BBL: Leicester Riders shoot to top of the table

Leicester Riders and Cheshire Phoenix both secured comfortable wins in an entertaining Sunday afternoon of BBL action.

The first game of the afternoon saw Leicester Riders put in a superb performance as they comfortably overcame Surrey Scorchers 103-76 at the Morningside Arena. Surrey started the brighter side and were ahead by 2 at the end of the first. However, Leicester put in back to back 30-point quarters that saw them pull away from the visitors as they went on to play out the game.

Geno Crandall put in a trademark explosive display as he finished with 19 points and 10 assists. He was just 3 rebounds away from securing a triple-double. Connor Washington and William Lee both contributed 15 points in a well rounded team performance.

For Scorchers, Tayo Ogedengbe was the standout player with 19 points but he could not do enough for his Surrey side that remain bottom of the league. Riders eighth win out of nine sees them move level on points with London Lions and Newcastle Eagles at the top of the table.

The second game of the day saw Cheshire Phoenix travel to Manchester where they put in an impressive display to beat Manchester Giants 88-70. Phoenix started on the front foot and were up by 27 at half time. The Giants looked to have come out a different team after the break, winning the third quarter 19-7. Despite their best-efforts Giants could not get back into the game and Phoenix closed out comfortably.

K Ross put up 20 points including an effort that saw his shot from behind the glass loop over and land in the net. Phoenix picked up there fourth win of the season. Giants now sit in fourth place with 5 wins and 5 losses.

The Leicester Riders edged the B.Braun Sheffield Sharks in a Friday night thriller at the Morningside Arena, as the Newcastle Eagles, Glasgow Rocks and Plymouth Raiders all picked up crucial victories in an action packed Friday night of BBL basketball.

Geno Crandall’s floater with five seconds left on the clock secured a huge win for the Raiders, who were 7 points clear going into the final quarter before an incredible Sharks comeback. The Eagles followed up their BBL Cup win with an impressive victory over the Bristol Flyers to go joint top of the Championship table, whilst the Scorchers bounced back from last week’s disappointment and the Raiders picked up their third win on the bounce.

The night’s action tipped off in Newcastle as a buoyant Eagles side looked to keep up their good form after their incredible BBL Cup win last week. A tight first half was capped by an incredible play from last week’s MVP Justin Gordon, whose explosive dunk set the tone for an Eagles side which saw two players finish with double doubles.

Cortez Edwards and Rahmon Fletcher were the responsible parties, with the latter racking up an incredible 15 assists. The Flyers were led by Eric Lockett’s 22 points and cut the lead to as little as 5 points after trailing by as much as 19 earlier in the game, however the Eagles maintained their lead and picked up the all important points.

Leicester and Sheffield fought out an extremely competitive affair shortly after, as the Riders looked to continue their impressive start to the season which has seen them lose only one game in the Championship so far this season. After another close affair in the first half, the Riders started to pull away and found themselves 10 points clear with just over four minutes remaining in the ballgame.

However an incredible 9-0 run from the Sharks brought the Riders to within one point, however Crandall took over in the clutch and his floater with only seconds remaining on the clock broke Sharks hearts and spared Riders’ blushes as they kept up their fine start to the season.

Tonight’s feature game on Sky Sports certainly did not disappoint, as the bottom two teams in the league played out an explosive, high-scoring affair. The Rocks started brightly with Ronald Delph dominating the inside, as the American ended the game with a game-high 25 points. Player-coach Gareth Murray was electric from three-point range as he buried six from nine efforts from beyond the arc.

The Scorchers came out strong in the second half and some huge defensive plays in the fourth quarter capped by a Connor Cashaw steal saw them pull away in the fourth quarter and cap off a huge victory after the disappointment of last week. Emondre Rickman had a huge second half for the Scorchers, as he posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds to help the Scorchers pick up the away win.

Tonight’s final game saw the Plymouth Raiders continue their fine form as they picked up their third win on the bounce against the Manchester Giants. The Raiders flew out the gates in the first period and built on those foundations in an impressive performance. Ashley Hamilton led the Raiders with an impressive 21 points to go along with eight rebounds, as they led the Giants in assists by 25 to 10.

Sam Cassell Jr. had an impressive outing for the Giants has he racked up 24 points, however it was not enough as the Raiders built a lead as high as 27 points during the contest.