Newcastle Eagles captured the BBL title by defeating the Birmingham Knights 87-71 and romping home against Surrey United 106-58 over this weekend.
The Eagles’ 87-71 success left a lot to be desired though as they needed a strong fourth quarter showing to beat the basement side. Going in at half-time tied at 32-32, Newcastle looked to seize control early on but were pegged back by the Knights, then with two minutes left of the third, they were knotted at 49-49.
Eagles ended the third with a 7-0 run and that proved to be a decider as Birmingham started to fatigue, allowing Newcastle to capture the crown at Surrey United the next day.
And capture the crown, they did. Newcastle eased past Surrey United 106-58 at Surrey Sports Park.
Unfortunately for the bottom two of Surrey and Birmingham, it didn’t get any better for them this weekend, as Surrey were edged 87-76 away to the Sheffield Sharks.
The Guildford-based side were leading 59-57 after three quarters and an upset looked on the cards as Surrey made playoff-bound Sheffield look pedestrian at times. But Sheffield stormed back into contention.
BJ Holmes led the way for the Sharks with 22 points.
Birmingham Knights look certain to finish their first season in the BBL without a win as they lost 97-78 to the Cheshire Phoenix.
Dominque Coleman led Cheshire with 27 points as they came back from 44-43 down at half-time to lead 71-58 after three. Cheshire looks certain to face fourth-placed Leicester Riders in the first round of the playoffs following this win.
Sheffield Sharks made it a successful weekend as they defeated the Glasgow Rocks 67-65 in Scotland.
Trailing by 17 at one stage, the Sharks went on a 19-2 run to tie the game at 64-64 before finishing strong to hand them the win. BJ Holmes again leading the scoring with 16 points.
Manchester Giants moved into the playoff positions after they beat the Plymouth Raiders 99-80 at home.
The hosts pulled away in the third quarter as the Giants turned a five-point half-time lead into a 77-57 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. This win gives Manchester the head-to-head over the Devon side.
James Jones led the Giants with 20 points.
Worcester Wolves had a winning weekend on the court, but had to concede the BBL title to Newcastle.
They beat the London Lions 98-73 in the capital, thanks to the trio of Zaire Taylor, Will Creekmore and Alex Owumi who hit 22, 21 and 20 points respectively. Then they knocked off last season’s BBL champions the Leicester Riders 84-76.
Taylor once again the leader with 16 points for Worcester.
Leicester Riders were able to register a win from this weekend though as Drew Sullivan’s game-high 26 points was enough to seal an 86-76 win away at the Durham Wildcats.