Glasgow Rocks made a winning return to BBL Championship action on Sunday and were one of three teams to improve their positioning within the Play-off picture.

Rocks, in sixth place, marked their first game in 18 days with a victory as they led from start to finish to triumph 91-82 at Manchester Giants.

Sterling Davis’ side connected on 55 per cent of their attempts from the field, Tayo Ogedengbe leading the way with 18 points, as the Scottish club won their fifth game in a row.

Fourth-placed Cheshire Phoenix recovered from a slow start to stifle Surrey United and claim a 97-63 success.

Taylor King scored 22 points and collected 10 rebounds as Demond Watt added 21 and 15 boards.

Makal Stibbins inspired London Lions to a 94-83 victory at Plymouth Raiders, scoring 32 points.

London remain two points ahead of Rocks, albeit having played a game more, and 12 points behind Phoenix.

Thursday 12 March 2015
BBL Championship – Result
London Lions 86 – 73 Manchester Giants 19:30
Friday 13 March 2015
BBL Championship – Results
Bristol Flyers 68 – 81 Leicester Riders 19:30
Newcastle Eagles 119 – 92 Cheshire Phoenix 19:30
Sheffield Sharks 93 – 88 OT Plymouth Raiders 19:30
Worcester Wolves 89 – 73 Durham Wildcats 19:30
Sunday 15 March 2015
BBL Championship – Results
Cheshire Phoenix 97 – 63 Surrey United 17:30
Manchester Giants 82 – 91 Glasgow Rocks 18:00
Plymouth Raiders 83 – 94 London lions 16:00

P Team PL W L Pts
1 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 27 25 2 50
2 Worcester Wolves 29 23 6 46
3 Leicester Riders 26 21 5 42
4 Cheshire Phoenix 30 21 9 42
5 Glasgow Rocks 25 14 11 28
6 London Lions 25 14 11 28
7 Sheffield Sharks 27 12 15 24
8 Bristol Flyers 31 12 19 24
9 Manchester Giants 28 11 17 22
10 Durham Wildcats 28 8 20 16
11 Plymouth University Raiders 26 7 19 14
12 Leeds Force 29 7 22 14
13 Surrey United 27 4 23 8
2014/15 League Table

Quote of the Week

Giants' Head Coach Jeff Jones. Photo by Jack Hinds Photography.

Giants’ Head Coach Jeff Jones. Photo by Jack Hinds Photography.

We have to be ready. We know we are in for a battle, we know we are facing teams that are in and around us and, in my opinion, we have to win five or six more games to finish higher than eighth, so we have to show up and compete for 40 minutes.Giants’ Head Coach, Jeff Jones

Lions too much for Manchester

BBL Championship
London Lions 86 (21,42,67) (Sullivan 23, Stibbins 15, Cook 13)
Manchester Giants 73 (22,33, 50) (Bankevics 20 ,Gill 12,Eaves 10)
Vince - 2

London Lions bounced back from the disappointment of their BBL Trophy Semi Final exit with a big home league win against Manchester Giants on BBL TV.

Vince Macaulay’s team found a high offensive gear against Giants to ride out 86-73 winners and move into outright fifth spot to continue their feint hopes of sneaking into the top four ahead of the Play Offs.

After a low-key start, both teams eventually found some rhythm and it was the visitors who led 22-21 after the opening ten minutes – thanks mainly to 14 points from Latvian guard, Ingus Bankevics and his three-point shooting prowess.

Last year’s BBL MVP Zaire Taylor then started the second period with a three-pointer for the hosts, as they scored eight straight points to extend their advantage.

With fouls mounting for the Giants’ big men it looked bleak, but a nice lay-up by Callum Jones cut the gap to 36-33 and briefly slowed Lions down.

However, London finished the half with a flourish via a nice jam by Makal Stibbins and then a great play at the hoop by Taylor to put his team 42-33 to the good.

It was Great Britain star Drew Sullivan who came out of the locker room and helped ram home Lions’ advantage as he made a couple of triples in quick succession to make it 52-37 and he eventually went on to top score for his team.

When Joe Ikhinimwin and Perry Lawson also converted from long-range it began raining threes and Lions wrapped up their best quarter with a score by Laurent Irish on the buzzer to go 67-50 ahead.

Giants never looked like launching a rescue mission and when their top scorer Bankevics picked up a fifth foul in the last period, their hopes went with him to the bench as Lions eased to victory.

Sharks get it done in OT

BBL Championship
Sheffield Sharks 93 (23,38,55,79) (Lewis 24, Cook 21, Tuck 13)
Plymouth University Raiders 88 (25,40,64,79) (Benson 19, Hampton 14, Elston 13, Clarke 13)
Shark's Mike Cook, Photo by MPhotography

Shark’s Mike Cook, Photo by MPhotography

Sheffield Sharks clawed back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime before going on to edge out Plymouth University Raiders 93-88 for the win in the BBL Championship game on Friday.

Shark's Nick Lewis

Having been behind for most of the game, Sharks found themselves starring at a 10-point deficit with six minutes on the clock, but Nick Lewis nailed back-to-back three-pointers, handing the Sheffield side a lifeline.

With 37 seconds remaining and Sharks down by 79-76, John Barber came to the rescue of the home side, knocking down a clutch three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

The late comeback knocked the wind out of the sails of Raiders, who could not recover in the extra period, with Sharks snatching the victory.

Nick Lewis collected a game-high 24 points after coming off the bench, Mike Cook had 21 points and six assists, while Mike Tuck added 13 points and nine rebounds for Sharks.

Meanwhile, Brent Benson had 19 points and seven boards for Raiders, with Pierre Hampton scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Eagles crush Cheshire upstarts

BBL Championship
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 119 (25,62,88) (Martin 28, Jones 26, Smith 24)
Cheshire Phoenix 92 (24,43,69) (King 22, Watt 20, Salisbery 17)
Fab Flournoy still racking up the Ws.  Photo by Dave Moore.

Fab Flournoy still racking up the Ws. Photo by Dave Moore.

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle extended their winning streak in the BBL Championship to nine games, registering a convincing 119-92 home win against Cheshire Phoenix at Sport Central on Friday.

Although neither side managed to build a tangible advantage in the opening quarter, but a 16-6 run in the second quarter saw the hosts pull ahead by double figures at 46-34 after Darius Defoe’s free-throw, with three minutes left in the half.

Having finished the second period with another run, Eagles entered the interval with a 19-point advantage and continued to dominate after the break. The home side’s lead did not dwindle, with Scott Martin leading the way on offence and Charles Smith contributing significantly off the bench.

Martin finished the game with a game-high 28 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Smith added 24 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

Andre Jones also had a major contribution, scoring 26 points.

Meanwhile, Taylor King double-double for Phoenix once again with 22 points and 10 rebounds, as Demond Watt chipped in with 20 points and eight boards. Dustin Salisbery added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Riders destroy Bristol Flyers

BBL Championship
Bristol Flyers 68 (12,34,47) (Perine 18, Streete 18, Bland 12)
Leicester Riders 81 (22,44,66) (Hassan 18, Watson 14, Bernardini 10, Anderson 10)

Bristol Flyers were forced to admit defeat to the visiting Leicester Riders at the WISE Basketball Arena in Friday night’s BBL Championship action, as the Leicester side celebrated an 81-68 victory after leading most of the way.

Riders broke away very early in the game, going up by double figures already in the first quarter. Down 10 after the opening frame, Flyers had cut the deficit to 31-26 midway through the second period, but Riders regained the control of the game with a 13-0 run.

Although Flyers had managed to get as close as six points in the third quarter, Riders responded with an 8-1 stretch to bring the gap to double digits. Having entered the last period up by 19, the guests iced the game with ease.

Rashad Hassan paced the winners with 18 points, Neil Watson scored 14 points and dished out nine assists, while Tyler Bernardini and Jamell Anderson added 10 points apiece.

Bree Perine and Greg Streete collected 18 points each for Flyers, while Alif Bland double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, adding three steals and three blocks.

Worcester too much for Wildcats

BBL Championship
Worcester Wolves 89 (29,55,74) (Owumi 25, Bitinas 18, Holmes 13)
Durham Wildcats 73 (20,36,55) (Buchberger 25, Jones 20, Bucci 11)
Paul JAMES 2014 - 1

Worcester Wolves improved to a 23-6 record in the BBL Championship after putting together a dominant end-to-end display against the visiting Durham Wildcats for an 89-73 victory at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday evening.

The hosts opened the game with a 9-0 run and never looked back, as Lithuanian sharpshooter Robertas Bitinas paced Wolves in the early going with 12 first-quarter points, all of which came from beyond the arc on four long-range shots.

Having built a 29-20 lead after the first period, the host turned up the pressure even more, increasing the advantage to double figures and leading by as many as 24 points before the halftime break.

Wildcats did manage to stabilize the situation in the second half, stopping the deficit from growing, but the Worcester side’s lead was too large to overcome, as Wolves cruised to an easy win.

Alex Owumi led the winners with 25 points and Robertas Bitinas scored 18, with the duo combining for 13-of-24 shooting from three-point range. Chavis Holmes added 13 points and eight assists.

For Wildcats, David Buchberger had 25 points, Christopher Jones collected 20 points, while Ralph Bucci was one assist shy from a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.

Rocks travel to Manchester for a big win

BBL Championship
Manchester Giants 82 (Bankevics 22, Gill 15, Eaves 14)
Glasgow Rocks 91 (Ogedengbe 18, Middleton 16, Egwuonwu 14)

Glasgow Rocks made a winning return to BBL Championship action, edging Manchester Giants 91-82 away from home on Sunday.

A quirk in the schedule meant Sterling Davis’ men went 18 days without a game following victory against London Lions last month.

But Rocks showed little signs of rust as they led from start to finish to defeat Giants and extend their winning run to five games.

The visitors made a flying start and led by 15 points at the end of the first quarter.

Giants improved as Ingus Bankevics began to find his touch before going on to score a game-high 22 points.

But Rocks’ 55 per cent field-goal shooting kept them in front and they saw out the victory to bolster their hopes of reaching the BBL Play-offs.

Tayo Ogedengbe connected on three triples as he was the Scottish club’s top scorer with 18 points while Reggie Middleton added 16 in less than 18 minutes of action off the bench.

It was a second loss in four days for Giants, who remain outside the top eight.

Phoenix destroy United in second half

BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 97 (16, 45, 66) (King 22, Watt 21, Salisbery 19)
Surrey United 63 (23, 43, 52) (Knutson 26, Downing 16, Coleman 8)
Taylor King, Library photo

Taylor King, Library photo

Cheshire Phoenix recovered from a slow start to stifle Surrey United and claim a 97-63 BBL Championship success on Sunday.

John Coffino’s side were beaten by league leaders Newcastle Eagles on Friday, and fell 23-16 behind after 10 minutes of this game as United appeared reinvigorated following 21 days without a game.

But after pulling back into contention in the second quarter, Phoenix tightened up on the defensive end to allow Jack Majewski’s side to score only 20 points in the second half.

The hosts made the most of their scoring opportunities too, getting 27 points at the second chance, and racking up 17 points from turnovers compared to United’s four, despite the fact both sides turned the ball over 11 times.

Taylor King paced Phoenix’s offensive effort with 22 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Demond Watt added 21 and 15 boards.

Kramer Knutson was unfortunate to be on the losing team, as he scored 26 points and had nine rebounds in United’s ninth loss in a row.

Phoenix strengthened their grip on fourth spot, improving to 21-9.

Raiders pose no problem for hungry Lions

BBL Championship
Plymouth Raiders 83 (17, 43, 64) (Clarke 21, Hampton 20, Wilcher 16)
London Lions 94 (23, 46, 71) (Stibbins 32, Cook 19, Taylor 16)

Makal Stibbins’ 32-point performance inspired London Lions to a 94-83 win on the road at Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Championship on Sunday.

The American centre dominated inside, connecting on 14 of his 19 field-goal attempts as Vince Macaulay’s side secured their second win in four days.

It completes the capital club’s positive response to their BBL Trophy semi-final disappointment last weekend, as they followed up Thursday’s home success against Manchester Giants.

Raiders meanwhile have now gone eight games without a win and slipped 10 points off the pace of the BBL Play-off positions.

Jordan Clarke was the high man for the hosts, scoring 21 points, including an and-one play which gave Jay Marriott’s side a six-point second-quarter lead.

But Lions hit back by looking inside to Stibbins, who delivered time and again to ensure Lions would hold their opponents at arm’s length during the second half.

Lovell Cook added 19 points off the bench and Zaire Taylor had 16 as Macaulay’ side improve to 15-11 in league play.

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