The weekend before Christmas saw six games taking place in the BBL and while league leaders Newcastle Eagles extended their unbeaten run to 24 games, there was a much-needed win for the last-place Manchester Giants.
Stefan Gill had another big scoring night for the Giants as his 31 points helped them to a 102-100 victory at Plymouth Raiders on Sunday.
Raiders’ player-coach Daryl Corletto had a game-high 34 points, but could not prevent his side being beaten by the Giants for a sixth straight time.
Despite having lost their previous eight Championship games, the Giants find themselves just two points behind the last play-off spot.
Two nights earlier, the Raiders were also on the losing side as they came up against the runaway championship leaders. The Eagles had six players in double figures, led by 23 from Scott Martin, as they cruised to a 95-77 victory.
It was a lot closer affair on Sunday, as the Eagles found themselves in a battle against a short-handed Cheshire Phoenix side whose five starters played the entire game.
Eagles’ Charles Smith had a team-high 26 points as they held of a determined effort from the home side to earn a 98-91 win and push their lead at the top of the Championship to 12 points.
Another in-form side are Glasgow Rocks, whose 84-71 victory at London Lions on Sunday was their fifth win in their last six contests. Marcus Ware had a game-high 19 points for the Rocks who led from start to finish, making an impressive 70 percent of their field goal attempts.
“We got off to a good start and it was a great effort all the way through,” said Rocks’ coach Sterling Davis.
“The run we’ve been on, we wanted to make sure we kept our focus and we came down here to play a tough London team and get the win.
“That was a good shooting percentage for us, I didn’t know until after the game how good the percentages were, but we shot the ball well all round.”
The victory now guarantees the Rocks will be fourth until at least the New Year, but it wasn’t the only reason Davis was pleased with the win.
“If you start thinking about the head-to-heads towards the end of the season,” he said. “I think London will be round about where we are, so to get the head to head against them is big.”
If was the second defeat of the weekend for the Lions, who suffered a 69-66 defeat at Sheffield Sharks on Friday evening as Mike Cook led the hosts with 19 points.
Also on Friday, Worcester Wolves got a much-needed win after defeating Surrey Scorchers 108-92.
Orlan Jackman led all scorers with 27 points and Pavol Losonsky had a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolves broke the 100-point barrier for the first time this season.
“I think we played with a lot of energy, which was important as a bounce back from last week’s loss,” said Ben Eaves, one of two Wolves’ starters to miss the game through injury.
“It was a high-paced game and although we gave up too many points, we maintained a level of intensity which carried us through.”