In an exciting night of action in the British Basketball League, the final berth in the BBL Cup was decided and there were victories for the top two sides in the BBL Championship as well.
Cheshire Jets secured the last quarter-final berth in the BBL Cup thanks to a 73-78 victory over the Glasgow Rocks at Kelvin Hall on Sunday evening. The Rocks had got themselves ahead at 55-51 going into the final stanza, but Chez Marks sparked a 9-2 Jets burst midway through the final period to give them the lead at 62-69. A Rob Yanders three-pointer got the home side back to within three points at 73-76 but Colin O'Reilly held his nerve from the foul-line to give the Jets the victory.
In BBL Championship action, the Newcastle Eagles, Sheffield Sharks and Worthing Thunder all picked up victories over the Essex Pirates, Airwaves Plymouth Raiders and PAWS London Capital respectively.
Newcastle had to work hard for their victory over the Pirates but eventually ran out comfortable 99-72 victors at the Metro Radio Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates got themselves back into the game and reduced the deficit to just four points at 50-46 early in the second half, but the home side broke the game open with a 17-1 run to take the score out to 67-47. Newcastle continued to extend their lead through the remainder of the game and ran out comfortable winners.
The victory for the Eagles kept them on top of the BBL Championship table, but the Sheffield Sharks remained level on points with them after they secured a 55-67 come-from-behind victory over the Plymouth Raiders at the Plymouth Pavilions. A Perry Lawson free-throw sparked a 14-0 burst for the Sharks to break the game open and give the visitors the lead at 41-52.
A 8-2 burst from the home side at the start of the final stanza bought them back into the game at 49-54, but Mike Cook netted the last nine points for the Sharks to give them the victory.
Worthing Thunder also picked up a victory on Sunday by defeating London Capital 50-62 at the Capital City Academy. The victory moved the South Coast outfit up into seventh position in the Championship table. After falling behind 17-3 after the first period, the Thunder came back and hit a 19-0 run at the start of the second period to take a 17-20 lead that they were never to relinquish from that point onwards.
Airwaves Plymouth Raiders 55-67 Sheffield Sharks
Airwaves Plymouth Raiders 55 (19,36,41) (Gall 14, Valencia 13, Hilleary 10)
Sheffield Sharks 67 (13,31,52) (Cook 20, Toney 17, Lyons 12)
The Sheffield Sharks kept in touch with the Newcastle Eagles at the top of the BBL Championship table thanks to a come-from- behind 55-67 victory over the Airwaves Plymouth Raiders at the Plymouth Pavilions on Sunday afternoon. After a tight opening the visitors took the first real lead of the game with a 7-2 burst to take the score out to 6-9, but an immediate 11-2 tear from the Raiders in response gave the home side a 17-11 advantage heading into the closing stages of the opening quarter. In the second period the home side extended their lead to eleven points off the back of a 9-2 burst midway through the quarter to take the score out to 32-21, but a three-pointer from Perry Lawson kickstarted the Sharks into a strong finish to the first half as they scored ten of the final fourteen points of the half to trim the deficit to just five points at 36-31 going into the locker rooms at the half. In the second half the Sharks tied the game up at 36-36 at the start of the third period but a combination of Alister Gall and Florentino Valencia kept the Raiders in front at 41-38 midway through the period. Those were the last points that the Raiders would score in the third quarter as a Lawson free- throw kicked the visitors into a higher gear and they broke the game open with a 14-0 burst to lead 41-52 going into the final stanza. In the final period the Raiders started the quarter with an 8-2 run to trim the deficit back to five points at 49-54, but that was as close as they could as the Sharks held on and Mike Cook bagged nine of the final twelve points in the game to give the Sharks the victory. Cook led all scorers in the game with 20 points for the Sharks, while Alister Gall led the scoring for the Raiders with 14 points personal.
Newcastle Eagles 99-72 Essex Pirates
Newcastle Eagles 99 (28,46,75) (Smith 24, Chapman 21, Bridge/Stewart 12)
Essex Pirates 72 (22,41,51) (Rodrigo 20, Metcalfe 15, Adu 11)
Newcastle Eagles kept themselves on the summit of the BBL Championship table thanks to a comfortable 99-72 victory over the Essex Pirates at the Metro Radio Arena on Sunday afternoon. Both sides traded baskets throughout the early exchanges, but it was the Eagles who held the advantage at the end of the opening period as a 7-2 close to the quarter gave the home side a 28-22 lead heading into the second period. In the second quarter both sides continued to trade baskets for much of the quarter with the Eagles able to maintain their slender advantage throughout the quarter and took a 47-41 lead into the locker rooms at the half. In the second half the Pirates closed the deficit to four points at 50-46 early in the third quarter, but this spurred the Eagles on as they rattled off a 17-1 run to break the game open and take the score out to 67-47 towards the end of the third period. Two three- pointers from Joe Champman to close out the quarter gave the Eagles a comfortable 75-51 lead going into the final stanza. In the final period the Pirates tried valiantly to close the gap but to no avail as the Eagles ran out comfortable winners. Charles Smith led all scorers in the game with 24 points for the Eagles, while Pablo Rodrigo led the scoring for the Pirates with 20 points personal.
PAWS London Capital 50-62 Worthing Thunder
PAWS London Capital 50 (17,22,38) (Ataha 13, Kynsas 12, Gariba 8)
Worthing Thunder 62 (3,26,40) (Makalainen 22, Zafirov 14, Richard 10)
Worthing Thunder moved themselves up into seventh position in the BBL Championship table thanks to a hard-fought 50-62 victory over PAWS London Capital at the Capital City Academy on Sunday afternoon. The home side exploded out of the blocks and kept their visitors to just three points in the opening period, while Santa Ataha helped himself to nine points of his own as the Capital ended the opening quarter 17-3 ahead. It was a complete reversal in the second period as the Thunder came out from the quarter break and went on a 19-0 run to lead 17-20 towards the end of the first half and they ultimately took a 22-26 lead into the locker rooms at the half. In the second half, Worthing continued to stretch out a lead and despite a valiant effort from the Capital offence, the Thunder held on for the all-important victory. Ville Makalainen led all scorers in the game with 22 points for the Thunder, while Ataha led the Capital scoring with 13 points personal.
Glasgow Rocks 73-78 Cheshire Jets
Glasgow Rocks 73 (20,31,55) (Copeland 21, Yanders 19, Davis 10)
Cheshire Jets 78 (23,35,51) (Myers/Peterson 18, O'Reilly 16)
Cheshire Jets secured the final quarter-final berth in the BBL Cup thanks to a hard-fought 73-78 victory over the Glasgow Rocks at Kelvin Hall on Sunday evening. The Jets now move onto face the Newcastle Eagles in the next round of the competition. Both sides traded baskets throughout the early exchanges in the first period but it was the Jets who were the first to take some control in the game as an 8-0 burst towards the end of the first period took the score out to 12-20 and they were able to hold onto their lead as they closed out the first quarter 20-23 to the good. In the second period a 7-2 Rocks burst tied the game up at 29-29 but the Jets kept their noses in front thanks to a three-pointer from Colin O'Reilly to give them a 31-35 lead going into the locker rooms at the half. In the second half the visitors kept themselves in the lead thanks to a further three- pointer from O'Reilly and five points from Paul Peterson to give them a 37-43 lead midway through the third quarter. The Rocks came storming back and a Rob Yanders bucket sparked a 12-0 run for the home side to give them the lead at 49-43. Another Peterson three-pointer tied the game once again at 51- 51, but the Rocks secured the final four points of the quarter to give them a 55-51 lead heading into the final stanza. In the final period a succession of three- pointers from both teams tied the game at 60-60 early in the final stanza before a Chez Marks basket sparked a 9-2 burst from the Jets to give them the lead at 62-69. Both sides traded baskets for a time before a Yanders three-pointer bought the home side to within three points at 73-76 with 11 seconds remaining but the Jets held their nerve and O'Reilly secured the victory for the Jets from the foul-line. A combination of Myers and Peterson top-scored for the Jets with 18 points a-piece, but it was Mike Copeland who led all scorers in the game with 21 points for the Rocks.
BBL Championship Table
Pos Team Pld W L Pts
1 Newcastle Eagles 7 6 1 12
2 Sheffield Sharks 8 6 2 12
3 Guildford Heat 5 4 1 8
4= Cheshire Jets 6 4 2 8
4= Marshall MK Lions 6 4 2 8
6 Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 7 4 3 8
7 Worthing Thunder 7 3 4 6
8= Essex Pirates 5 2 3 4
8= Glasgow Rocks 5 2 3 4
9 Everton Tigers 6 2 4 4
11= PAWS London Capital 6 1 5 2
11= Worcester Wolves 6 1 5 2
13 Airwaves Plymouth Raiders 4 0 4 0