Here is a brief game-by-game review of the weekend’s action in the BBL Championship: Leicester are joined at the top by Newcastle after suffering a first defeat as Surrey close the gap. Plymouth and London have mixed results while Worcester, Glasgow and Sheffield all enjoyed victories.
FRIDAY 9th November
LONDON LIONS 101-74 DURHAM WILDCATS
Tayo Ogedengbe and Adrien Sturt combined for over half of the Lions’ points in a comfortable win at home to the Wildcats. The London based side increased their dominance throughout the game as they managed to break the 20 point differential late in the fourth. Mike Baldarelli top scored with 17 points for a Durham side looking for a third straight victory. Orlan Jackman joined in the scoring for the Lions with a 20 point haul to go alongside the 27 and 25 points from Ogedengbe and Sturt.
MERSEY TIGERS 67-94 SHEFFIELD SHARKS
Sheffield survived an early scare to complete an emphatic victory on the road to the Mersey Tigers. The visiting Sharks trailed early on by as many as 18 points before clawing their way back. Micah Williams was in fine form with 30 points while Gage Daye (28pts) and Mike Tuck (15p/16r) added valuable support. Mersey looked in contention for a first win early on; leading 42-24 in the second quarter before Sheffield battled back. Chris Bigley top scored for the Tigers with 16 points for the second game running.
NEWCASTLE EAGLES 96-76 MANCHESTER GIANTS
The defending champions returned to the top of the table after a 96-76 home win over the Manchester Giants. Stefan Gill’s game high 23 points were in vain for the visitors, who now slip to a 3-6 record after a 21 point haul from Charles Smith led to their downfall. Newcastle were quick out of the blocks and led 25-12 after ten minutes and soon established a 20 point lead which was to be maintained.
Saturday 10th November
LEICESTER RIDERS 83-80 PLYMOUTH RAIDERS
Rob Paternostro’s men kept their winning streak alive with an 83-80 comeback win over the Plymouth Raiders. Leicester overturned a double-digit deficit to improve to an 8-0 record as the team continues to adapt to the loss of John Fraley, who was ruled out for the season. Plymouth, were without both Michael Ojo (1-game suspension) and the injured Anthony Rowe, but still came close to the win. Yorrick Williams was influential towards the latter part of the game with Pavol Losonsky top scoring with 22 points.
WORCESTER WOLVES 97-84 CHESHIRE BASKETBALL
Cheshire put in another valiant performance despite their survival in the league in the balance as Worcester Wolves ran out 97-84 winners. Chez Marks led from the front once again with 25 points including 5/6 from 3point range. The 31 year-old helped his side take a five point lead into half-time after a dominant second quarter display from the visitors. However, the home side regrouped in the second half and a 14-0 burst late in the fourth denied Cheshire a third win of the season. Arturas Masiulas top scored with 22 points.
Sunday 11th November
GLASGOW ROCKS 87-73 LONDON LIONS
In an early Sunday tip, Glasgow levelled their win-loss record with an 87-73 win at home to the London Lions. Donald Robinson top scored for the Rocks with 18 points as they overturned a 39-30 half-time deficit to win their third game of the campaign. Adrien Sturt continued his fine form for the weekend with a 22 points personal although the Lions fall to a 3-6 mark ahead of Tuesday’s game with Sheffield.
SURREY HEAT 81-74 LEICESTER RIDERS
Surrey inflicted a first defeat on the Leicester Riders to maintain their own title challenge. Heat have won their last five games and are unbeaten at home in the league with Frank Holmes leading the way with 21 points and 15 rebounds in the absence of Martelle McLemore. The home side trailed going into the final quarter but a strong start to the fourth enabled Surrey to repel the challenge of Leicester, who were led by 20 points each from Drew Sullivan and Zaire Taylor.
DURHAM WILDCATS 68-113 PLYMOUTH RAIDERS (SKY)
Plymouth bounced back from Saturday’s agonising defeat to leicester with a crushing win in Durham in front of the TV cameras. Jeremy Bell top scored with 27 points as the visitors responded from falling behind 18-16 at the end of the first to ease to a 45 point win. The game will be televised on Tuesday on Sky Sports.