BBL: Lions roar past Rocks to extend lead at the top

The London Lions picked up their sixth win on the bounce as they racked up a 91-74 victory over the Glasgow Rocks on Saturday.

A free-flowing first half display saw the Lions up by 20 points at the half as they consigned the Rocks to their fifth loss in a row, despite a spirited display that saw a marked improvement from the Glasgow side in the second half.

The Lions opened the game strongly and flew out the gates in the first half with some excellent basketball, and were led by Dirk Williams 17 points as five Lions players reached double figures in points for the game.

The Rocks were lifted with the introduction of Ronald Delph as they looked to claw back a large Lions lead. Delph posted a double-double off the bench and gave the Rocks an outlet in the paint, finishing off some strong alley-oop in the process.

Glasgow came out stronger in the second half however and managed to cut the Lions lead in half, however they could not climb back from the sizeable first half lead as London ran out comfortable winners at the Copper Box arena in the end.

The Manchester Giants beat rivals Cheshire Phoenix for the third time this season, with star man Breaon Brady putting on a show for the TV cameras, dropping 18 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in an exceptional double-double performance.

All five starters for the Giants reached double-figures for scoring, while the returning big David Ulph impressed off the bench, grabbing nine rebounds and scoring nine points too.

In-form Jimbo Lull only really got going in the second quarter for the Cheshire Phoenix, but after his third bucket, the points kept coming from him as he led the game in scoring with 23 – but his and the rest of the Nix’ efforts were in vein as the Giants took the win back to Manchester.

The next game of the evening saw the London Lions shock the Newcastle Eagles – beating the Geordie side by a whole 20 points as center Chris Tawiah dropped a career-high of 26 points in what was a dominating and ruthless performance.

Dirk Williams also dropped huge numbers, scoring 24 for the Lions, while Fahro Alihodzic and Kevin Ware both played big roles too off the bench – keeping in mind that the Lions play again tomorrow.

There was a rare bad-day at the office by Rahmon Fletcher’s standards, as the Eagles star failed to get into double-digits for scoring or assists, but Evan Maxwell’s 23 points, Cortez Edwards 19 points, and Justin Gordon’s 17 points almost pulled the Eagles back within touching distance – but at the end the Lions’ quality proved just too much.

Meanwhile in the final game of the evening, the Worcester Wolves edged past the Glasgow Rocks in what turned out to be a tight contest, after the Rocks kept trying to peg the Wolves back – with new man Christian Keeling putting up an impressive performance with 20 points and six assists to his name.

But it was experienced star Matthew Bryan-Amaning that led the game in scoring, dropping 21 points, but Jordan Williams’ 18 points and Brandon Anderson’s 17 meant that it was by no means a solo mission.

Keeling was joined by Isa Brandon, Ronald Delph and Boban Jacdonmi in reaching double figures for scoring – and despite the defeat, there were plenty of encouraging signs on show.

And the Leicester Riders took home a six point victory away at the Plymouth Raiders on Thursday.

It was a game that was close from start to finish, and when the Riders looked like pulling away at the end of the third with an eleven point lead, the Raiders dragged themselves back into it early in the fourth.

This was mainly due to the phenomenal performance of Mike Morsell, who dropped a game high 26 points, along with seven rebounds, but his efforts were not enough for the Raiders, who fall to their fifth defeat of the campaign.

Geno Crandall led the game for the Riders, putting in a dominant display all over the court, with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Only two other Riders players made double figures, with Darien Nelson-Henry adding 13 and Alasdair Fraser contributing 12.