2017 is now upon us and the BBL championship is shaping up nicely for an exciting second half of the season.
Newcastle Eagles lead the way and were made to work hard for their 74-78 success on the road against Manchester Giants – scoring the final four points to win.
Meanwhile, Leicester Riders were more convincing in a 93-63 win at home to Leeds Force as Taylor King netted 19 points to keep up the pressure on the leaders.
Glasgow Rocks slipped up in their pursuit as Cheshire Phoenix recorded an impressive 84-85 win on the road.
Frank Eaves top scored with 23 points as Phoenix battled on without floor general, Josh Wilcher, to claim their fourth league win of the season.
Sheffield Sharks consolidated their place in the top four with a hard-fought 76-77 victory away at London Lions to secure the season head-to-head between the two.
Malcolm Riley impressed with 21 points as the Sharks held on to edge out the Lions having trailed by nine at the end of the first before a strong spell in the middle periods.
“It’s always great to get as many head-to-heads as you can as you never know how the season will pan out,” said Sharks’ head coach, Atiba Lyons.
“So many new pieces still gelling so it’s really good we are winning and improving as we do it.”
Nigel Lloyd’s side bounced back to kick off 2017 with a 92-103 win on the road against Surrey Scorchers following 24 points from Zaire Taylor along with double-doubles from Rashad Hassan and Alex Owumi.
Also, Plymouth Raiders moved clear of Worcester Wolves in the standings after an 84-87 road win earned them their ninth of the campaign with six players in double figures.