Solent's victory on the road in Thames Valley coupled with losses for Worthing and Nottingham puts the Kestrels in pole position for top spot heading into the final stages of the season.
That Nottingham loss came courtesy of a thriller for the NBL Live crew to enjoy as Newcastle narrowly edged out the Hoods in one of the games of the weekend, whilst the two remaining D1M sides in the BBL Trophy were also eliminated on Friday night as Derby lost to Bristol and Thames Valley were downed by Glasgow.
There's a recap of all this weekend's action below, and each result is also clickable if you wish to view the live stats.
Solent pulled further ahead of their closest challengers after beating Thames Valley 99-76.
It was a familiar showing from the three-peat champs, with a 37-21 opening frame setting the South coast side up for a near tip to buzzer victory.
As has often been the case this season, Luke Busumbru enjoyed a do-it-all performance to close on 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, adding a pair of blocks and two steals to his afternoon's work. Forward Travis Charles also added a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double.
After falling behind early, Thames Valley tried to salvage something from the situation and claimed the second quarter 24-15 to trail by seven at the half.
Scoring just 11 points in the third would doom TVC however, despite a 19 point, 12 rebound double-double from Hakeem Sylla and a game-high 20 points from Jakobi Bonner.
Solent win comfortably at TVC.— bbl fix (@BblFix) February 6, 2022
📸 Luke Simcock pic.twitter.com/bTjQY8ZZXH
The result means TSK now own the head-to-head tie breaker with Thames Valley, should the two teams be level on points at the end of the regular season.
Also owning the tie breaker with fellow challengers Worthing, it means coach Guymon's side are in a great spot to retain their crown with 10 games of the season remaining, and four of those games are against teams currently in the bottom four of the standings.
Third place Nottingham may emerge as the most likely challengers to Solent's quest for a fourth straight title, they play the Kestrels twice in the coming weeks.
In a huge clash at the bottom of the standings, both Oaklands Wolves (2-14) and Leicester Warriors (2-15) left it all out on the court as Oaklands triumphed 80-79.
Trailing by six points in the final frame, the Wolves left the best 'til last as they stormed back to claim a valuable victory behind 20 points from Tola Okiki.
Essex Rebels (2-14) also fell just short this weekend, losing 80-78 on the road against Bradford Dragons (7-9).
Bradford had led by over 20 points in the fourth but took their eye of the ball as the visitors ripped off a late 18-0 run to set up a nail-biting finish.
The hosts would hold on, thanks in part to an 11-point, 11-rebound, seven assist, six steal effort from Rihards Sulcs, whilst Jake Eynon had 26 points for Essex.
London Lions II (8-9) are now 1-4 in their last five and tasted defeat twice this weekend. Loughborough Riders (5-12) took advantage of the London side's loss of form on Saturday to win 94-86 thanks to 20 points and 11 boards from Victor Ndoukou, before Bradford beat the Lions 100-80 on Sunday.
Tom Child banks it in on the half time buzzer!— bbl fix (@BblFix) February 6, 2022
🎥 Rebels pic.twitter.com/ubWykz2Psl
Hemel Storm (11-5) guard Bode Adeluola became became just the second player to pass 3,000 D1M points in the 82-78 win over Reading Rockets (8-9).
The milestone accompanied a valuable win for the hosts, who used a 22-9 fourth quarter to come from behind and steal the points.
Hemel's Taylor Johnson (25pts, 7reb, 6ast) and Reading's Jaz Bains (29pts, 6reb, 5ast) both played hard in this one, as forward Meshack Lufile added a 20 point, 14 rebound double-double for the Rockets.
The NBL Live cameras were treated to plenty of offence as Team Newcastle University (9-6) beat Nottingham Hoods (11-4) 98-95.
Trailing by 12 going into the final quarter, Nottingham did all they could to claw things back but fell just short as Logan Bailey's triple on the buzzer couldn't hit the mark.
Newcastle guard David Moya poured in an impressive 31 points, as Morakinyo Williams had 22 in reply for Nottingham.
Worthing Thunder (14-4) have now lost back-to-back games as they went down 81-72 on the road against Derby Trailblazers (10-6).
Seventeen points, eight assists and five boards from Ryan Bruggeman was too much for Worthing, who were led by 19 points from Jarred Dixon.
The weekend closed with an 82-71 win for Reading over Essex, with the hosts no doubt wondering what might have been.
Trailing by six points going into the fourth, Essex scored just 10 points in the final quarter to fall short of what would have been their third win of the season.
Reading's Meshack Lufile put in one of the performances of the weekend to score 32 points on 13-16 shooting, adding 12 rebounds for good measure.
The NBL's participation in this season's BBL Trophy ended for another season this past week as both remaining teams lost on Friday night.
Derby Trailblazers battled hard against Bristol Flyers before coming up short 90-70.
Ryan Bruggeman (26pts, 6reb) was the clear standout for the hosts, but Bristol slowly pulled away before a 30-12 final quarter put the result beyond doubt. The visitors were powered by 28 points from Marcus Evans.
Thames Valley forced overtime against Glasgow Rockets, but would end up second best in the extra period to lose 97-91.
Fighting back from a double-digit deficit in the second half, the Cavs would eventually edge in front late before the BBL side took the chance to send the game to OT.
From there the Rocks claimed the extra period 15-9 to advance to the semi-finals.
Hakeem Sylla once again put his full skill set on display to finish on 30 points and nine boards as Jakobi Bonner added 27 points and another nine rebounds.
Alasdair Fraser top scored for the visitors, he had 21 points off the bench.
7:30pm - BBL Trophy - Derby Trailblazers 70-90 Bristol Flyers - LIVE STATS
7:30pm - BBL Trophy - Thames Valley Cavaliers 91-97 Glasgow Rocks - LIVE STATS
3pm - Oaklands Wolves 80-79 Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS
6:15pm - Bradford Dragons 80-78 Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS
7pm - Hemel Storm 82-78 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
3:30pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 76-99 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
4:15pm - Bradford Dragons 100-80 London Lions II - LIVE STATS
4:15pm - Derby Trailblazers 81-72 Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS
5pm - Essex Rebels 71-82 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
Main image credit - Luke Simcock