BBL Cup semis confirmed after quarter-final weekender

Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks and Manchester Giants booked their place in the semi-finals of the BBL Cup after beating Bristol Flyers and Surrey Scorchers respectively in a thrilling Sunday evening of British basketball action.

Rocks found themselves four points down after the first quarter but battled back in a tight encounter to lead 43-42 at the half time break.

The game was close-fought throughout with the sides unable to be separated in the third quarter. Both scored 21 points to give Rocks a 64-63 lead and set up a night-biting finale.

Flyers looked to have won the game as they led by seven points with only seven seconds on the clock before a Jonny Bunyan three-pointer leveled the game up and sent the game into overtime.

Glasgow were the team to kick on in overtime and eventually went on to secure the 95-90 win. Ali Fraser put in an MVP performance for the home side as he finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Mike Miller led the scoring charts for Flyers with 22 points.

Manchester Giants also found themselves behind after the first quarter before recovering to lead Surrey Scorchers 52-47 at half time.

Scorchers won the third quarter 18-16 in a low scoring period, narrowing the gap to just three points going into the last.

Giants, however, played the game out to wrap up a 95-92 victory and book their spot in the next round of the cup.

Martaveous Mcknight starred for Giants as he contributed a team-high 18 points while Tyrick Armstrong also had a good game as he finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. For Scorchers, Lemar Hamrick scored 19 points in a game-high performance.

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks made a strong start at the Copper Box Arena in the first of Saturday night's BBL Cup Quarter Finals, as they powered to a 7-2 lead in the capital behind some aggressive play inside and perfect free-throw shooting from Bennett Koch, but once the London Lions weathered that storm they were rampant in routing the visitors on the way to a 32-point win.

An 11-0 run helped put Vince Macaulay’s side in the driving seat at the end of the first quarter, which the European contenders won by six, before doing the same in the second period behind virtuoso shooting performances from Dirk Williams and Lorenzo Cugini who combined for 34 of the Lions’ 46 points at the interval, eventually notching 50 in total between them.

Former BBL MVP Justin Robinson showed he is improving by the game after a lengthy injury lay-off, with three points and six assists in 10 first-half minutes for the Lions – securing 11 points and eight assists by the end of the game – but it was the three-point shooting that really put the Sharks under pressure in this one, as they scored just one of 11 attempts in the opening 20 minutes.

The third quarter saw the Lions pounce immediately, not giving the Sharks any chance to find a rhythm, on their way to a 27-9 score total in that period, with another stellar performance from Jordan Williams seeing him sit near a triple-double by the end of this quarter with 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists – he would never find those final two dimes in the ball game.

Sheffield were right there with London in a much closer final quarter, but the damage had already been done as the Lions cantered to a massive win in the capital to keep their fantastic form going.

After being well beaten by their rivals, the Manchester Giants, last night, Cheshire Phoenix needed a response as they headed to the Morningside Arena to take on the Leicester Riders in their quarterfinal tie, and boy did they give one as they powered to a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to balanced scoring contributions from across the roster.

Reigning BBL MVP Geno Crandall came alive for the home side in the second quarter as he drained 13 points to bring the Riders back to level terms by the end of the half, whilst former Leicester favourite Namon Wright hit double figures for Cheshire to make sure Ben Thomas’ side were tied at the end of the second quarter.

Ben Mockford, back in Phoenix colours, found Leicester to be a happy hunting ground once again as he’d racked up 21 points by the end of the third quarter – all of which came from beyond the arc – on his way to 30 in total, and it was behind his scoring that Cheshire were able to take a slender lead into the final 10 minutes of action.

The Phoenix looked to be able to keep the Riders at arm’s length in the opening stages of the fourth quarter, but a four-point play by Conner Washington had the deficit down to two with seven minutes to play, and both sides traded big blows right up until the final seconds, where the Riders were able to hold onto a slender one-point lead and book a BBL Cup Semi-Final slot against the London Lions.

The full semi-final line-up is now confirmed with Leicester Riders facing London Lions and Glasgow Rocks taking on Manchester Giants.

And Manchester Giants put in a dominant performance in the North-West derby to comfortably beat Cheshire Phoenix 109-81 in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night in the Championship.

The sides couldn’t be separated after a cagey first quarter that saw both teams miss clear chances as they struggled to get into the game.

Giants, however, took it up a notch in the second quarter. The home side scored a massive 35 points and limited Phoenix to just 11 to take the game away from the visitors.

Phoenix finished the third quarter well to limit their loss in the period to just 1 point but went into the fourth and final quarter 81-58 down with the game out of reach.

Giants added 28 points in the final quarter to bring up triple digits and secure a comfortable win.

Tyrik Armstrong put in an MVP double-double performance of 13 points, 10 steals and 7 assists for Giants while Namon Wright was the standout player for Phoenix, contributing 28 points in an impressive game-high performance.