|Both Cheshire Phoenix and Bristol Flyers moved to eye-catching 3-1 records by winning their games on Saturday night.
Phoenix recorded three wins on the bounce by outlasting the still winless Surrey Scorchers 94-116, with Momcilo Latinovic, Jordan Session and Daniel Norl all racking up more than 20 points.
The tension was unbearable at the WISE Arena, but the home fans went home happy as Bristol Flyers pipped Glasgow Rocks 85-83 – helped by 18 critical points from Lewis Champion, who had a shooting night to remember.
Surrey Scorchers 94 – 116 Cheshire Phoenix (25-24, 44-56, 67-87)
Cheshire Phoenix have made it three wins in a row, picking up their first road victory of the season with a comprehensive 116-94 defeat of Surrey Scorchers to move to 3-1.
It was a first win in their last four visits to Surrey, with the hosts having won five of the last six meetings between the teams, but now slipping to 0-4 for the season.
Leading scorers – Ogedengbe 22, Taylor 20, Williams 17 (Scorchers); Latinovic 26, Session 25, Norl 23 (Phoenix)
Turning point – Phoenix put up a massive 32 second quarter points, including an 11-2 finish to lead 56-44, a run capped by a Jordan Session three-pointer with their last offence of the half. The visitors then opened the third quarter with a decisive 14-2 run as Session scored six more for 70-46. In all, it was a 25-4 surge in a six minute spell over the halftime break and they were never threatened from there.
Key stat – Phoenix were extremely effective on the offensive glass. They had 16 offensive rebounds, from which they scored 25 second chance points, including 18 in the first half. Session grabbed five of those boards.
Game hero(es) – Cheshire had an unstoppable trio of Momcilo Latinovic (26), Jordan Session (25) and Daniel Norl (23) who shot a combined 67% from the field. Latinovic led that, at 84%, while Session pulled in a huge 15 rebounds for a massive double-double.
Bristol Flyers 85 – 83 Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks (21-18, 40-35, 58-57)
Bristol Flyers came through a second thriller in two nights as they beat Glasgow Rocks 85-83, with Lewis Champion guiding them home once more in a game that went down to the wire.
It’s a third win in a row for Flyers in the 2018/19 BBL Championship campaign, and they have also won four of the last five against Glasgow, including the last three on their home floor.
Leading scorers – Champion 18, Thomas 15, Falzon 13 (Flyers); Ndiaye 15, Pryor 15, Murray 14 (Rocks)
Turning point – With the teams close throughout, Rocks were leading heading into the final five minutes. But Lewis Champion inspired a run in which Bristol scored 10 in a row, including five for himself and getting a crucial steal to enable Daniel Edozie to score, as they led 75-70 inside the final three minutes. It was still close, settled by an ‘and-one’ play from Fred Thomas with 20 seconds remaining.
Key stat – Bristol dominated the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Glasgow 53-41. That included 17 offensive rebounds, resulting in 16 second chance points, with Fred Thomas leading the way on 11 rebounds.
Game hero(es) – Lewis Champion made the big plays down the stretch, and finished with 18 points on 71% shooting from the field. In addition, Tevin Falzon came from the bench to post a big double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, adding five assists.