Leicester Riders, London Lions and Glasgow Rocks also finished the weekend in style, knotting up victories against Manchester Giants, Plymouth University Raiders and Durham Wildcats respectively.

Led by Mike Cook’s 21 points, Sharks toppled Phoenix 91-85 after breaking away in the third quarter. Taylor King scored 26 points in the first two quarters for Cheshire, finishing with a game-high total of 36, but it was not enough to save Phoenix from defeat.


Riders notched up the sixth consecutive win by defeating Giants 80-69. The Leicester side held a 19-point lead heading into the final period, but Manchester battled back to make it a five-point game before eventually falling short.

Elsewhere, Lions finally put an end to their cold streak by hammering Raiders 89-65, after having lost four straight in the BBL Championship heading into Sunday’s game. London’s Makal Stibbins was close to a double-double with 27 points and nine boards.

Meanwhile, Rocks took care of business late against Wildcats, taking an 81-75 win after a late fourth quarter run. Rocks’ big man Keiron Achara double-doubled with 16 points and 14 boards, while Fran Urli dropped a game-high 19 for Wildcats.

Friday 23 January 2015
BBL Championship – Fixtures
Newcastle Eagles 96 – 67 Glasgow Rocks 19:30
Leeds Force 53 – 65 Cheshire Phoenix 19:30
Surrey United 53 – 65 Bristol Flyers 19:30
Worcester Wolves 78 – 75 Sheffield Sharks 19:30
Saturday 24 January 2015
BBL Championship – Fixture
Leicester Riders 85 – 46 Durham Wildcats 19:30
Sunday 25 January 2015
BBL Championship – Fixtures
Cheshire Phoenix 85 – 91 Sheffield Sharks 17:30
Durham Wildcats 75 – 81 Glasgow Rocks 16:00
Manchester Giants 69 – 80 Leicester Riders 18:00
Plymouth Raiders 65 – 89 London Lions 16:00

P Team PL W L Pts
1 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 19 17 2 34
2 Worcester Wolves 21 17 4 34
3 Leicester Riders 19 16 3 32
4 Cheshire Phoenix 20 14 6 28
5 London Lions 18 10 8 20
6 Sheffield Sharks 19 9 10 18
7 Glasgow Rocks 18 8 10 16
8 Bristol Flyers 21 8 13 16
9 Manchester Giants 21 8 13 16
10 Durham Wildcats 21 7 14 14
11 Plymouth University Raiders 19 6 13 12
12 Leeds Force 22 5 17 10
13 Surrey United 20 4 16 8
2014/15 League Table

Quote of the Week


I have scouted them five times this year and went to their game last Friday and they beat Manchester.

They are a dangerous club, very well coached, not a big club, they play small, but they play hard. It doesn’t matter who they are playing, they are not going to change their style, a very scrappy team, a very dangerous team.

If you don’t bring your best, you are going to come away from the game disappointed.”Phoenix Head Coach John Coffino

Cook getting back on track as Sharks defeat Phoenix

BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 85 (18,46,64) (King 36, Salisbery 17, Naydenov 11, Aliu 11)
Sheffield Sharks 91 (16,45,70) (Cook 21, Tuck 17, Babalola 14)

Cheshire Phoenix saw their 11-game winning streak in the BBL Championship snap on Sunday, as a second-half spurt gave Sheffield Sharks a 91-85 victory on the road behind Mike Cook’s 21 points off the bench.

It was Cheshire who got off to a more positive start, taking a seven-point lead seven minutes into the game, but Sharks did not allow the hosts to run away further, cutting the gap to 18-16 by the end of the opening period.


A phenomenal first half by Taylor King, who scored 26 points in the first two quarters, allowed Phoenix to enter the interval with a 46-45 lead, but the Sheffield side had begun mounting serious pressure.

Having successfully slowed down King, Sharks jumped out in front 67-60 in the third quarter, following a 10-2 run, capped off by Olu Babalola’s jumper.

Sharks opened the final frame with a three-point shot by John Barber and went on to increase the gap to 12 points at 83-71 four minutes into the fourth quarter.

Phoenix responded with a 10-2 run of their own and had cut the deficit to four points with a couple of minutes remaining, but Sharks held on to snatch the win on the road.

Mike Cook scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards for Sharks, Mike Tuck and Olu Babalola chipped in with 17 and 14 points respectively for the winners, while Phoenix’s Taylor King finished with a game-high 36 points.


A full house at the Phoenix. Apologies to those who didn’t get in.

Riders too much for sliding Giants

BBL Championship
Manchester Giants 69 (22,35,51) (Bankevics 16, Eaves 15, Jones 9)
Leicester Riders 80 (21,50,70) (Rowe 18, Wright 17, Hassan 14)
Mike Bernard throws it down for the Giants.  Photo by Jack Hinds Photography..

Mike Bernard throws it down for the Giants. Photo by Jack Hinds Photography..

Leicester Riders made it six wins in a row in the BBL Championship with an 80-69 victory against Manchester Giants at the Lucozade Soccerdome on Sunday.

Mike Bernard.  Photo by Jack Hinds Photography.

Mike Bernard. Photo by Jack Hinds Photography.

After a close first quarter, Riders broke away in the second period. Having trailed by a single point at the end of the opening frame, the visitors turned the game upside down in a matter of minutes, winning a 27-9 stretch to go up 48-31 with over a minute remaining in the first half.

The gap grew further after the interval, with Riders increasing the lead to 19 points heading into the final quarter. But Giants fought back gracefully and cut the deficit to single digits after scoring 12 unanswered to start the period.

The Manchester side got within 72-67 with three and a half minutes remaining in the game, but Riders got hold of the situation before it escalated further and sealed the win by tidying up on the defensive end.

Anthony Rowe led the game in scoring with 18 points for Riders, while Trayvvonn Wright chipped in with 17 points. Latvian swingman Ingus Bankevics was the go-to guy for Giants with a team-high 16 points.

More Giants v Riders action.  Photo by Jack Hinds Photography.

More Giants v Riders action. Photo by Jack Hinds Photography.

London Lions getting back on track

BBL Championship
Plymouth University Raiders 65 (14,34,48) (Hampton 21, Clarke 16, Mockford 9)
London Lions 89 (33,46,73) (Stibbins 27, Sullivan 17, Taylor 16)

London Lions snapped their four-game losing streak in the BBL Championship with an emphatic 89-65 victory against Plymouth University Raiders on the road at the Plymouth Pavilions.


The visitors started the game red-hot and, spurred by Zaire Taylor’s 10-point first quarter outburst, shot ahead to an early double-digit lead, finishing the first quarter up 33-14.

Raiders managed to steady the ship in the second period, going on a 12-0 run to close the gap to 35-28 before eventually allowing Lions to regain a double-figure advantage just before the halftime break.

The guests maintained a comfortable lead throughout the third period and even increased the margin after closing the quarter with a 12-4 stretch to make it a 25-point game heading into the final frame, where Lions iced the game with ease.

Makal Stibbins finished the game with 27 points and nine rebounds for Lions, Andrew Sullivan collected 17 points, while Zaire Taylor had an impressive all-around effort of 16 points, 10 boards and seven assists.

Pierre Hampton scored a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds for Raiders. Jordan Clarke added 16 points and nine boards.

Rocks show some fight to take Wildcats on the road

BBL Championship
Durham Wildcats 75 (13,33,53) (Urli 19, Bucci 17, Jones 10)
Glasgow Rocks 81 (19,28,51) (Achara 16, Huffor 15, Middleton 15)
Wildcats get ready.  Photo Wildcats' Facebook page

Wildcats get ready. All photos Wildcats’ Facebook page

Glasgow Rocks earned an important road victory in the BBL Championship on Sunday evening, edging Durham Wildcats 81-75 in a closely contested game to strengthen their playoff bid.

Durham Action - 3

Rocks enjoyed a better start, taking an early edge over the hosts and leading by as much as 19-11 in the opening quarter. However, the Fran Urli-led Wildcats took over the initiative in the second period, coming back to erase the early deficit and jumping ahead to a 33-28 halftime lead.

Although the visitors trimmed the gap after the break, Wildcats stayed in front by a couple of points and entered the final 10 minutes of play with a 53-51 advantage.

Leading 64-62 halfway through the final frame, Wildcats fell into a slump and Rocks seized the opportunity, going on a 10-2 run.

Durham Action - 1

Having trailed for most of the second half, the guests found themselves up 74-66 with merely a minute remaining and made sure there were no slip-ups.

Keiron Achara led the winners with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Danny Huffor and Reggie Middleton scored 15 points apiece for Rocks.

Meanwhile, Fran Urli had a game-high 19 for Wildcats and Ralph Bucci chipped in with a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards.

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