With the BBL Trophy dominating the British basketball schedule, it was a quiet weekend in the league as a new team took charge at the top of the BBL table plus there was a monster night for Cheshire Phoenix’s Victor Moses.
Newcastle Eagles replaced the Worcester Wolves at the top of the table as they defeated the Leicester Riders 97-96 after a period of overtime in the north-east thanks to game-winning free throws from Darius Defoe.
The Eagles will feel disappointed that they lost a six-point cushion with a minute to go, as the Riders came back to force the extra period. When overtime came, it was nip-and-tuck all the way until Defoe settled the tie from the line.
Malik Cooke led the Eagles with 28 points, with veteran Charles Smith playing the supporters role with 18 points.
Jay Cousinard led the Riders with 28 points as they suffered their second straight loss.
Victor Moses was a one man show for the Cheshire Phoenix as he exploded for a season-high 50 points and 20 rebounds, helping the Phoenix beat the Plymouth Raiders 94-82.
Cheshire needed to bounce following their loss in the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy to Glasgow and in-front of his home fans at the Northgate, Moses put on by far the performance of the season in order to erase the memory of their Trophy exit in Scotland and help Cheshire’s outside chances of a top four finish.
Moses shot 20/30 from the field and pulled down 12 offensive rebounds out of his 20 in total.
Nick George led Plymouth with 25 points.
The other game in the league saw the Sheffield Sharks ease to a 93-63 victory over the winless Birmingham Knights in Sheffield.
The Sharks showed no mercy against the Knights as they fall to their 28th straight loss. Sheffield, who led 26-16 after the first and went on to cruise control from there look well on course to secure home court advantage in the playoffs.
Patrick Hortsmann led the Sharks with 20 points with Martyn Gayle leading the Knights with 23.