NBL Playoffs: Semi-finalists now confirmed

We are at the Final Fours of the NBL and WNBL Playoffs.

All remaining teams are now just one win away from booking a place at Manchester's National Basketball Performance Centre for the Senior Playoff Finals on 27 and 28 April 2024.

By the end of the weekend we will know the finalists for our five senior showpiece games.

We take a look forward to next week's match-ups, whilst also recapping the action from the last few days.

Live stats for D1M, D1W and D2M can be found HERE. Get tickets for the Playoff Finals HERE.

NBL Division One

The only upset to open the post-season was a big one as #7 Bradford Dragons dumped #2 seeds Essex Rebels out of the playoffs, with an 87-79 final score.

The teams entered the final frame tied at 58 but it was the Dragons who would enjoy the upper hand in the final ten minutes to pull off a famous win.

Twenty nine points from Bradford's Justin Williams involved going 6/9 from beyond the arc as Zion Tordoff chipped in a 20/12 double-double.

Bradford will move on to play Hemel Storm, who kept their playoff defence on track with a 90-80 victory over #6 Loughborough.

Twenty seven points from Taylor Johnson and an 18-point, 14-assists double-double from Sam Newman got Storm over the line, cancelling out 26 points from Elijah Bailey.

Top seeds Derby Trailblazers enjoyed a straightforward 108-67 victory over #8 seeds Nottingham Hoods thanks to 27 points from Malcolm Smith, and Reading eased past Newcastle in the #4 v #5 clash, winning 96-60 as Elijah Maynard dropped 22 points.

That leaves Derby to host Reading next week, a team they lost to on the road at the end of March.

The other semi-final sees Bradford hunting for another upset against Hemel, with the teams splitting their regular-season contests one apiece as both road teams pulled off wins.

WNBL Division One

The D1W playoffs opened with few surprises as the top four seeds all progressed.

Regular-season champs Endeavour Ipswich Basketball made short work of #8 Bristol Academy Flyers, winning 81-60 as Liv Forster poured in five triples on her way to a game-high 22 points.

League runners up Thames Valley are also safely through as they dispatched #7 Anglia Ruskin University 61-55.

Chinwe Iwunze was the standout for TVC as she dropped 27 points, with team-mate Helene Trailin adding an 11-point, 15-rebound double-double.

CoLA are another team moving forward after they ended the run of #6 Reading Rockets, 72-56.

Guard Violet Stutz hit six of her seven efforts to close on a highly-efficient 15 points, whilst forward Felicia Jacobs added another 14 points.

That just left #4 Brent Bulls to beat #5 Loughborough Riders 86-65 behind 33 points from Judit Fritz.

Those results set up a pair of mouth-watering contests for next week as the regular season's top four all square off.

Brent will try to make it third time lucky against Ipswich after falling in both encounters so far this campaign, and CoLA Southwark Pride will head to Thames Valley Cavaliers in what should be a much-anticipated contest.

NBL Division Two

With St Helens safely through a week ago, that left three games to be settled this past weekend.

None were close as the top seeds all sailed through, with Jordan Spencer's absurd 22-point, 23-rebound, 14-assist triple-double in Milton Keynes' 108-69 victory over Teesside Lions a worthy highlight.

#2 seeds Team Solent Kestrels had no problem seeing off #3 seeds Manchester Magic, coming out on top 95-65, and North winners Bristol Hurricanes beat Cardiff Met Archers by a near-identical score, 95-64.

Solent's Isa Brandon (25pts, 8reb, 7stl, 5ast) and Bristol's James Claar (21pts, 5reb) were the standouts as both teams progressed.

The regular season's top two from both conferences will now lock horns next weekend for what should be a great pair of games.

National Cup and South division winners Milton Keynes will be at home to St Helens Saints, and there's a blockbuster clash in the West Country as South runners up Team Solent Kestrels head to Bristol Hurricanes.

WNBL Division Two

Sheffield Hatters II's title defence remains on course as they hammered Thames Valley Cavaliers II 107-42 behind 31 points from Helen Naylor.

Pool II winners Cobham Cobras didn't have it quite so easy though, coming from behind to win 73-72 against North #4 seeds Bromsgrove Bears.

There was also excitement between Worcester Wolves and East London Phoenix, with the Wolves just scraping through 72-71. Carolina Marques more than did her part to drag the hosts into the next round as she dropped 38 points.

That just left London All Stars to see off University of East Anglia, with the Londoners coming through a low-scoring contest to win 59-48.

The All Stars now face the daunting task of a trip to Sheffield Hatters II, and Pool II winners Cobham welcome North #2 seeds Worcester Wolves.

NBL Division Three

#5 seeds Loughborough were the only surprise package this past weekend, winning their #4 v #5 contest against Cardiff City 81-79.

27 points from Chris Bigley saw #3 Liverpool past #6 Crawley Storm 75-68, and there was also success for #2 seeds Barnet Bulldogs as they used a 29-16 final quarter to beat East London Phoenix 96-80.

That just left top seeds Essex Rebels II to continue their unbeaten campaign as they tacked another win onto their haul with a 69-57 victory over Nottingham Trent Hoods.

The Rebels can keep on rolling all the way to Manchester if they can top Loughborough next weekend, with Liverpool's trip to Barnet making up the other half of the draw.

This weekend's fixtures:

NBL Division One

Saturday - 7pm - Hemel Storm vs Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

Saturday - 7:30pm - Derby Trailblazers vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

WNBL Division One

Saturday - 1pm - Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs Brent Bulls - LIVE STATS

Sunday - 1:30pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs CoLA Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS

NBL Division Two

Saturday - 6:30pm - Bristol Hurricanes vs Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

Sunday - 5pm - Milton Keynes Breakers vs St Helens Saints - LIVE STATS

WNBL Division Two

Saturday - 2:30pm - Cobham Cobras vs Worcester Wolves

Sunday - 5pm - Sheffield Hatters II vs London All Stars

NBL Division Three

Saturday - 3pm - Barnet Bulldogs vs Liverpool

Saturday - 4pm - Essex Rebels II vs Loughborough Riders II