British_Basketball_League_(emblem)Leicester Riders became the third team to reach the BBL Cup Semi-Finals on Sunday, while there were victories for Bristol Flyers, Leeds Force and Plymouth University Raiders in the BBL Championship.
Rob Paternostro’s side were pushed all the way by Sheffield Sharks before prevailing 62-60 as Drew Sullivan led the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the Riders join two of his former teams, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and London Lions, in the last four.
Plymouth ended their wait for a first win this season as Daryl Corletto netted 23 points including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds to give his side a 76-75 victory over Glasgow Rocks.
Elsewhere, Leeds Force made it into the top four with an 82-74 victory on the road at Cheshire Phoenix behind 19 points from D’Andre Bullard, while Bristol Flyers were also victorious on their travels, beating Surrey Scorchers 80-72 with Mathias Seilund top scoring with 18 points.
BBL Championship
Surrey Scorchers 72 (19,29,47) (Ogedengbe 21, Schlitzer 17, Behrens/Schreiber 10)
Bristol Flyers 80 (19,41,56) (Seilund 18, McLaughlin-Williams/Lee 15)

Bristol Flyers bounced back from their sixth league defeat on Saturday to beat Surrey Scorchers 80-72 on the road.

Five players hit double figures for the visitors led by Mathias Seilund with 18 points in the absence of Cardell McFarland – who missed out through injury.

Tyrone Lee was one rebound shy of a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Doug McLaughlin-Williams also netted 15 points from the bench.

After the home side edged the early proceedings, the Flyers went on a 17-4 run through the first quarter break capped by a three from Greg Streete to make it 21-30.

The Flyers increased their lead beyond double digits as McLaughlin-Williams netted a fourth 3-pointer in the first half. When play resumed for the third period, the visitors saw their lead grow to as many as 18 before Surrey began to hit back.

An 11-1 burst helped the Scorchers cut their deficit back into single figures as they threatened to pull off another comeback victory. However, back-to-back baskets from Lee to start the fourth helped the Flyers maintain their advantage.

Surrey could only close to within seven points late on as they dropped to a 3-3 mark. Tayo Ogedengbe led the resistance with 21 points, but his side were unable to repeat their opening game success over Bristol.
BBL Championship
Plymouth University Raiders 76 (23,47,67) (Corletto 23, Williams 16, MacMillan 14)
Glasgow Rocks 75 (16,39,62) (Gillis 20, Grabau 15, Hall/Ware 13)

Player-coach Daryl Corletto helped Plymouth University Raiders to their first win of the season as his 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds gave his side a 76-75 victory over Glasgow Rocks.

Corletto finished with a game-high 23 points as all of the home side’s points came from their starters. Dante Williams added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Auryn MacMillan had 14 points.

After an even start, five points in quick succession from Williams helped the Raiders towards a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter.

Triples from Corletto and Josh Wilcher increased the advantage beyond double figures in the second, before Warren Gillis responded with a three of his own to cut the gap to eight at the break.

The Rocks battled back in the third quarter as Riley Grabau began to find his range from downtown with a trio of triples in the period to fire the visitors in front on two occasions.

Glasgow built a six-point lead only for Corletto to wipe out the deficit and Michael Vigor to add a late basket to give the Raiders a slender advantage ahead of the fourth quarter.

After falling down by five, the Rocks went on a 9-0 run to gain control in the closing stages, but Corletto would have the final say with the go-ahead 3-pointer late on to snatch the victory.

Gillis had 20 points for the Rocks as they were unable to make it back-to-back wins on the road for the weekend to fall to 3-5 in the league.
BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 74 (21,45,58) (Williams 22, Rochford/Ellis 13, Ebanks 12)
Leeds Force 82 (26,39,55) (Bullard 19, Marsden 18, Waller 16)

Leeds Force moved into the top four for the first time after making it back-to-back victories for the weekend with an 82-74 victory on the road against Cheshire Phoenix.

D’Andre Bullard led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists with Rob Marsden adding 18 points as five players in total reached double figures.

The visitors made a strong start and raced into a ten-point lead at 11-21 after the first six minutes. The home side gradually got themselves going and closed within two points in the second following an 11-2 run.

Cheshire moved ahead with five quickfire points and maintained their advantage heading into the half-time break.

In the third quarter, the lead grew to as many as nine points before Leeds began to battle back to set up an exciting final quarter as they cut the gap to just three points.

After Cheshire went 64-57 ahead, the visitors responded to produce a pivotal 12-0 run including triples from Louis Sayers and Bullard to put their side ahead. The home side closed within two, but another three from Sayers helped Leeds pull away and make sure of the victory.

Jordan Williams led all scorers with 22 points as Phoenix drop to 3-6 and still await a first win at the Cheshire Oaks Arena.
BBL Cup Quarter-Final
Leicester Riders 62 (15,36,53) (Sullivan 17, Wright 15, Larkai 9)
Sheffield Sharks 60 (15,28,43) (Brooks 27, Robinson/Tuck 11)
Leicester Riders reached the Semi-Finals of the BBL Cup after holding off Sheffield Sharks with a 62-60 win in a gripping encounter.
Drew Sullivan was his influential best for the Riders with 17 points and 10 rebounds – completing his double-double with a vital rebound in the final 10 seconds – while TrayVonn Wright added 15 points in the win.
The teams were level at 15-15 at the end of the first quarter, and the home side gradually began to edge away in the second as they moved ahead by eight points with the final five points of the half.
A strong start to the third period saw the Riders lead by as many as 13, and they would still hold a double-digit advantage heading into the final quarter.
Jerrold Brooks made 3-out-of-3 from the free-throw line at the start of the fourth as the Sharks began to chip away at their deficit. The visitors put together an 8-0 run over a three-minute spell to take the lead at 59-60.
Jamell Anderson immediately restored Leicester’s advantage and they would keep their opponents scoreless for the final three minutes as Neil Watson added a free throw in the closing stages to double the lead to two points.
Antone Robinson – who finished with 11 points and 12 boards – saw his effort to force the extra period rim out much to the jubilation of the Riders faithful.
Brooks led a valiant Sharks effort with a 27-point haul whilst adding six assists, but it would prove to be an agonising defeat.
P   PL W L Pts
1 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 8 8 0 16
2 Leicester Riders 6 6 0 12
3 Worcester Wolves 7 6 1 12
4 Leeds Force 10 4 6 8
5 London Lions 6 3 3 6
5 Surrey Scorchers 6 3 3 6
7 Sheffield Sharks 7 3 4 6
8 Glasgow Rocks 8 3 5 6
9 Bristol Flyers 9 3 6 6
9 Cheshire Phoenix 9 3 6 6
9 Manchester Giants 9 3 6 6
12 Plymouth University Raiders 7 1 6 2