In a weekend which saw eight games across the BBL, Bristol Flyers were the big winners in the Championship while Newcastle Eagles confirmed their BBL Cup Final berth.
Already holding a 28-point advantage from the first leg, the Eagles duly completed their passage into the final with a 100-96 victory in the second leg on Friday, giving them a 213-181 aggregate win.
“We had the massive lead from the first leg and we didn’t want to rely on that,” said Eagles’ Andy Thomson, who finished with 17 points.
“We built on that and by halftime were up by 25 points on the night, but the second half we let it slip.
“We tried different rotations, Cheshire got back into the game, but we managed to get the win in the end and keep our little unbeaten run going.”
Bristol Flyers have found wins hard to come by, but were able to claim back-to-back successes for the first time this season.
On Friday, Flyers fought back from 12 points down in the fourth quarter beat Plymouth Raiders, 80-79, in overtime.
Cardell McFarland had a game-high 29 points for the Flyers who are yet to lose to Plymouth since joining the BBL in 2014.
Tyrone Lee’s double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds helped make it a great weekend for Bristol as they recorded an impressive 72-58 win away at Cheshire Phoenix.
As for the Raiders, they had to endure another overtime game on Sunday, but this time came out on top as they claimed a 114-104 victory at London Lions.
Player-coach Daryl Corletto once again led his side in scoring with 28 points, while Demond Watt’s 33-point haul for the Lions was in vain.
At the top of the table, Leicester Riders kept their title charge ticking over while denting the hopes of their rivals, handing Worcester Wolves an 83-65 defeat.
The short-handed Wolves were led by a game-high 26 points from ex-Rider Jay Cousinard, but the deeper Riders, behind 24 points from Tyler Bernardini, dominated after half-time.
“It was a big win,” said Riders’ Neil Watson, who finished with 20 points.
“We treat every game as a big game but winning at their place gave us great joy to see our hard work pay off.”
He added, “It was a team effort but Tyler Bernardini and Drew Sullivan played amazing; it’s hard not to say that those two definitely stood out.”
With Cheshire and London both losing on Sunday, it was a chance for Glasgow Rocks to move up into fourth place following their 99-86 win at Manchester Giants.
Behind 22 points from Callum Jones and 21 from Stefan Gill, the Giants matched the visitors for three quarters until Sterling Davis’ side pulled away in the final ten minutes; Warren Gillis and Jordan Clarke both with 17 points for the Scottish side.
Jones also had 27 points on Friday but was again unable to prevent the Giants slipping to a defeat, this time at the hands of Surrey Scorchers, 96-82, who were led by 22 points from Nick Schlitzer.
Finally, Sheffield Sharks can enjoy the Yorkshire bragging rights following their 85-71 win at Leeds Force on Friday, Jerrold Brooks top-scoring with 33 points.