Newcastle Eagles, Leicester Riders and Plymouth Raiders all maintained their 100% records over the weekend while the Sheffield Sharks claimed victory for the first time this season.
The defending champions of all four trophies made it seven wins out of seven with an 89-83 win over the London Lions. The Eagles didn’t have it their own way and were made to work hard for the victory.
The visitors edged ahead after the opening ten minutes to lead by one at 22-21. An 11-2 burst in the second helped Newcastle break clear and they soon led 45-36 at the break. The Lions didn’t give up there and hauled themselves back in contention with a dominant third period.
Newcastle’s lead peaked at 15 but the visitors hit back in style with a 20-2 spell to take the lead. Orlan Jackman added 15 points in that run alone on his way to a game high 28 points as the Lions took a 63-59 advantage into the final quarter.
Leicester had a good weekend after beating both the Worcester Wolves and the Durham Wildcats to move second with a 5-0 record. Rob Paternostro’s men overcame the challenge of Worcester with a 79-61 success with Pavol Losonsky scoring a game high 22 points. The home side dominated the first 30 minutes before Worcester rallied in the final quarter to make the score look respectable.
Manchester Giants returned to winning ways after heaping more misery on the winless Mersey Tigers with an emphatic 102-51 victory. The home side were featuring five ex-Tigers players all determined to get one over their former club. David Aliu led the scoring rout with 19 points with a further 18 points from David Watts while James Jones served up 10 assists to go with his 17 point haul.
Plymouth’s strong finish helped them to their third win of the season; beating Cheshire Jets 100-84. Michael Ojo top scored with 27 points with Jeremy Bell and Colin O’Reilly both adding a further 22 points. Chez Marks led a spirited effort from the visitors with 25 points in his first game as player-coach following the resignation of James Hamilton.
Sheffield finally ended their losing start to the season with a 74-58 home win over Durham. The Sharks got off to a strong start; leading 19-8 after ten minutes before increasing their lead in the second. A 9-2 burst helped make the score 44-26 at half-time.
There was no way back for the visiting Wildcats as Sheffield registered their first points of the season with the 74-58 win. Micah Williams had a 21 point haul and Mike Tuck was equally impressive, adding a huge double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds.
On Sunday, Surrey Heat continued their fine start to the season with an 84-78 success over the Glasgow Rocks while Leicester defeated Durham.
This is how the weekend has shaped the table:
1st (-) Newcastle Eagles 7-0- 14pts; 2nd (+1) Leicester Riders 5-0- 10pts; 3rd (-1) Surrey Heat 5-1- 10pts; 4th (-) Plymouth Raiders 3-0- 6pts; 5th (+1) Manchester Giants 3-3- 6pts; 6th (-1) Worcester Wolves 3-4- 6pts; =7th (-) Glasgow Rocks 1-3- 2pts; =7th (-) Cheshire Jets 1-3- 2pts; 9th (+3) Sheffield Sharks 1-4- 2pts; 10th (-3) Durham Wildcats 1-4- 2pts; 11th (-1) London Lions 1-5- 2pts; 12th (-1) Mersey Tigers 0-4- 0pts