Facing Newcastle Eagles and Sheffield Sharks respectively, are Everton Tigers and Glasgow Rocks, after this weekend’s results. The Tigers, who finished fifth in the BBL Championship table, beat Cheshire Jets to get gain an edge in the local rivalry, the score line reading 79-94. Whilst BBL veterans, Calvin Davis and Shawn Myers, led the Jets attack with 20 points and 16 points respectively, the Tigers were led by 25 points from last year’s BBL MVP, Trey Moore, whilst Kevin Bell continued his successful return from injury with 22 points, and young Brit, James Jones had 17.
The Rocks, meanwhile, overcame Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 88-86 at Kelvin Hall, with Rob Yanders having to knock down the crucial free throws at the end of the ball game. The score line was 87-86, after former Rock Tony Windless missed the free throw to seal a three point play which would have tied the scores. Although Jason Johnson led all scorers, despite returning from being out with a broken thumb, with 28 points, Jessie Sapp stepped up for the Rocks at crucial times, as he had 23 points, whilst Yanders scored 17 points. Steve Parillon also proved to be the X-Factor for the BBL’s only Scottish franchise, as he had 15 points and 6 rebounds, whilst Bradd Wierzbicki (18 points) and Isaac Westbrooks (10 points) were influential for the visitors.
Friday’s Playoff Quarter Finals saw no upsets, as Newcastle Eagles overcame Worthing Thunder at home 102-74, with Charles Smith (pictured) leading the way with 29 points, a tally matched by EJ Harrison for the Lions against the Sharks that night, whilst Yorick Williams had 24 points and Dawud Morris scored 21 points. However, the Sharks’ strength in depth shone through as Mike Cook scored an unbelievable 37 points, Matt Gorman had 23 points and Tafari Toney scored 21 points.
The weekend’s results set up a fascinating tie between last season’s title rivals, Newcastle Eagles and Everton Tigers, in a repeat of the BBL Trophy Semi Finals on Friday. The league’s second and third placed teams also meet on Friday as Sheffield Sharks host Glasgow Rocks. The second leg of the Sharks-Rocks Semi Final will then take place at Kelvin Hall on Sunday, whilst the Eagles and Tigers will meet for the final time on Saturday.