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Surrey and Plymouth enjoy contrasting home wins

Surrey Heat left it late to defeat Worcester Wolves 81-79 while UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders ran out 105-74 winners against Manchester Giants. In the BBL Cup first round, London Lions hold off Durham’s fightback to win 79-76.

Surrey Heat left it late to defeat Worcester Wolves 81-79 while UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders ran out 105-74 winners against Manchester Giants.

Chavis Holmes was the Surrey hero with a basket with two seconds remaining to deny the visitors. Holmes was also the joint top scorer with 19 points along with Sam Cricelli while Arturas Masiulis led the Wolves with 18.

Stanley Ocitti netted a three pointer to give the Wolves an early 9-2 lead which forced Creon Raftopoulos into calling a time-out. When play resumed, Holmes opened his account with six points to draw the Heat level at 10-10.

Surrey then moved ahead with a 12-2 burst with all six of Martelle McLemore’s points during the run coming from the free throw line. Arnas Kazlaukas’ triple was the last scoring action of the quarter with Worcester trailing 22-17.

The home side then opened up a ten point lead with a 10-2 spell at the start of the second before five points in quick succession from Ocitti reduced the gap. Julius Joseph and Carlos Fernandez traded scores from downtown as the Heat were still in front as the teams went into half-time at 41-32.

Cricelli extended the lead into double figures once again, three minutes after play resumed for the second half. Worcester hit back with the next six but Surrey restored their double digit lead heading into the final quarter leading 60-50. The lead peaked at 12 points as Frank Holmes opened the scoring in the fourth and Surrey were still in control with less than six minutes left leading 66-56.

However, Worcester began to fight back and closed to within two points after a run of eight unanswered points. C Holmes finally ended a five minute draught for the home side with a pair of free throws to make it 68-64 with just over a minute remaining. The visitors had the chance to draw level but could only make three of four shots at the line before Cricelli drained both of his with 27 seconds to go- 69-67.

Cricelli was pulling the strings at both ends of the floor as he followed up the two points with a defensive block but there was nothing to prevent Kazlauskas making it a tied game from the free throw line. Raftopoulos called a time-out with 17 seconds left and Chavis Holmes sealed the win with two points before the buzzer to give the home side another two points at home.

Plymouth made it two wins out of a two as they inflicted a third straight defeat on the Manchester Giants. Summer signing Colin O’Reilly produced a game high 28 points with Jeremy Bell contributing a further 20 points. David Aliu top scored for the visitors with 24 points; making 6/8 from three point rage.

The home side started strongly with a 17-4 tear as Michael Ojo added two early three pointers. Manchester rallied from their slow start as James Jones and David Watts both made scores from beyond the arc to close the gap to five points. Plymouth remained in front at the end of the first, leading 25-18.

The Giants closed to within three points but the gap continued to grow from that point with O’Reilly adding a basket late on to make it 47-33 half-time. The home side made sure there was not going to be another Giants comeback as they amassed 36 points in a dominant third quarter which included a 13-0 spell. Manchester didn’t give up; outscoring their opponents 24-22 in the final quarter while Plymouth surpassed the century mark.

There was also BBL Cup action as the London Lions reached the quarter-finals with a 79-76 win over the Durham Wildcats. Tayo Ogedengbe top scored with 26 points while Mike Baldarelli had 25 for the visitors as they threatened to complete a shock comeback win.

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