Home » Phoenix rise with first Championship win as Rocks tonne up against Patriots

Phoenix rise with first Championship win as Rocks tonne up against Patriots

BBL Championship

Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks 107-96 Plymouth City Patriots (30-21, 50-44, 77-66)
(Rocks – Bunyan 24, Harris 21, Green 18; Patriots – Josephs 27, Hart 25, Graham-Bell 24)

Cheshire Phoenix 86-67 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (27-11, 41-31, 62-41)
(Phoenix – Wright 21, Okereafor 12, Austin Jr. 12; Sharks – Nichols 11, Anderson 11, Glasgow 10)

Kofi Josephs continued his sparkling form for the Plymouth City Patriots by putting up another 27 points for Coach Paul James’ side, but it wasn’t to be for the Devon-based franchise this weekend who are still looking for their first win of the BBL Championship campaign.

On a night where both teams shot the ball incredibly well, this was another highly entertaining outing involving the Patriots this season, following the recent thriller against the Manchester Giants, but it was the Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks who came out on top with all five starters scoring in double figures.

Rocks guard Jordan Harris promised in pre-season to bring showtime basketball to the Emirates Arena, and he perhaps had his best game so far for Gareth Murray’s side tonight as he poured in 21 points to go with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals on the night, but it was Jonny Bunyan who led the way for Glasgow with 24 points, eight assists and four boards.

Three of Plymouth’s starters scored over 20 points, but they needed to as an injury to their explosive star Denzel Ubiaro and Elvisi Dusha being away on international duty with Albania left the Patriots very short-handed.

In the end, their efforts almost threatened to secure Plymouth the win regardless of the lack of bodies, but the Rocks were too composed to be dragged into a dogfight as they led throughout and secured an important victory.

The Cheshire Phoenix have a great record against the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks in recent times, having not lost to Coach Atiba Lyons’ side since 2019, so coming into this game on a six-game losing streak there will have been some quiet optimism amongst the Phoenix camp that fortunes could be about to change.

Ben Thomas’ side played with a freedom and swagger that certainly backed that up in the first quarter, as they stormed to a 16-point lead at the end of the first 10 minutes in front of a packed crowd at Ellesmere Port Sports Village.

New signing Larry Austin Jr. made an instant impact as he scored eight points in three first-quarter minutes to introduce himself to the Phoenix faithful, on his way to 12 in total, but there were strong scoring contributions across the board from Cheshire as four players were in double figures with 10 of their 11-man roster getting on the scoresheet.

The Sharks would never lead on the night, but certainly had their chances to make an impact as they forced Cheshire into 15 turnovers and scored almost a third of their points from those Phoenix errors, but a rough night on the boards for the visitors where they lost out 46-27 overall meant that Sheffield were giving themselves a mountain to climb to pull the game back.

Cheshire never looked back from that brilliant opening quarter, seeing out a comfortable win and snapping their run of defeats in the progress, bringing some optimism to the blue side of the north-west of England.