Worcester Wolves grabbed the final BBL Trophy quarter-final spot after they defeated the London Lions 82-73 in the nation’s capital.
Zaire Taylor poured in 25 points, 6 assists and 4 steals as the Wolves steadily improved as the second half wore on to collect the win and set up a mouthwatering clash with the Newcastle Eagles in the last eight.
Chez Marks responded with 21 points for London.
Quarter-final line-up: Newcastle Eagles vs Worcester Wolves; Plymouth Raiders vs Sheffield Sharks; Manchester Giants vs Glasgow Rocks; Cheshire Phoenix vs Bristol Academy Flyers (EBL).
Newcastle Eagles were 84-82 winners at home over the Leicester Riders as they gained a measure of revenge for their BBL Cup Final loss last month.
A back-and-forth battle ended with a bucket by Newcastle center Darius Defoe with five seconds remaining. Harrision Gamble tried winning it for the Riders, but his three fell short. Defoe led the Eagles with 24 points as they end a six-game losing streak over the Riders in all competitions.
Jay Cousinard had a game-high 30 points for the Riders. Both sides are second in the table.
Leicester’s miserable weekend was complete when they were comprehensively beaten on their home floor 95-79 by playoff chasers the Durham Wildcats.
After taking a 21-15 lead after the first quarter, the signs looked good for the Riders as they seeked out what was supposed to be an expected win. But Durham had other ideas as they crept their way back into contention then attacked a tired Leicester side in the final period, scoring 30 fourth quarter points to Leicester’s 15.
Kirk Crecco led the Wildcats with a game-high 28 points. Rashad Hassan had 20 in reply for the hosts.
Sheffield Sharks have made it a three-way tie for second spot in the tight BBL championship race they bested the London Lions 96-93 in overtime, up north.
Demetrius Jamision led the way with 20 points including the free throws in the extra period that sealed the win for the Sharks. London, meanwhile have dropped out of contention as they have lost five out of their last six on the road. Veteran Rod Brown had 20 for the Lions.
A highly anticipated basement battle between two teams that many feel are the weakest teams the BBL have had along with last season’s winless Mersey Tigers did battle on Saturday with the visiting Surrey United pulling off an 89-80 victory over the Birmingham Knights, who remain without a win in all competitions this season.
Isaiah Tate led United with 24 points on his debut, as they notched their second win of the season. He cancelled out Brent Benson’s 24 points for Birmingham.
The other two games over the weekend in Great Britain saw Cheshire Phoenix rack up an impressive 97-74 win at Glasgow Rocks and Manchester Giants secured their first win of 2014 with an 88-72 win at home to the Durham Wildcats, who fell back down to earth after their stunning win at champions Leicester the night before.