Surrey Scorchers 79-99 Bristol Flyers (19-28, 37-52, 58-74, 79-99)
(Scorchers – C.Cashaw 16, E.Walshe 11, T.Ogedengbe 10; Flyers – E.Lockett 20, D.Edozie 17, T.Okereafor 16)
Cheshire Phoenix 84-85 Newcastle Eagles (17-27, 46-43, 59-67, 84-85)
(Phoenix – J.Lull 30, K.Ross 16, M.McCall 14; Eagles – J.Gordon 22, E.Maxwell 19, C.Edwards 15)
Glasgow Rocks 78-96 B.Braun Sheffield Sharks (16-22, 37-41, 52-71, 78-96)
(Rocks – I.Brandon 21, G.Murray 16, J.Van Sauers 13; Sharks – N.Lewis 32, J.Hemsley 23, A.Lillard 10)
Manchester Giants 88-79 Plymouth Raiders (17-18, 48-40, 64-58, 88-79)
(Giants – L.Hexom 29, J.Whelan 25, S.Cassell Jr 11; Raiders – A.Hamilton 22, W.Neighbour 18, D.Ubiaro 18
The Newcastle Eagles continued their fantastic early-season form with a tough-fought victory over the Cheshire Phoenix to send them to the top of the table, with their opposition languishing at the bottom, while the Bristol Flyers, B.Braun Sheffield Sharks and the Manchester Giants also picked up victories.
The match day kicked off in Guildford, where the Surrey Scorchers hosted Bristol Flyers, but could not prevent the visitors from running away with the game and winning by a solid 20-point margin, as Great Britain international Teddy Okereafor came two rebounds away from posting a triple-double.
His 16-point, 8 rebounds and 12-assist performance inspired the Flyers, who were backed by 20 points from Eric Lockett, 17 points from Daniel Edozie and a double-double from sub Raphell Thomas-Edwards, while Connor Cashaw and Evan Walshe were the standout players for the Scorchers.
The Eagles then took the spotlight as they came up against an impressive Phoenix side who were led by Jimbo Lull – the American dropped 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds too, while Sehill Mouliom, Kahron Ross and Mike McCall all got into double digits for scoring.
But despite the impressive numbers from Lull and the rest of the Nix, the Eagles edged them out by a single point, thanks to Justin Gordon who scored both of his free throws in the dying seconds after Ross missed one of his moments before.
Gordon put up 22 points, while Evan Maxwell and Cortez Edwards also had dominating games – with Rahmon Fletcher setting his teammates up 14 times.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, the Sharks were in complete control over the Rocks as Jeremy Hemsley and Nicholas Lewis stole the spotlight with their exceptional offensive displays – scoring 55 points between them.
The home side turned the ball over 17 times compared to their counterparts nine, and they also failed to make a block or close their opponents down in time – but they will remain encouraged by Isa Brandon and Gareth Murray’s performances as they put up a combined 37 points in just over 50 minutes played between them.
Also up north, the Manchester Giants rose to sixth place, two places below the Sharks, with a big win over seventh placed Raiders – who impressed in the BBL Cup earlier in the season.
Lyle Hexom’s dominating 29-point performance and Jordan Whelan’s contribution of 25 points of the bench were vital in establishing a healthy lead over their opponents, while the Raiders only converted 6 points from turnovers compared to the Giants 24.
With only eight players available, a big performance was required from at least one of their subs, and they got it from Denzel Ubiaro, who dropped 18 points to support Ashley Hamilton’s 22 points and Will Neighbour’s 18 points – but in the end the Giants had too many options and fire power for the Raiders to stop.