, weighing in with 18 points and 11 boards. Chavis Holmes led the home side with 20 points whilst providing 8 assists for his side, who lost Martelle McLemore to an ankle injury in the first half.

Julius Joseph netted an early triple in a 9-2 burst to give Surrey an early advantage at 14-11. The visitors finished the opening quarter with a 5-0 close as Michael Ojo netted from long range at the buzzer to give Plymouth a slender 22-19 advantage.

Heat levelled at 26 as McLemore scored five points in quick succession but it was to be his last involvement after picking up an injury. O’Reilly instigated a 10-3 run with two triples as the visitors opened up a nine point lead. Albert Margai finished the half with the last five points to reduce the deficit at 40-36 in favour of Plymouth.

When play resumed, Surrey regained the lead with a run of seven unanswered points midway through the third period. Sam Cricelli made the score 56-52 with two points but Plymouth responded with a duplicate 7-0 burst to take the momentum into the final quarter with a three point lead, 59-56.

Drew Lasker added four points to increase the lead to nine but the home side hit back immediately and Joseph connected from beyond the arc to make it a three point game. Surrey remained in contention and even closed to within two points within the final minute.

Lasker then came up with the steal against his former side and his two points were followed by a free throw from Javarris Barnett as Plymouth sealed a 79-74 win to reach the semi-finals.

On Friday, Newcastle duo, Joe Chapman and Damon Huffman combined for 48 points including 13/19 from three point range in a comfortable 107-85 win at home to the Worcester Wolves. The scoreline could have been worse for Paul James’ side but they managed to outscore their opponents 37-23 in the final quarter.

The Leicester Riders continued their unbeaten streak in all competitions with a 90-74 win away to their rivals, London Lions. Pavol Losonsky top scored with 23 points while Drew Sullivan came close to a triple-double with an impressive stat-line of 16 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.

In the final last eight counter, the Sheffield Sharks’ late fightback helped them defeat the Glasgow Rocks 72-71. The home side wiped out a 13 point deficit heading into the final quarter as they began the fourth with the first 12 points.

Olu Babalola put the Sharks ahead with just over two minutes remaining and they held on for the win. Micah Williams top scored for the hosts with 23 points.

The semi-finals will be played over two legs with the winners progressing to the BBL Cup Final in Birmingham on January 13th 2013.

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