Cheshire Phoenix 71 (13, 32, 57) (Adekoya 19, May-Thompson 16, Anderson 13)
Reigning BBL Trophy winners Leicester Riders look like they have one foot in another Final after taking a commanding 91-71 win in the first leg of their Semi-Final match-up with Cheshire Phoenix.
Taking advantage of the return of captain Tyler Bernardini and their opponents being without head coach Robbie Peers due to personal reasons, they wasted little time in getting onto the front foot and taking control.
Once again Taylor King proved handful and the forward was into double-figures by half-time as the hosts jumped into the box-seat with a handy 46-32 advantage.
While Cheshire worked hard to try and slow down their opponents, they had no answer and the hosts kept their foot on the gas, with King recording a 19-point and 11-rebound double-double.
The second leg takes place at Cheshire Oaks Arena at 5.30pm on Sunday, with Riders looking to finish the job and set up a meeting against Plymouth Raiders in the Final.
Bristol Flyers 73 (26, 44, 62) (Cosby 17, Boggs 16, Vigor 13)
London Lions 72 (19, 33, 56) (Hassan 18, Taylor 16, Niktash 16)
For the first time since becoming a BBL club, fans at Bristol Flyers watched their team record a historic BBL Championship success against London Lions on their home floor.
And, it came in the most dramatic fashion as Brandon Boggs launched a buzzer-beating triple to seal an absorbing 73-72 victory and break Lions’ hearts.
For much of the game it had looked like Flyers would break their hoodoo in comfort and not least when they had fashioned a double-digit lead at half-time, as they headed into the third quarter with a nice cushion to lean on.
But, Lions had other ideas and came storming back to get themselves back into contention. Both a jump-shot by Zaire Taylor in crunch time and having shut down the Flyers offence to just eight points in the last nine minutes and 59 seconds of the contest, it looked like they would take a two-point win.
However, Boggs stepped up from the wing and hit the clutch-shot as the clock counted down, to spark scenes of jubilation at the WISE Arena.
Surrey Scorchers 77 (14,37,59) (Ogedengbe 24,Taylor 18, Ochereobia 18)
Worcester Wolves 89 (29,47,63) (Huffor 28, Kennedy 16, Walker 16)
Worcester Wolves strengthened seventh spot in the BBL standings after a powerful final quarter killed-off a comeback bid by Surrey Scorchers to seal a fine 77-89 road victory.
Having won their two previous meetings against their Play-Off rivals in the league, Paul James and his side made it three as they hit the ground running – perhaps capitalising on the momentum of their Trophy win on BBC Sport against Plymouth Raiders 24 hours earlier.
They raced into a 20-7 lead after the opening exchanges and while Scorchers looked like they might close the gap after an improved middle couple of quarters which cut the gap to just four points heading into the last period, Wolves shifted back up the gears to ease away again.
Danny Huffor continued his rich vein of form with a 28-point haul for Wolves.
Rob Paternostro’s side defeated Cheshire Phoenix 64-84 as they completed an overall 135-175 success on aggregate with Taylor King scoring 19 points in the road win.
Meanwhile, the Rocks knocked down 19 3-pointer on their way to a 98-80 victory over Plymouth Raiders with GB captain Kieron Achara netting a game-high 26 points.
Leeds Force secured an important win at the bottom as 21 points from Jack Isenbarger helped his side overcome Manchester Giants in a 71-81 road victory.
Cheshire Phoenix 64 (15,29,47) (Allen-Jordan 19, Adekoya/May-Thompson 12)
Leicester Riders 84 (13,47,65) (King 19, Clark 16, Thomson 15)
Leicester Riders secured their place in the BBL Trophy Final with a 64-84 victory away at Cheshire Phoenix completing a convincing overall success.
The defending champions trailed after 10 minutes on the night, but responded with a huge second period en route to a 135-175 triumph on aggregate.
Taylor King top scored with 19 points with four players reaching double figures as the Riders extended their club-record win streak to 14 games.
The home side made an 8-2 start and still led by the end of the first period despite being pegged back by the Riders. However, the game changed in the second as Leicester went on a 15-2 run in the midst of racking up 34 points to establish an 18-point lead at the half.
The damage had been done with Cheshire needing to win the second half by at least 38 points, though they continued to fight and shared the third period to halt their opponents’ charge.
Leicester edged the final quarter to secure back-to-back 20-point wins to book their place at the Emirates Arena in style.
Dii’jon Allen-Jordan scored 19 points off the bench for Cheshire, but they were unable to overturn the first-leg deficit and focus now turns to their push for the Play-Offs.
The Riders have now reached the BBL Trophy Final in four of the last five years and will play Plymouth Raiders on 19 March.
Glasgow Rocks 98 (14,45,70) (Achara 26, Watson/Murray 20)
Plymouth Raiders 80 (10,36,55) (Corletto 21, Dixon 16, Grady 15)
Glasgow Rocks closed the gap on the league’s top two after beating Plymouth Raiders 98-80 behind an impressive shooting display from long range.
The home side continued to pull away throughout the game as they improve to a 16-5 record, whilst claiming the head-to-head between the two sides.
Kieron Achara finished with a game-high 26 points, while Gareth Murray and Neil Watson added 20 points apiece as the trio made 15 3-pointers between them.
Watson opened with back-to-back triples and added a third late in the opening period as both teams struggled to get going with Plymouth shooting below 25% after the first.
The visitors made a better start to the second and quickly doubled their points total, but Kieron Achara knocked down consecutive threes to help the Rocks establish a 34-24 advantage.
Glasgow made nine threes in the first half, but it was a triple from Daryl Corletto – who finished with 21 points – that ended the half as his side went into the interval, down 45-36.
The Rocks continued to find their range from downtown in the third as the lead increased to 15 points before another strong surge in the fourth. Plymouth trailed by as many as 24 points and produced a late run, but it was not enough as they fell to their 10th league defeat.
The Raiders will return to the Emirates Arena for the BBL Trophy Final on 19 March.
Manchester Giants 71 (11,30,47) (Okoro 16, Jones 14, Trobo 11)
Leeds Force 81 (22,39,54) (Isenbarger 21, Sandoval 19, Marsden/Matthew 14)
Leeds Force avoided dropping to the bottom of the BBL Championship after beating Manchester Giants 71-81 for their fifth league victory.
Jack Isenbarger led the way with 21 points, while Robert Sandoval added valuable support with 19 points along with nine assists as he narrowly missed out on a double-double.
After an even start, Eddie Matthew exploded for all of his 14 points in a 16-2 burst to help Force establish lead 6-20. The Giants responded with a 12-0 run across quarters, only for Leeds to respond in kind with the next 12 points.
The lead was cut to single figures at the half, and despite trailing by 14 in the third, the Giants halved their deficit ahead of the final period.
Manchester closed to within three early in the fourth, but were kept at bay and a 9-2 run from the visitors proved decisive as they wrapped up the victory.
Jerelle Okoro led the Giants with 16 points but they remain bottom with a 4-21 record as they face a tough battle to make the Play-Offs.
|2||Esh Group Eagles Newcastle||22||18||4||36|
|4||DBL Sharks Sheffield||21||13||8||26|