NBL1 recap: 29/30/31 March - live streams, stats and more

The Easter weekend provided plenty of thrills and spills across D1M.

With Reading topping Derby on Friday to kick off a seven-game slate, there was plenty of action elsewhere as home-court advantage reigned supreme and no road team managed to pick up a W across the long weekend.

Hemel's regular-season title defence is all but over after their loss to Essex, with the Rebels now firmly locked in a battle with Derby over the final few games.

We take a look at all this weekend action below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Reading Rockets (15-8) 102-94 Derby Trailblazers (18-4)

Reading provided another twist to the D1M title race as they beat Derby 102-94 on Friday afternoon.

The Easter treats came early for Rockets' fans as their side downed the former league leaders behind 60% shooting and a 20-point, six-assist, five rebound outing from guard Mitch Clarke.

The hosts raced out of the blocks to lead 26-11 after the first quarter, eager to avenge their 99-81 loss when the teams last met in mid-February.

That fast start allowed Reading to push their advantage as high as 18 points in the second quarter as the Trailblazers looked for a way to solve their top four chasing opponents.

Trailing 71-57 going into the final 10 minutes, Derby finally found their answer and a 26-9 run across the first six minutes of a frantic fourth quarter would push the visitors into an unlikely three point lead.

Coach Nuruzade's team would regroup to enjoy the best of the final stages though, edging themselves back ahead before sealing their fifteenth win of the season.

Clarke was well supported by Elijah Maynard (21pts, 7reb) and Jermiah Jenkins, who dropped a game-high 26 points off the Reading bench.

Malcolm Smith (24ps, 8reb, 5ast), Corey Johnson (23pts, 5reb) and Sam Masten (23pts, 3reb, 3ast) all played well for Derby, who's title fate is still in their own hands.

Win their final two games against City of Birmingham and Bradford and the Trailblazers will claim a first D1M title since 2009/10, but dropping points will open the door for Essex, who are now narrowly ahead of their rivals having played a game more.


Elsewhere this weekend

Barking Abbey (4-19) picked up a win in their penultimate D1M game as they saw off Thames Valley Cavaliers (8-16) 87-77 behind 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds from BA's Juan Manning.

Loughborough Riders (13-10) secured a top-six spot with a pair of wins on the weekend, beating London Elite (3-20) 85-74 on Saturday before dispatching Bradford Dragons (11-12) 78-64 in Sunday's only game.

Victor Ndoukou (30pts, 5reb, 5ast) was the Riders' star man against Elite before Justin Hedley (27pts, 6ast) stepped up yesterday to down the Dragons.

Nottingham Hoods (10-13) needed a period of OT to knock off Newcastle University (14-9), coming through to win 105-98.

Newcastle's top-four hopes were dealt a potentially fatal blow as the Hoods shared the love on offence, with six players all scoring 14 or more.

Johde Campbell (20pts, 13ast, 7reb), Joshua Guddemi (16pts, 17reb) and Greg Skoric (20pts, 11reb) all provided double-doubles to overcome Emmanuel Kanwei's 22 point, 13 rebond performance.

Essex Rebels (19-4) put all the pressure on rivals Derby as they beat Hemel Storm (18-5) 100-78.

A 31-18 second quarter did the damage for the Rebels as Kyron Martin (16pts, 6reb) and Connor Nelson (15pts, 5/9 3pts) chipped in well alongside Luke Busumbru's 14-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.

City of Birmingham Rockets (9-14) gave their playoff hopes another boost as they beat Worthing Thunder (7-15) 85-61.

CoB now need to win their final game against Derby and hope Nottingham lose away to Worthing next Saturday to steal in and grab the #8 seed.

This weekend's results:

Friday 29 March

2pm - Reading Rockets 102-94 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Saturday 30 March

4pm - Barking Abbey 87-77 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

6pm - Loughborough Riders 85-74 London Elite - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

6:30pm - Nottingham Hoods 105-98 Newcastle University (After 1OT) - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Essex Rebels 100-78 Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets 85-61 Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS

Sunday 31 March

6pm - Loughborough Riders 78-64 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM


Main image credit - Luke Simcock