REVIEW - Blazers remain unbeaten, while Cup quarter-final match-ups are set!

NBL Division One

 Loughborough Riders 71 v 84 Team Solent Kestrels

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 6.00pm

Live Stats

The NBL Division One weekend tipped off in the East Midlands on Saturday evening with the undefeated Team Solent Kestrels visiting the reigning league champion Loughborough Riders. The game went the way of the hosts early on as they got out to a narrow lead to start the game, but Coach Matt Guymon's side quickly rallied to tie things up at the end of the first. The hosts would not lead again throughout the contest, as the visiting Kestrels clamped down on defense; limiting Loughborough to just 13 points in the second period. The travelling side were able to quickly build a double digit lead which they help most of the rest of the way, despite a late challenge that did momentarily cut the deficit to single digits.

Solent improved to 4-0 to top the Division One standings behind a 28 point effort from Jon Averkamp, who added eight rebounds and two blocks. Herm Senor II offered support with 19 points, five rebounds, seven assists and six steals, while Louie Kirkman was just shy of chipping in a double-double as he added 11 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Nick Lewis made his debut for the Southampton-based outfit in this one, after a move along the south coast from Worthing, as he contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals off the bench. Loughborough dropped to 2-2 as they were paced by 13 points apiece from Alex Roberts and Niall Harris. Reis Pinnock added nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists. 


Thames Valley Cavaliers 64 v 83 Reading Rockets

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 6.00pm

Live Stats

Undermanned because of a John Madejski Academy Erasmus trip to Spain, the Reading Rockets weathered an early storm to grab the win in this one, their first league victory of the campaign. The Cavs came out strong in this one, as Martelle McLemore and Abdoulaye Sylla could not be stopped in the early going. An 18-7 lead for Thames Valley after five minutes saw them reap the rewards of their good start, but stand-in coach Josh Thorne quickly rallied his side as they got themselves right back into the contest, pinching the lead to end the first stanza. The Rockets would not trail again as they edged ahead, before a 5-19 third quarter effectively ended the contest, with the Reading lead ballooning out to beyond 20. 

McLemore led his Cavaliers' squad, which fell to 1-2 with the loss, with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Sylla added 15 points and eight rebounds. Aiden Saunders came off the bench for Coach Robert Banks' side to chip in 14 points and five rebounds. Meanwhile, in heavy minutes for the starters, Sydney Donaldson played 39 minutes and paced the visitors with 28 points and 14 rebounds, as Trae Pemberton added 21 points and seven rebounds, with Adrian O'Sullivan supporting with 16 points and two steals. 

Coach Thorne said following the win, "We went into the weekend excited to put ourselves to the test with an away double header. Our key objectives were to continue on our journey, to focus on excellence in every moment. We had a very slow start and TVC came out firing going up 14-2. That needed me to step in, call a time out and refocus. The players responded well by winning the quarter, having a solid second period and holding Cavaliers to just five third quarter points. I was pretty pleased with the performance; having seven players we faced adversity through fatigue and foul trouble so to get a strong win was really pleasing."


Hemel Storm 107 v 77 Leicester Warriors

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 7.00pm

Live Stats

Hemel Storm have picked up their first league win of this campaign with a dominant victory over the visiting Leicester Warriors. Both teams now sit at 1-2 amongst the congested mid-section of the NBL Division One standings, with only narrow discrepancies separating the teams thus far. The hosts opened up proceedings with a 32 point quarter, as they built a double digit lead, and would never look back. The lead would dip back into single digits towards the end of the third period, but the home side gave the Storm Troopers something to cheer for late on as they unleashed a 34 point quarter to end the contest. 

The Storm hit the century mark with a balanced scoring effort, as seven players contributed nine points or more to the scoring attack. Blayne Freckleton and Leon Henry paced their squad with 18 apiece, as the former added five rebounds and seven assists. Jack Burnell came off the bench to chip in 15 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Will Ashby had 10 points, three assists and four steals. Tom Adorian, Levi Noel and Leome Francis each had nine points as Coach Robert Youngblood had a multitude of weapons to call on in this one. Meanwhile, the visiting Warriors were paced by 20 points and seven rebounds from Brian Orr, while Elhji Jabby and Lamin Willan came off the bench too add 16 and 13, respectively, with Jabby also pulling down a huge 18 rebounds. 

With Hemel getting off to a hot start on the offensive end this season, averaging just over 100 points per game, Storm Coach Robert Youngblood wants more focus at the other end, "We have to improve our individual and team defence if we’re to be successful this season and although there’s still a long way to go, tonight’s game was a start. We need a more balanced mind-set between offence and defence. We’re executing well with the ball and I was delighted with the 29 assists and also our rebounding but we have to be better defensively."


Nottingham McDonald's Hoods 76 v 60 Barking Abbey Crusaders

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 7.00pm

Live Stats

The Nottingham McDonald's Hoods were able to even out their record at 2-2 with a win in this one over the travelling Barking Abbey Crusaders. The early exchanges were well balanced, before Coach Ryan Westley's side pulled away to end the first stanza. A tied second quarter saw no change in the deficit, before the Hoods came out of the half-time break ready to blow it open. A 27-10 quarter stopped the Crusaders in their tracks, as the Nottingham lead grew to 27 at its peak. A more competitive final period saw the East London team regain their composure and cut into the lead down the stretch, but the damage had already been done.

As the Hoods await the return of veteran David Watts, the East Midlands side were paced by 15 points from Cole Welle, as 11 of their 12 man squad got themselves on the scoresheet. Welle added seven rebounds to his scoring tally, which was supported by nine points apiece from Tom Ballentine and Andrej Slavik. An efficient scoring display for Chris Feeney might be one of the only positives that Coach Lloyd Gardner can take from this one, as the Scottish guard had 20 points, shooting 7-10 from the floor. Nathaniel Powell came off the bench to chip in 10 points in the loss.

Coach Westley spoke highly of the Crusaders after the game, "I have a lot of respect for Coach Gardener and the Barking Abbey programme. They are going to be very strong and only get better as the season goes on, with a host of talented youngsters. From our side, I was really happy with the way we played as a unit to bounce back from last week’s tough defeat against Solent."


Derby Trailblazers 116 v 93 Bradford Dragons

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 7.15pm

Live Stats

NBL Division One would have one less undefeated side following the completion of this game, as the Blazers and Dragons battled it out to see who could continue to protect their loss column. It was the Blazers who would maintain their good start, improving to 3-0 as they jumped to 3rd in the standings, as a high-scoring contest went their way at Clarence Wiggins. A high-tempo start to the game saw the two sides separated by a narrow margin, before the Blazers would step up their play on both ends to win each of the middle quarters by 10. Dragon's Coach Chris Mellor will likely be disappointed by his side putting just 12 points up on the scoreboard in the third stanza, a crucial offensive blip that saw the hosts pull away indefinitely. Bradford drop their first game to fall to 3-1, now in 4th place as they cling on to the leading pack. 

Derby saw three of their starters combine for 79 points, as Malcolm Smith led all scorers with 31 points. Smith added nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks as he continues his fine form under the tutelage of Coach Matt Shaw. Matt Ward-Hibbert wasn't far behind his teammates effort as he had 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while the final big piece in the scoring puzzle was Jake Wesselingh who shot 8-10 from the field and knocked down four three-pointers en route to 20 points. Tre-Shawn Wilford had a big contribution as he pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with nine points and three assists. The visiting Dragons were led by 24 points and 12 rebounds from Rihards Sulcs, while Drexler Clark added 16 points and seven assists. Big man Allie Fullah came off the bench to add 10 points and four rebounds.

Blazers' Coach Matt Shaw was a little speechless after the win, "What can I say, it was a fantastic performance and the great thing is that all the guys made such a positive impact in their own way. It really was a team win."

Shaw continued, highlighting some key contributions, "Matt Ward-Hibbert was outstanding. We some times take his ability to score for guaranteed, he finds so many ways to put the ball in the hoop. Jake [Wesselingh] was outstanding again, he played well last week without shooting on the level he did tonight - but today he was lights out. Kayne King did a superb job on Drexler Clark, who is a great player, but we made him work every trip down the floor. Malcolm Smith was outstanding too on his home debut. It’s pleasing for our home fans to see us play like that, it was a high tempo game and I’m sure it was fun to watch."


Worthing Thunder 73 v 63 Team Newcastle

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 7.30pm

Live Stats

Worthing Thunder maintained their undefeated start to the season in a low-scoring and competitive contest down on the south coast. The travelling Newcastle squad made it tough for the hosts, as Coach Ian Hewitt's side led at times during the early exchanges - a stern test for the undefeated Thunder. The second stanza would not be the offensive spectacle that visitors to The Thunderdome are accustom to, as the two sides combined for 11 points in a quarter that would be scored 8-3 to the hosts. The second half saw the cling film come off the baskets as the teams found their scoring touch again, as Eric Stafford and David Hanson scored their team's final 12 points of the contest down the stretch - but Worthing held on.

A season debut performance for Jorge Ebanks saw the guard chip in 13 points off the bench, while his side were led by 17 points and 13 rebounds from Alex Owumi. Zaire Taylor also had an impressive double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds, while also adding four assists and four steals along the way. Captain Brendan Okoronkwo chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds, while Tom Ward rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists. 


WNBL Division One

Loughborough Riders 55 v 67 Bristol Academy Flyers 

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 3.00pm

Live Stats

The first of the two contests this weekend in WNBL Division One saw Bristol Academy Flyers continue their impressive start to the season, on the road in the East Midlands. The South West side now top the standings with a 4-1 record as they used a hot start to cruise to victory against the Riders. The Flyers would come out firing in this one, spurred to a 6-21 first quarter behind the play of Becky Cantin and Cristina Bigica. The lead remained in double figures throughout the rest of the contest, before a fourth quarter fight-back cut the deficit to six and had Coach Gareth Till's side needing to rally to close things out. From this point on, Bigica would score the final 10 points of the game for her squad, as the Flyers went to her time and again to close out the contest. 

Bigica led her side with 18 points as the only double digit scorer, while Becky Cantin did the crucial work on the glass as she pulled down 16 rebounds to go with eight points. Mai Zibleti and Leila Jepson added nine and eight points, respectively, while Liisa Juul and Fiona Fox chipped in seven apiece. Loughborough were led by 10 points off the bench from Holly Davies, while starting guards Imogen Cook and Holly Wright struggled to find their touch in this one as they each chipped in nine points.  


Barking Abbey 72 v 82 Ipswich

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 4.00pm

Live Stats

The only other action in WNBL Division One saw Ipswich get back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory against Barking Abbey. The Suffolk-based side knocked down 15 triples in a solid offensive outing that saw them jump to 2nd in the standings with a 3-2 record. Ipswich would lead early on as Harriet Welham found her stroke to begin the game, with Cameron Taylor-Willis also chipping in. However, Barking rallied, and would go on to grab the lead to end the first before leading for the rest of the half. Coach Nick Drane's side came out of the half-time break ready to go after the game, pinching the lead in the third, before a 13-26 final stanza clinched them the victory. Charlotte Redhead knocked down three triples back-to-back in a crucial run that saw Ipswich gather the momentum they needed to take home the spoils.

This contest saw the battle of a balanced scoring effort versus a one-woman show, as all of Ipswich's starters got into double figures. Charlotte Redhead's hot shooting saw her knock down seven from behind the arc on her way to 22 points, well supported 14 points and eight rebounds from Cameron Taylor-Willis. Harriet Welham and Danielle Cazey chipped in 13 points apiece, while Esther Little contributed 12 points to round out the scoring. The star of the aforementioned Barking one-woman show was Karla Powlesland, who went 15-19 from the field on her way to a game-high 31 points and 16 rebounds. Ann Sheaia also had an efficient outing for the East London side, shooting 6-8 from the field to add 15 points, six rebounds and three assists.  


NBL Division Two

Myerscough College 97 v 72 London Westside

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 2.00pm

Live Stats

Myerscough College continue their unbeaten start to life in NBL Division Two, as they narrowly missed out on hitting triple figures in their win over London Westside. The hosts came out of the gates hot, despite Westside getting the better of the early exchanges, to pour in 34 points in the opening stanza. 12 points in the opening quarter from guard Mate Okros set the tone for the hosts, as they led from then on, with all 12 getting themselves on the scoresheet. The final quarter saw Myerscough stifle the visitors, allowing just eight points as Coach Neal Hopkins' side remained focused on the defensive end right through to the final buzzer.

Okros led all scorers with 22 points, adding five rebounds and five assists, as he was supported by 12 points off the bench from Amari Williams. Bradley Kaboza and Samuel Keita had 10 points apiece to round out the double figures scorers, as Keita also added nine rebounds to his scoring tally. Westside saw their starters combine for a balanced scoring effort, but as they only went six deep they did not have the punch off the bench to match the Myerscough reserves. Levi Edwards led the charge with 19 points, as Zaid Amini added 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Theo Deleligne chipped in 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Kiam Amodu had 12 points and eight rebounds. 


London United 80 v 66 Sussex Bears

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 4.00pm

Live Stats

London United improved to 2-1 for third in the NBL Division Two standings as they got the job done on Saturday afternoon behind expert execution in the second quarter. A 27-14 second stanza was enough to see United grabbed a double digit lead that they would not relinquish, as their half-term lead only grew down the stretch. The hosts shot 9-14 from behind the arc as an efficient shooting effort helped them on the way to an important victory that sees the West London side back above the .500 mark. Sussex Bears fall to 1-2, as they sit in 6th place in the standings.

Marius Ceponis came off the bench for 16 points for United, while Marius Talijunas also chipped in 16 points, to go along with his eight rebounds. Tomas Butrimas contributed a vital 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Dovydas Rudik rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points. Cordaris Townes continued his excellent form for the south coast side, pouring in 37 points on 15-21 shooting, while adding three rebounds and four assists. James Felstead was the only other double digit scorer for the Bears as he had 19 points on 9-12 shooting. 


Liverpool 95 v 58 East London All Stars

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 5.00pm

Liverpool continued the North West's dominance of NBL Division Two, as they also maintained their undefeated start to the season with a routine win over East London All Stars. The hosts would open up their lead early on with a 22-8 opening period, before their lead grew to 21 at the half-time interval. A 27-12 third period put the game to bed, as Coach Delme Herriman's side cruised to victory down the stretch.

David Ulph led the hosts with 24 points, while Kehinde Ogunneye added 17 and point guard Jack Hudson chipped in 14. Jonathan James had 23 points to pace the visitors, supported by 18 from Max Denham as the Londoners only other double figure scorer. 


Westminster Warriors 93 v 51 London Greenhouse Pioneers

Saturday 27 October 2018 - 5.30pm

Live Stats

The final game of the NBL Division Two Saturday night saw a London derby take place between the Warriors and Pioneers. In a game that never materialised as a contest, the hosts pulled off a routine victory in this one, edging away early on before using a staunch defensive effort to limit the Pioneers to single digit second and fourth quarters. 22 assists for the game from Westminster saw them sharing the ball on the offensive end, in a true team win that saw 11 different scorers chip in.

The team effort for the Warriors was paced by 19 points from Justin Hitchman, supported by 12 points off the bench from Juan Manning. Mantas Adomaitis chipped in 11 points, while Arif Sempala rounded out the double digit scorers with 10. Max Hufschlag paced his Pioneers' side with 12 points and nine rebounds in the loss, while Mariano Lussenhoff added eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. 


Derbyshire Arrows 60 v 75 Ipswich

Sunday 28 October 2018 - 4.00pm

Live Stats

The Sunday game in NBL Division Two saw Ipswich get back to winning ways and improve to 1-2 in league play with their first win of the season. The loss sees Derbyshire fall to 1-2, with the Suffolk-based side able to leap-frog them in the standings. A cagey start to the contest saw the lead exchange multiple times in the first half, before Ipswich settled into the lead early in the third period. A 15-28 third stanza gave the visitors the cushion they needed to pull away and grab the victory in this one. 

The visiting side did a good job limiting Player of the Week Przemyslaw Milak, who went 0-12 from the field and could only find the basket at the foul line, as he ended with just six points on the day. The hosts were paced by 21 points and nine rebounds from Joseph Baugh, while Sheu Matewe chipped in 14 points and four rebounds. Callum McKenzie had a huge game on the boards as he pulled in 19 rebounds to go with 12 points. The Ipswich victory was paced by 22 points five rebounds and five assists from Cameron Hawes, while captain Colin Dockrell added 19 points, 11 rebounds and five steals. Eivydas Aleksa had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals, while young big man Ethan Price had 12 points and pulled down 17 rebounds.


Men's National Cup

The Men's National Cup now has its quarter-final match-ups confirmed, after an exciting Sunday of knockout action. Reigning cup champions Hemel Storm picked up a clutch road 97-105 win over Barking Abbey Crusaders behind 27 points from Leon Henry, setting up a quarter-final tie with Worthing Thunder who were able to defeat Bradford in the Dragons' Den. 

Last campaign's runners-up, Manchester Magic, picked up a 76-60 win on their home floor over the undermanned Reading Rockets, as the North West side will now travel to Essex Leopards who defeated Nottingham McDonald's Hoods. Coach Aurimas Verbukas said after the Magic's win, "Going into this game we knew it wouldn't be easy, we knew Reading's strengths, so would like to take my hat off and thank all the players for executing our game plan. This win is for them and they all deserve this result. I am proud of our players and how they approached this game; we were focused for most of the game - especially on defensive end where we did a really good job."

Meanwhile, Division Three North Team Birmingham Elite's cup dreams were shattered by Leicester Warriors who pulled out a 81-76 win to progress. 


Men's National Cup - Last 16

Loughborough Riders 78-71 London United - Live Stats

Leicester Warriors 81-76 Team Birmingham Elite

Team Newcastle 68-94 Team Solent Kestrels

Liverpool 92-98 Thames Valley Cavaliers

Barking Abbey Crusaders 97-105 Hemel Storm - Live Stats

Bradford Dragons 78-98 Worthing Thunder - Live Stats

Essex Leopards 88-73 Nottingham McDonald's Hoods - Live Stats

Manchester Magic 76-60 Reading Rockets - Live Stats

(please note - Live Stats are not mandatory until the latter stages of the competition, so only teams that have requested game keys will have webcasts)


Men's National Cup - Quarter-Final Draw (Sun 18 Nov)

Hemel Storm vs Worthing Thunder

Leicester Warriors vs Loughborough Riders

Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Team Solent Kestrels

Essex Leopards vs Manchester Magic


Women's National Cup

Reigning champions Ipswich continued their title defence with a clutch 75-76 win on the road at Southwark Pride, as Charlotte Redhead iced the game with two made free throws for the Suffolk-based squad. Meanwhile, Team Solent Kestrels progressed with a routine win over Nottingham Trent University, and Anglia Ruskin were able to pull away late to down Sevenoaks Suns II. Only one WNBL Division Two side has progressed to the quarter-final stage, as Cardiff Met Archers II pulled off a 72-78 win over Division One Oxford Brookes University, behind 21 points from Kimberley Kheing. 


Women's National Cup - Last 16

Nottingham Trent University 53-81 Team Solent Kestrels - Live Stats

London 'South Bank' Thunder vs Reading Rockets (Called Off)

Bristol Academy Flyers 94-45 Northamptonshire Titans - Live Stats

Oxford Brookes University 72-78 Cardiff Met Archers II

Cardiff City 56-81 Loughborough Riders

Southwark Pride 75-76 Ipswich - Live Stats

Anglia Ruskin University 60-55 Sevenoaks Suns II

Team Birmingham Elite 63-51 Barking Abbey

(please note - Live Stats are not mandatory until the latter stages of the competition, so only teams that have requested game keys will have webcasts)


Women's National Cup - Quarter-Final Draw (Sun 18 Nov)

Anglia Ruskin University vs Bristol Academy Flyers

Thunder/Rockets vs Cardiff Met Archers II

Loughborough Riders vs Ipswich

Team Solent Kestrels vs Team Birmingham Elite