Tayo Ogedengbe and Danny Huffor stepped up in the absence of club player of the year, Kieron Achara, to share 63 points as the Scottish club outscored their opponents 28-17 in the third quarter.
This allowed Sterling Davis’ side to come from behind and claim a 100-85 win, which settles the three-way fight for fifth place – by virtue of Rocks holding the head-to-head tie-breaker with London Lions.
Lions therefore had to settle for sixth, and a Play-off meeting with Worcester Wolves, but ended their BBL Championship campaign with a 96-78 win at Manchester Giants.
Sheffield Sharks finish the regular season in seventh spot, and face Leicester Riders in the Play-off Quarter Finals, following a 75-68 loss at Cheshire Phoenix.
Reigning BBL Play-off champions Worcester Wolves enter the post-season off the back of two wins following a 110-79 triumph at Durham Wildcats.
|Friday 17 April 2015|
|BBL Championship – Results|
|Newcastle Eagles||78 – 101||Cheshire Phoenix||19:30|
|Leeds Force||62 – 70||Glasgow Rocks||19:30|
|London Lions||20 – 0 F||Durham Wildcats||DNTP|
|Sheffield Sharks||96 – 87||Manchester Giants||19:30|
|Surrey United||72 – 78||Plymouth Raiders||19:30|
|Worcester Wolves||77 – 67||Leicester Riders||19:30|
|Saturday 18 April 2015|
|BBL Championship – Fixtures|
|Bristol Flyers||79 – 54||Leeds Force||19:30|
|Leicester Riders||116 – 84||Newcastle Eagles||19:30|
|Sunday 19 April 2015|
|BBL Championship – Fixtures|
|Cheshire Phoenix||75 – 68||Sheffield Sharks||17:30|
|Durham Wildcats||79 – 110||Worcester Wolves||16:00|
|Manchester Giants||78 – 96||London Lions||18:00|
|Plymouth Raiders||85 – 100||Glasgow Rocks||16:00|
2014/15 Table – Final
|1||Esh Group Eagles Newcastle||36||31||5||62|
|10||Plymouth University Raiders||36||11||25||22|
|2014/15 League Table|
Quote of the Day
They are so deep that we can’t take anything for granted.
“It’s a long trip to Newcastle, they are tough at home, they are a veteran club. There is a reason they are in first place, they have still won games with six players suited up.
“It’s going to be another battle. We are looking forward to it. It’s going to be a Play-off-type atmosphere and we will see what happens.” Phoenix Head Coach, John Coffino
Red-hot Phoenix hand Eagles a crushing defeat
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 78 (23,43,55) (Thomson 23, Smith 20, Thomson 18)
Cheshire Phoenix 101 (26,55,80) (Aliu 31, King 27, Watt 13)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle were handed an unexpected home defeat, as the visiting Cheshire Phoenix thrashed the newly crowned BBL Championship winners 101-78 at the Sport Central on Friday evening.
The visitors started the game red-hot and ran away by double figures already in the fourth minute of the game at 16-6. Although Eagles did manage to make it a single-possession game in the second period, Phoenix finished the half strong to restore a double-digit lead.
The Cheshire club continued their strong play after the break, steadily increasing their lead, as Eagles could not find ways to stop David Aliu, who went on to finish the night with a game-high 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting from the field.
Taylor King also had a great game for Phoenix, with 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to his name. Demond Watt added 13 points and 13 boards.
For Eagles, Stuart Thompson finished with a team-best 23 points, Charles Smith collected 20 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Andrew Thompson chipped in with 18 points and seven boards in the loss.
Wolves get better of Riders to secure third
Worcester Wolves 77 (16,32,54) (Thurman 20, Bitinas 15, Holmes 13)
Leicester Riders 67 (16,27,44) (Washington 23, Losonsky 10, Noel 7)
Worcester Wolves celebrated their 11th consecutive home win and booked a third-place finish in the BBL Championship, defeating the visiting Leicester Riders 77-67 at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.
Having lost to Riders in Leicester on Tuesday night, Wolves did not get off to the best of starts, but an 8-0 stretch to close out the first quarter allowed the hosts to tie the game up at 16-all at the end of the opening frame.
Worcester took over control of the game in the second period and went on to increase the lead to double figures after the break, leading by as many as 16 points in the third quarter.
Riders did manage to cut the gap to 54-44 before the start of the final frame and made it a five-point game after Conner Washington’s three-pointer cut the deficit to 66-61 with three minutes remaining on the clock.
The guests had got within a single point after scoring four more points, but Wolves stopped the comeback short, with Robert Thurman scoring a couple of baskets and Robertas Bitinas adding a triple to build a comfortable cushion once again.
Thurman paced the winners with a team-best 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, Bitinas scored 15 points, while Chavis Holmes chipped in with 13 points and seven boards.
For Riders, Conner Washington had 23 points, while Pavol Losonsky was the only other scorer in double figures for the visitors with 10 points.
Surrey United complete their season with a loss
Surrey United 72 (13,32,55) (Forson 21, Coleman 14, Knutson 14)
Plymouth University Raiders 78 (24,35,60) (Hampton 21, Mockford 16, Wilcher 15)
Plymouth University Raiders might no longer be in the race for spot in the BBL Play-Offs, but coach Jay Marriot will be pleased with his side’s 78-72 victory against Surrey United at the Surrey Sports Park on Friday evening.
The visitors from Plymouth broke away by double figures already in the opening quarter, escaping to a 24-13 lead after a 16-5 run to finish the period. Despite trailing by as many as 16 points in the second period, United battled back, slicing the deficit to 35-32 before the halftime break.
Having scored all 35 points for Raiders in the first half, the starting continued to carry the scoring load after the break, but United stayed on their heels, with only five points separating the sides at the end of the third quarter.
The final period was just as close, but Plymouth kept their cool and held on to the slender lead, despite United breathing down their neck throughout the second half.
All 78 points were for the visitors were scored by the starting unit, with Pierre Hampton leading the way with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Ben Mockford scored 16 points, while Emile Hopkins added 13 points and 15 boards.
Erick Forson double-doubled with 21 points and 10 rebounds for United, while Dominique Coleman and Kramer Knutson, who had 11 boards, scored 14 apiece.
Cook and Sheffield flying into the Play-Offs
Sheffield Sharks 96 (14,36,69) (Cook 25, Holmes 18, Lewis 16)
Manchester Giants 87 (16,39,57) (Jones 23, Gill 22, Marsden 14)
A big third-quarter performance saw Sheffield Sharks cruise past Manchester Giants in the second half, as the Sheffield side celebrated a convincing 96-87 victory at the EIS Sheffield on Friday to stay in the race for fifth place in the BBL Championship standings.
Trailing 39-36 after the first half, Sharks turned things around in the third quarter, outscoring Giants by 15 points in the period to build a 69-57 advantage. The hosts led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter and sealed the game with ease.
Mike Cook led the Sharks with 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Bryan Holmes scored 18 points, while Nick Lewis chipped in with 16 points off the bench.
Meanwhile, Callum Jones was the top scorer for Giants with 23 points, Stefan Gill scored 22 with the second unit, as Rob Marsden finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The loss comes at a big price for Giants, who are currently tied with Bristol Flyers in the race for the final spot in the Play-Offs. Both teams have one game left to play, but the Bristol side has the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Rocks win to stay in contention for fifth
Leeds Force 62 (16,25,47) (Bethune 18, Anebo 13, Hall 11)
Glasgow Rocks 70 (18,37,53) (Middleton 17, Ogedengbe 15, Egwuonwu 13)
Glasgow Rocks gained the upper hand in the battle for fifth place in the BBL Championship after scoring a 70-62 win against Leeds Force at the Carnegie Sports Centre on Friday.
After a relatively slow opening quarter, Rocks turned up the intensity in the second period, starting the frame with a 6-0 run to pull away 24-16, before increasing the lead to double figures.
Having finished the first half up 37-25, the Glasgow side had increased the lead to 18 points, but Force won the remaining seven-minute stretch in the third quarter 20-8 to make it a six-point game.
Baskets by Oliver Hylands and Branimir Mikulic opened the final frame with consecutive baskets, as Leeds used the momentum to sneak in front 56-53 halfway through the period.
However, Reggie Middleton responded with a pair of three-pointers for Rocks, who regained the edge and held on to the lead the rest of the way.
Middleton led the winners with 17 points, Omotayo Ogedengbe had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Egwuonwu chipped in with 13 points.
Meanwhile, Darrel Bethune had a game-high 18 points for Force and Armand Anebo collected 13 in a losing effort.
London Lions v Durham Wildcats
The Copper Box Arena – 8:00pm
Durham Wildcats have notified the BBL that they wish to forfeit their postponed game against London Lions which was scheduled to take place on Friday 17 April.
This did not take place as planned due to a number of players sustaining injuries (none of which were major) in a road traffic accident which occurred prior to the game.
While the club is confident it will be able to field a reduced team against Worcester Wolves on Sunday 19 April, it feels the players are not suitably fit to make a road trip in the near future
Having carefully considered these unique circumstances which include the overriding factor of this currently being the last weekend of the regular season, the BBL have agreed to grant this request.
The result of the game will therefore be recorded as follows.
17/04/15 London Lions 20-0 Durham Wildcats
The above is effective immediately and will be reflected in the BBL Championship standings when the competition closes ahead of the Play-Offs on Sunday 19 April.
Flyers secure last Play-Off place
Bristol Flyers 79 (33,49,59) (Perine 29, Streete 17, Seilund 13)
Leeds Force 54 (12,31,43) (Mikulic 17, Anebo 11, Bethune 10)
Bristol Flyers have secured a BBL Play-Off berth in their debut BBL campaign after a 79-54 defeat of Leeds Force confirmed eighth spot, out of reach of Manchester Giants. They were led on the night by 29 points from Bryquis Perine, shooting 79% from the field for his second highest points tally of the season.
Flyers have now swept Force this season, but came into this game on the back of six straight defeats, leaving their Play-Off prospects in peril. But they put that behind them immediately with a fast start as Perine hit 14 points in the first quarter, more than the entire Leeds team, and Flyers raced into a 23-7 lead, before Doug McLaughlin-Williams hit a three-pointer on the buzzer for 33-12.
And from there the deficit was never back into single-figures, despite Force scoring five in a row in the second stanza, which they won narrowly to get back to 49-31.
Bristol struggled to get their offence going after that first ten minutes as Force – the best defensive team in the BBL – held their hosts to just ten points in the third quarter. But the visitors could not capitalise themselves, adding only 12 points.
And this war of attrition tactic nearly worked for Leeds, as they trimmed the deficit to 59-47 early in the fourth quarter. But Bristol captain Greg Streete, who had 17 points on the night, was strong on the inside and Alif Bland added a dunk to settle the home fans.
Mathius Seilund made an and-one play inside the last minute, and that ensured that Bristol recorded their biggest winning margin of the season.
Riders crush depleated Eagles
Leicester Riders 116 (28,60,87) (Hassan 29, Washington 17, Bernardini 14)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 84 (23,50,71) (Lasker 22, Fletcher 16, Matthew 15)
Leicester Riders finished the BBL Championship season with a 116-84 defeat of league champions Esh Group Eagles Newcastle. The Riders posted their highest tally of the season in an exciting game between the league’s two top scoring teams, both of which already had their position in the table secure. It was also the most points any team has put on the Eagles, who have lost back-to-back games for the first time in this campaign.
Riders are now unbeaten in eight home games, but this was their first win against the Eagles in five, having raced out of the blocks in with Jamell Anderson and Conner Washington hitting two three-pointers each to send the score out to 22-8 early on.
But Rahmon Fletcher scored seven points as Eagles responded 13-1, before Washington hit from long range again for a 28-23 first quarter lead for the hosts.
Fletcher added another triple early in the second stanza to tie the game at 28, and when Drew Lasker did the same soon after, the Eagles took their first lead at 30-33. They held that for five minutes, until the hosts posted the decisive run just before the half. Rashad Hassan tied the game at 46, and Tyler Bernardini hit his second triple in quick succession in what became a 14-4 finish to the half, capped by another Bernardini three-pointer for a Riders lead of 60-50.
And the closest that the Eagles would get in the second half was six points, as Eddie Matthew and Charles Smith scored three-pointers. But Yorick Williams scored consecutive baskets, before Trayvon Wright added six points in a 14-2 run, and the Riders led 87-69, from where they were never threatened.
They went through the century with five minutes to play, on a night when Hassan led the scoring with 29 points and 8 rebounds. It was Leicester’s biggest win against Newcastle in 112 meetings, beating their 31 point victory in November 1994.
Rocks defeat Raiders to secure 5th place
Plymouth Raiders 85 (29, 50, 67) (Hampton 23, Mockford 21, Wilcher 19)
Glasgow Rocks 100 (22, 48, 76) (Ogedengbe 34, Huffor 29, Middleton 12)
Tayo Ogedengbe and Danny Huffor combined for 63 points as Glasgow Rocks secured the fifth seed in the BBL Play-offs with a 100-85 win at Plymouth Raiders on Sunday.
Jay Marriott’s men had won both previous meetings between the two teams this season, but Rocks produced a third-quarter rally to head into the Play-offs with a fourth straight win.
Sterling Davis’ side settled the three-way fight for fifth after outscoring Raiders 28-17 in the third period to wrestle control of the contest.
Ogedengbe and Huffor stepped up in the absence of club player of the year, Kieron Achara, as the former scored 34 points off 70 per cent field-goal shooting and the latter connected on five triples on his way to 29 points.
Rocks won the battle from beyond the arc, successful with 14 of their 29 three-point attempts compared to the hosts’ eight from 37.
Pierre Hampton ended the season with a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double but could not prevent another defeat, which sees Raiders finish the season in 10th.
Lions take comfortable win at Giants
Manchester Giants 78 (24, 41, 61) (Gill 19, Grimes 17, Marsden 15)
London Lions 96 (27, 60, 80) (Sullivan 20, Stibbins 19, Cook 19)
London Lions punished Manchester Giants’ mistakes to secure a winning close to their BBL Championship campaign, prevailing 96-78 at Lucozade Soccerdome on Sunday.
Jeff Jones’ side had already had their hopes of reaching the BBL Play-offs ended by Bristol Flyers’ victory against Leeds Force on Saturday, while Lions could no longer finish fifth following Glasgow Rocks’ win earlier on Sunday.
But Vince Macaulay’s side secured sixth, and a Play-off meeting with Worcester Wolves, after Drew Sullivan led them to victory with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Lions scored 18 of their points from Giants’ 10 turnovers, in one of the deciding factors in an otherwise even contest.
The capital club got another 28 points from second-chance opportunities, to inflict more misery on the team from the North West.
Stef Gill was the high man for Giants with 19 points as Devin Grimes added 17.
Makal Stibbins and Lovell Cook scored 19 points each for Lions, who enter the post-season following back-to-back wins after last week’s success at Surrey United.
Phoenix take Sharks as benches get a run out
Cheshire Phoenix 75 (22, 40, 52) (Sturt 19, Watt 14, King 13)
Sheffield Sharks 68 (8, 35, 52) (Lewis 13, Cook 11, Horstmann 10)
Cheshire Phoenix marked the final BBL Championship game at Northgate Arena with a 75-68 defeat of Sheffield Sharks on Sunday.
John Coffino’s side were already assured of finishing in fourth position and facing Glasgow Rocks in the Play-offs, but ground out a victory against the resurgent Sharks thanks to 19 points and 15 points from Adrien Sturt.
Phoenix are set to move to a new home next season, meaning this clash was the final regular season game to be played at the Northgate.
The hosts led for the majority of the contest, until a George Brownwell jump shot in the last minute of the third quarter tied things up at 52.
Two Olu Babalola free throws gave Atiba Lyons’ side the lead inside the final period, but this only sparked a 12-0 Phoenix run, to swing the game back in their favour.
The influence of Sturt and Demond Watt in the front court was telling in the fourth quarter, a strength Cheshire will no doubt draw on in the Play-offs.
Watt finished with 14 points while Taylor King added 13 and 14 rebounds.
Nick Lewis led Sharks with 13 points as they finish seventh and set up a Play-off Quarter Final with Leicester Riders.
Wolves show 5-man Wildcats no mercy
Durham Wildcats 79 (17, 38, 53) (Bucci 21, Madourie 19, Mayindombe 18)
Worcester Wolves 110 (23, 53, 82) (Thurman 28, Bitinas 21, Guede 13)
Worcester Wolves will begin the defence of their BBL Play-off crown off the back of two straight victories following Sunday’s 110-79 success against Durham Wildcats.
Paul James’ side had already made sure of a third-place finish by overcoming Leicester Riders on Friday and followed that up with a commanding display in Durham.
Wildcats, who were unable to play against London Lions on Friday after being involved in a road traffic accident, ended a disappointing season on a low note, with their last victory coming on February 1.
Wolves made a fine start as Robert Thurman’s return to fitness and form continued with 10 points and six rebounds in the opening 10 minutes.
The star centre went on to tally 28 points and nine rebounds, as the visitors controlled the contest, thanks in no small part to big contributions from Robertas Bitinas and Caylin Raftopoulos off the bench, the former connecting on five of six three-point attempts.
Wildcats were forced to run with a roster of just five, and understandably tired as time wore on.
Ralph Bucci led Durham’s challenge with 21 points as Joel Madourie added a 19-point, 13-rebound double-double, but they never looked like catching a rampant Worcester, who head into the post-season full of confidence.
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