Leicester Riders and DBL Sharks Sheffield both enjoyed Friday night wins after two top-six battles.

The Riders edged out Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks in a 75-71 victory behind 16 points from Tim Williams, while Sheffield held on to beat Esh Group Eagles Newcastle as Dirk Williams lifted his side into fourth with 26 points in the 72-76 road success.
 
BBL Championship
Leicester Riders 75-71 Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks (18-22, 38-41, 51-51)

Leicester Riders kept their hopes of a Championship title alive with a 75-71 victory over Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks, in front of their fans at Morningside Arena.

Rob Paternostro’s men built on last weekend’s double to strengthen their grip on second place in the table and ensure that London Lions will need to keep looking over their shoulder, as the Championship campaign enters its final stretch.

Leading scorers – Tim Williams 16, Pierre Hampton 13, JR Holder 12 (Riders) – Bo Zeigler 22, Greg Pryor 11, Tadas Rinkunas 9 (Rocks)

Turning point – The Riders seized the initiative at the start of the fourth quarter, opening the period with a 9-0 blitz to establish their biggest lead of the contest and take control of the game. The visitors could never fully recover, despite coming back to within a point of the hosts.

Key stat – Leicester found continued joy under the basket, amassing 50 points in the paint and shooting 56 percent from two-point range. In contrast, the Rocks could only manage 28 points from the same distance.

Game hero(es) – Williams produced the standout performance of the game, netting an efficient 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Hampton and Holder also proved pivotal with both scoring in double-digits for the Riders.

 
BBL Championship
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 72-76 DBL Sharks Sheffield (23-24, 35-42, 49-61)

DBL Sharks Sheffield put an end to Esh Group Eagles Newcastle’s winning run at home with a hard-fought victory. 

The Sharks boost their benecos BBL Play-Offs chances by moving to 16-14, while the Eagles drop to 20-10 as both sides enter the final two weeks of the regular season.

Leading scorers – Rahmon Fletcher 15, Kyle Williams 13, Kai Williams 12 (Eagles) – Dirk Williams 26, Rob Marsden 14, Drago Brcina 9 (Sharks)

Turning point – The Sharks never trailed in the contest and looked in command at 63-74 inside the final three minutes. However, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run and had possession with a chance to tie the game before a turnover proved costly and Sheffield ended their drought to close out the win.

Key stat – Sheffield were very efficient from 2-point range, shooting at 61% with 48 of their points coming in the paint.

Game hero(es) – Williams was a perfect 9 of 9 from inside the arc as part of an impressive 26-point haul in the win, while Marsden was the only other Shark in double figures with 14 along with 10 rebounds for a double-double.

 
Pos   PL W L Pts
1 London Lions 28 23 5 46
2 Leicester Riders 29 21 8 42
3 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 30 20 10 40
4 DBL Sharks Sheffield 30 16 14 32
5 Radisson RED Glasgow Rocks 28 15 13 30
5 London City Royals 28 15 13 30
7 Cheshire Phoenix 28 13 15 26
7 Plymouth Raiders 28 13 15 26
9 Manchester Giants 29 13 16 26
10 Bristol Flyers 28 12 16 24
11 Surrey Scorchers 28 5 23 10
11 Worcester Wolves 28 5 23 10