An action-packed super Sunday culminated in an incredible comeback from the Glasgow Rocks as they toppled Plymouth Raiders, whilst Sheffield Sharks, London Lions and Newcastle Eagles also picked up victories in an enthralling day of BBL action.
After a bruising defeat to the Bristol Flyers on Saturday, the Rocks picked up an incredible overtime win in Plymouth after trailing the Raiders by 12 points going into the fourth quarter. The Sharks’ exhilarating offence saw them breeze past the Flyers in what was an electric four quarters of basketball, and the Lions and Eagles picked up grinding victories in two hard-fought, high-scoring games.
Coach Gareth Murray led from the front as he scored a game-high 21 points and played all 45 minutes in a phenomenal display, capped by 44% shooting from three-point range.
The Sharks were led by Antwon Lillard’s 19 points and were ahead by 25 at the half-time mark, shooting an impressive 54% from the field. London racked up a huge 110 points in a hard-fought win against a determined Cheshire side, led by Orlando Parker’s 25 points in front of a welcomed return for the Cheshire fans in the Cheshire Oaks Arena. The final game of the day saw the Eagles improve to 2-1 as they picked up an impressive victory on the road against the Giants, capped by an impressive double-double from the electric Cortez Edwards.
Glasgow’s victory means that all sides in the BBL now have their names marked in the win column in what is set up to be a tight and exhilarating BBL season, in a day filled with incredible comebacks, thrilling highlight plays and great adverts for British basketball.
Saturday night in the BBL Championship saw a first win of the league season for Surrey Scorchers, while Bristol Flyers put up close to a century on Glasgow Rocks.
Scorchers edged out Cheshire Phoenix 74-70 to snap an 0-2 start to their league campaign, with a balanced scoring display as Connor Cashaw had 11 points, five rebounds and six assists; and British wing Evan Walshe matched his points total, with six rebounds and five important assists.
Surrey held a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter, but succumbed to a Cheshire surge as they saw their lead cut to just one point inside the final four minutes.
But Scorchers scored the next six points out of a timeout, with Evan Walshe scoring four and finding Tayo Ogedengbe for a momentum-changing ‘alley-oop’ to make it 68-61 with two minutes to play.
Cheshire got back to within two, but a couple of crucial offensive rebounds on the penultimate possession enabled Connor Cashaw to seal the game from the line.
Meanwhile, Flyers moved to 2-1 with a 96-54 defeat of the winless Glasgow Rocks, as British big Marcus Delpeche put up a BBL career high 32 points on an unstoppable 15-18 (83%) shooting.
After a tight start, Flyers held a single-figure lead heading into the halftime break, before a spectacular third quarter.
Bristol won the third by 37-3 – the biggest single quarter differential in the BBL in at least a decade – as Delpeche poured in 18 of his points in those ten minutes, capped by an ‘alley-oop’ from a Panos Mayindombe assist on the final possession of the period, making the score 77-36.
And on Friday night, the Worcester Wolves claimed their first win of the BBL Championship as they defeated high flyers Manchester Giants, who were undefeated in their first two games.
This victory came from a stunning performance from point-guard Maarten Bouwknecht, who put up a game high 29 points along with four rebounds and six assists.
Micah Elan added 21 points on the night, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning notched another double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.
After winning their first two games, the Giants arrived in Worcester with confidence, but only three players managed to make double digit points, with Lyle Hexon adding 24, but the side still sit second in the BBL Championship.
It was a hugely successful night for the London Lions, as the side hit triple digits in points, defeating the Plymouth Raiders, who also came into the game unbeaten.
The Raiders flew out the gates storming to an early first quarter lead, however a huge second and third quarter from the Lions quickly brought the game into their favour.
Recent acquisition Orlando Parker dropped 22 for the Lions, with Deandre Liggins and Kevin Ware adding 19 and 17 respectively.
It was a tough night for the Raiders, but captain Ashley Hamilton had a huge performance, with 31 points off 9-13 shooting, along with four rebounds and five assists.
Finally, the Leicester Riders sunk the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks to take an early lead in the BBL Championship table, as they jump up to first place.
WIlliam Lee was close to a double-double on the night, as he led the Riders in scoring with 17 and added nine rebounds.
Conner Washington came off the bench to provide an efficient 13 points as well as four rebounds and four assists, to help the Riders take control of what was a close encounter until late in the final quarter.
Jeremy Hemsley top scored for the Sharks on the night with 20 points, but it was a tough night for the visitors from beyond the arc, as they made only three three points attempts, shooting 16%.