2011 BBL Cup champions secured their semi-final spot with a 72-71 win against Glasgow Rocks that saw them come back from a 59-46 deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter when they scored the first 12 points and led 72-71 near the end. Tough Sharks defence twice prevented EJ Harrison from scoring the two-pointer that would have put Rocks up as the Sharks clung onto their lead.
Sharks’ Micah Williams led all scorers with 23 and Mike Tuck picked up a double-double. Rocks’ Kieron Achara finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Last season’s champions Newcastle Eagles had an easier time with a dominant 107-85 victory over Worcester Wolves in a game that saw some excellent 3-point shooting from Eagles.
After a tight opening, Joe Chapman scored three three-pointers off three possessions, sparking a 22-7 run that would leave the Eagles up 39-23 and the Eagles continued to extend their lead.
Eagles point guard Damon Huffman top-scored with 25 points, made 7 of 10 shots from long range and also added 5 assists. Eagles guard and reigning BBL MVP Joe Chapman scored 23 points, converted 6 of 9 three-point attempts and had 7 assists. For the Wolves, Alex Owumi top-scored with 24.
In the final BBL Cup game, Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders earned a spot in the BBL Cup semi-finals after winning 90-74 at London Lions in a contest they led throughout. They raced out to a 26-13 lead within 8 minutes and while the Lions managed to reduce it to 39-35 with 3 minutes left in the second quarter, the Riders still finished the third quarter up 68-61.
The Riders started the final stanza with a Pavol Losonsky field goal and two Zaire Taylor 3-pointers to score 8 unanswered points and extend their lead to 15 and from there were the better team in the final quarter.
Losonksy led the Riders scorers with 23 points and also grabbed 10 boards, while Jay Couisnard scored 18. Zaire Taylor finished with 17 points, plus 5 steals, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. GB captain Drew Sullivan picked up a double-double for the Riders and a game-high 7 assists. For the Lions, Orlan Jackman top scored with 24.
The only BBL Championship game saw UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders edged a tight contest with Manchester Giants 86-83 to take the BBL Championship points at Wright Robinson College.
The Raiders led for much of the contest but were unable to pull away from the Giants. An 8-0 run gave them the lead with 81-73 remaining. Ben Eaves reduced the lead to 86-83 near the end, but Raiders forced a Giants turnover in the dying seconds to prevent a shot.
Raiders’ Michael Ojo led all scorers with 23 points off 8/11 field goal shooting and 100% free throw shooting and Drew Lasker scored 18 points for the Raiders, including a pair of clutch free throws near the end. David Watts led the Giants scorers with 22.
Story – BBL
The full BBL Cup draw is below:
Semi Final 1
Surrey Heat or UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders v Newcastle Eagles or Worcester Wolves
Semi Final 2
One Health Sharks Sheffield or Glasgow Rocks v London Lions or Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders
So Newcastle Eagles will have to wait to find out who they will face in the semi-finals while Sheffield will now face Leicester Riders for a place in the Finals.
Both semi-finals will be played across two legs, one at each team’s home venue, with the winner being determined on aggregate.
The BBL Cup Final will be played on Sunday 13th January 2013 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. For more info and tickets visit to www.theticketfactory.com.
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