QUOTE OF THE WEEK
We have played them four times now and in all of the games it has
come down to the last few plays of the game.
“I think anyone that has seen these games between our two teams will tell you that it has been some
great basketball to watch and we expect two very good games.”
RIDER’S HEAD COACH
RIDERS TAKE 11 POINT LEAD INTO 2nd LEG
Leicester Riders overturned three regular season defeats against Esh Group Eagles Newcastle to beat the league champions 90-79 in the first leg of their Play-Off semi-final, using a dominant spell over the third quarter break to inflict a first defeat in fourteen games on the team that they have met in the Play-Off final in each of the last two years.
Jay Couisnard led all scorers with 25 points and he scored the first four of the game as the Riders led narrowly for much of the first quarter.
Although Malik Cooke’s three-pointer, followed by scores from Paul Gause either side of the first quarter break saw the Eagles enjoy one of their few spells in the ascendancy at 20-27.
Couisnard, with a triple, and Drew Sullivan brought the Riders back, with the latter capping an 11-4 run to tie the game at 31. And that laid the foundation for a storming finish to the half as, despite Gause adding to his tally with a three-pointer, Riders poured in 12 points in the last two minutes as Jorge Calvo and Connor Washington netted four points each to lead 47-43.
Eagles briefly regained the lead as they opened with the first six points of the third period, but Riders responded with a 9-2 burst to go in front for good at 56-51, still leading 66-59 heading into the fourth quarter as Washington – who was outstanding in the second half – made a huge triple and Sullivan scored once more.
The Riders carried that momentum into their best spell as Calvo opened the decisive stanza with a three-pointer and the run became 9-0 as Sullivan added consecutive baskets for 75-60 with Newcastle unable to score for three minutes. Defoe and Cooke fouled out for the Eagles and the lead peaked at 86-64 on another Couisnard three.
But Eagles showed their resilience to bring it back towards the end as Gause made two ‘and-one’ plays to leave them within striking distance in Sunday’s second leg in the North East.
Thursday 1st MAY 2014
PO Semi Finals (1st Leg) 19:30 Leicester Riders v Esh Group Eagles Newcastle // Riders Win 90-79
WOLVES DESTROY LACKLUSTER SHARKS
Paul James, the head coach of Worcester Wolves, emphasized playing as a team before the first leg of the BBL Play-Off Semi-Final duel against One Health Sharks Sheffield and his team delivered.
Having lost three of the five games to the Sheffield club so far this season, Wolves came out strong and dominated end-to-end, taking a 79-59 victory on the road at the EIS Sheffield on Friday evening.
Friday 2nd MAY 2014
PO Semi Finals (1st Leg) 19:30 One Health Sharks Sheffield v Worcester Wolves // Wolves Win 59-79
WOLVES & EAGLES TO CONTEST BBL PLAY-OFF FINAL
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and Worcester Wolves punched their tickets to Wembley for the BBL Play-Off Final after successfully overcoming the Semi-Final barrier on Sunday evening.
Having lost the first game to Leicester Riders by 11 points, Eagles bounced back with a dominant performance in the return leg, claiming an 83-71 victory after overtime to win the tie by a single point.
Riders’ big man Rashad Hassan tied the aggregate score with a basket with four seconds to spare in regulation, but the BBL Championship winners prevailed in the extra period.
Meanwhile, Wolves managed to defend their 20-point first-leg advantage and sailed to the Final with a 67-60 win against the visiting One Health Sharks Sheffield, despite some early-game stutters.
Sunday 4th MAY 2014
PO Semi Finals (2nd Leg) 16:00 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Leicester Riders // Eagles Win 83-71 OT
PO Semi Finals (2nd Leg) 18:30 Worcester Wolves v One Health Sharks Sheffield // Wolves Win 67-60
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