A dramatic weekend of BBL Championship action saw significant movement in the race for the Play-Offs and it was also a road trip to remember for the Glasgow Rocks.
The Rocks went into their games at London Lions and Leicester Riders extremely short-handed, but were able to produce the performances of the weekend.
Kieron Achara had a team-high 18 points at Lions on Friday, including a go-ahead three-point play in the final seconds, as the Rocks rallied from nine points down in the fourth quarter to record an 81-80 victory.
At Leicester on Saturday, Rocks put in an even more impressive display as they surged to a 77-57 win.
GB International Achara once again filled the stat sheet, finishing with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Will Hall had 16 and 11.
“They were important wins for us, we needed those,” said delighted Rocks’ coach Sterling Davis.
“Going into the weekend we knew our backs were against the wall as far as manpower was concerned and I was very proud of the guys that we had, and the way they stuck together.
“I think the momentum from the London win carried us over into the Leicester game, as it gave us the confidence that if we can get through that gam then we can get through a lot more difficult obstacles.”
Plymouth Raiders are up to seventh in the standings after they held off a late comeback from Cheshire Phoenix to take a 100-89 win.
Having led by 22 points at one stage, the Raiders’ lead was cut to one point in the final two minutes but they were able to claim victory after finishing the game with a 10-0 run.
Raiders’ player-coach Daryl Corletto finished with a game-high 32 points, supported by a 26-point, 16-rebound effort from Cory Dixon.
Just behind those two in the table are Leeds Force who have sole possession of ninth place after their 91-88 overtime victory over Bristol Flyers.
In a great game of back-and-forth basketball, Leeds thought they’d done enough to get the win in regulation only to then see Cardell McFarland’s three-point shot force the extra period.
Behind 23 points and 12 assists from Marek Klasson, Leeds were able to prevail in overtime and moved four points ahead of Bristol in the standings.
“This game meant a great deal to both teams and I guess the respective performances reflected that,” said Force coach Matt Newby.
“Both teams would have pegged this game as a chance to get in the Play-Off picture; it was a significant battle and we came out on top.
“We learned some very harsh lessons from a loss down at their place several weeks ago and it was still fresh on our minds.”
Elsewhere, Newcastle Eagles warmed up for next week’s Trophy final with a narrow 86-84 victory at home to Sheffield Sharks on Friday.
Sharks’ captain Mike Tuck had another big game to lead all scorers with 25 points, but Rahmon Fletcher’s dunk in the final minute sealed the win for Newcastle.
Sheffield were able to bounce back on Sunday, Jerrold Brook’s 17 points helping to a 78-69 victory at Surrey Scorchers.
Finally, Manchester Giants’ Play-Off hopes took a hit after they lost 83-70 at Worcester on Friday and then 86-67 at home to London Lions on Sunday.