BBL: Riders pick up huge victory against Patriots as Lions, Rocks and Phoenix all win

Leicester Riders put in a dominant showing on a busy day of BBL Cup action, whilst London Lions maintained their perfect start to the season and there were big wins for Glasgow Rocks and Cheshire Phoenix.

The Riders hit triple digits in a huge performance against Plymouth City Patriots, and huge fourth quarter performances from the Lions, Rocks and Phoenix capped off an entertaining Sunday.

The day’s action tipped off in Plymouth with the Riders looking to follow up on Friday’s impressive away win over Bristol, whilst Plymouth were looking for their first win of the season.

The Riders flew out the gates and held Plymouth to only 30 first half points. They carried that momentum into the second and dominated the Patriots in another convincing away showing.

Zach Jackson led all scorers with 25 points whilst Geno Crandall added 17 points to go with eight rebounds in another impressive Riders performance.

Lions looking strong

In the day’s other game from the South Group the Lions tightened their grip at the top of the standings as they made it a perfect five from five. That record looked to be under threat as Bristol Flyers raced into an 11-point lead at half-time, however a huge second half display from the Lions ensured they would keep their 100% record.

The game was tied with just over a minute remaining in the ballgame, however some personal runs from Isaiah Reece and Julian Washburn, who finished the game with a double double, secured a big win for the Lions.

Washburn finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds whilst Dirk Williams added 28 points on an impressive 11-15 shooting.

Attentions then turned to the North as Glasgow edged a tight affair with Manchester Giants after a huge final quarter push. The Giants went into the game top of the North Group as they looked to make it four wins from five.

They came up against a Rocks side who knew they would go level on points with the Giants if they took the win in Manchester, and after a gritty three periods they edged the final quarter to pick up a big away win.

Five Rocks players ended the game in double figures for points, with Jaycee Hillsman racking up 18 points and 13 rebounds in a dominant showing for Glasgow.

NIx in good nick

In the day’s final game Cheshire Phoenix ensured they would be joining the Rocks and the Giants at the top of the standings with a big second half performance against Sheffield Sharks.

The Sharks started the brighter of the sides and built an early lead going into half-time, however Cheshire found their footing offensively in the second half and led by Namon Wright’s 21 points ensured they would end the weekend at the right end of the table.

Jonathon Williams had an impressive showing for the Sharks with a team high 20 points, however the day belonged to Cheshire as their final quarter performance rounded off an enthralling day of British Basketball.

A busy Friday night of BBL Cup group stage action has resulted in London Lions gaining a bit of daylight in the South, while Manchester Giants topped a tight North Group, in which Newcastle Eagles also picked up their first win of the season.

Lions remain perfect in the Cup, now 4-0 after an 88-73 defeat of Surrey Scorchers at the Copper Box Arena, Isaiah Reese leading the way with a big double-double of 16 points and 14 assists.

Lions were dominant from the off and raced into a 13-2 lead after an early Chris Tawiah dunk and a triple from Dirk Williams – one of his four as he led all scorers on 20 points. They never trailed thereafter and saw the lead reach 52-29 by the half as Lorenzo Cugini came from the bench to hit a pair of three-pointers, including a buzzer-beater.

Elsewhere in the South, Leicester Riders avenged a previous defeat to Bristol Flyers with a hard-fought 75-67 road win, Geno Crandall and Zach Jackson scoring 13 each, while Mo Walker came from the bench to make a huge impact by grabbing 12 rebounds.

Riders led by as much as 15 in the first half, only to see the hosts eat into that advantage and come all the way back to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter on a Trejon Jacob score.

But the league champions showed their poise, and Marc Loving hit a corner three on the very next possession to restore the lead before Walker grabbed an offensive board and put-back soon after to spark a 9-0 burst that settled the contest.

Classy Clark

Meanwhile, in the North, Manchester Giants moved to 3-1 and now top the tightly-contested group outright after an 85-68 defeat of B. Braun Sheffield Sharks at Ponds Forge, GB Captain Dan Clark coming close to a triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.

After a tight first half, Tyrik Armstrong beat the halftime buzzer to put Giants up by one and swing the momentum in the game. They then used a 25-12 third quarter to win it, as Clark hit three early three-pointers in succession before they hit a 12-1 finish to the stanza in which Martaveous McKnight scored six on his way to 19 points.

There was no way back for the Sharks, who now slip to 2-2 in the group alongside both Cheshire Phoenix and Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks on the same record.

The other team in that group, the reigning BBL Cup champions Newcastle Eagles, got their first win of this campaign at the fourth time of asking with a comfortable 94-74 defeat of the Phoenix at Vertu Motors Arena, as both Rahmon Fletcher (13 points and 14 assists) and Darius Defoe (19 points and 10 rebounds) finished with double-doubles.

After Eagles started fast, Cheshire got back to within one shot in the third period until Wesley Person Jr. hit back-to-back three-pointers en route to 16 points off the bench. Newcastle then poured in 31 fourth quarter points to win it by double-figures, as Kyle Williams hit all of the points in an early 9-0 surge that put them 72-57 in front.