Bristol Flyers 66-74 Newcastle Eagles (9-14, 31-37, 46-54)
(Flyers – Delpeche 21, Baker 17, Okereafor 12; Eagles – Fletcher 25, Edwards 15, Maxwell 15)
Plymouth Raiders 70-87 London Lions (11-16, 30-36, 46-58)
(Raiders – Morsell 16, Hamilton 12, Ochereobia 11; Lions – Liggins 25, Williams 25, Robinson 11)
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 93-107 Leicester Riders (18-31, 42-54, 63-80)
(Sharks – Lillard 23, Hemsley 21, Lewis 18; Riders – Nelson-Henry 23, Crandall 20, Johnson 19)
BBL Trophy, Quarter-Final
Cheshire Phoenix 62-67 Glasgow Rocks (21-18, 36-26, 45-49)
(Phoenix – Lull 20, Ross 17, McCall 8; Rocks – Keeling 19, Delph 15, Murray 11)
After a busy Sunday that saw four road wins, the top three in the BBL Championship have consolidated their positions, and Glasgow Rocks are the first team into the BBL Trophy semi-finals.
At the top of the table, Leicester Riders made it eight straight league wins and move to 11-1 after beating the in-form B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 107-93 in the Steel City, going through the century for the third time in the last four league games and recording a highest ever points total in Sheffield.
Riders established an early lead and maintained that cushion despite the teams trading big runs, Darien Nelson-Henry scoring 10 of his game-high 23 points in a first period that Riders won 31-18.
The game was all-but-settled when Geno Crandall – who finished with 20 points and eight assists – opened the fourth period with consecutive three-pointers as part of a 10-2 start to see the lead peak at 90-65; and that gave Leicester enough to see off a late charge from the hosts, as they briefly got the deficit to single-figures before Crandall and Conner Washington made key scores late on.
Meanwhile, currently in third place, London Lions maintained their chase, moving to 9-2 as they bounced back from a league defeat against Plymouth Raiders by beating the same opponent 87-70 in the South West, with DeAndre Liggins and Dirk Williams equally sharing 50 points.
After a cagey and defensive first half, the visitors broke the game open with a 9-2 push in the third period, as Williams and Fahro Alihodzic shared the points, before Kevin Ware hit a buzzer-beater to make the score 58-46 heading into the final ten minutes.
London then opened the fourth with Williams scoring nine of the points in an 11-2 burst that saw the lead reach 69-48, snapping a six game winning streak for the fourth-placed Raiders.
The final game in the BBL Championship saw Newcastle Eagles, in second, bounce back from defeat by beating Bristol Flyers for the third time in as many weeks across all competitions, 74-66 on this occasion as Rahmon Fletcher (25) scored more than one third of his team’s points.
Eagles led throughout but could never quite get away from their hosts, up 26-18 on a Fletcher triple and Evan Maxwell score and maintaining their edge.
The key spell came when they scored the last four points of the third period – Cortez Edwards beating the buzzer – and then opened the fourth 9-3 with Maxwell adding five more to take the only double-digit lead of the game at 63-49.
Flyers attempted a late comeback, but Fletcher was there with a dagger three-pointer inside the final minute to keep the lead safe at 72-64.
Finally, Glasgow Rocks used a dominant second half to halt a four game losing streak and reach the BBL Trophy semi-finals, beating Cheshire Phoenix 67-62 on the road.
Rocks trailed by as many as 13 points as the hosts looked to be in control at halftime; but they scored the first seven points of the third quarter, and took the lead at 43-41 on a Jonny Bunyan score to cap a 17-5 spell over seven minutes, during which Christian Keeling and Ronald Delph shared 13 points.
Glasgow held Cheshire to 13 points in 13 minutes as the lead reached 63-52 after a big block and five more points from Keeling – who finished with 19 and 10 rebounds – and that gave them enough to hold off a 10-0 surge and five minutes scoreless, as Ronald Delph grabbed a key offensive rebound and put-back to settle the game with 30 seconds to play.