British_Basketball_League_(emblem)Esh Group Eagles Newcastle and Plymouth University Raiders overcame tough challenges on the road to pick up wins in the BBL Championship, on Sunday.

Newcastle produced a strong finish to see off Glasgow Rocks 80-72 at the Emirates Arena as Rahmon Fletcher led the way with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Meanwhile, the Raiders moved off the bottom of the table with an 86-80 victory away at Cheshire Phoenix. Daryl Corletto had 18 points as six players netted double figures in their third win of the season.
BBL Championship
Glasgow Rocks 72 (20,36,53) (Ware 14, Bunyan 11, Mazic/Grabau/Gillis 10)

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 80 (20,47,61) (Fletcher 19, Martin 15, A Thomson/Chapman 11)

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle overcame a stern test to maintain their unbeaten start as they defeated Glasgow Rocks 80-72 at the Emirates Arena.

Rahmon Fletcher top scored with 19 points including some important scores down the stretch to ensure it would not be 13th time unlucky as the Eagles made it a 13-0 start to their BBL Championship defence.

The American guard also provided six assists along with six rebounds, while compatriot Scott Martin contributed a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds with six players hitting double figures in total for the visitors.

Glasgow were level at 69-69 inside the final three minutes, but were unable to make it a highly impressive double-winning weekend as they drop to a 5-7 mark in the league.

In an evening opening period, Jonny Bunyan netted a triple in the final minute to tie the game at 20-20. The second continued in the same manner, until the Eagles closed the half with the final nine points to pull clear.

Despite facing a double-digit deficit, the Rocks came out fighting in the second half and managed to close within three points, only for the Eagles to take an eight-point advantage into the final quarter.

An 8-0 start to the fourth saw the home side level at 61, and they had the chance to go ahead at 65-65 but Warren Gillis couldn’t convert his and-1 opportunity.

Again level at 69, the Eagles would show their experience of closing out games as Fletcher scored 10 points in an 11-3 run to secure the victory. Marcus Ware had 14 points in a losing effort for the Rocks.

Newcastle have now won their last 14 meetings against the Rocks, in all competitions.
BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 80 (21,32,54) (Williams 25, Huffor 14, Rochford 13)

Plymouth University Raiders 86 (19,49,68) (Corletto 18, Vigor/Williams 14)

Plymouth University Raiders held on in the final quarter to climb off the foot of the BBL Championship standings with an 86-80 victory on the road over Cheshire Phoenix.

The visitors racked up 30 points in the second period to establish a 17-point advantage at half-time and they were able to see off a late onslaught from Cheshire to pick up their third win of the season.

Daryl Corletto top scored with 18 points, while Mike Vigor came off the bench to add 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and nine rebounds with Duane Bailey recording a first BBL double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.

Six players reached double figures for the Raiders, who were effective from inside the arc after shooting 60%.

It was the home side who made the brighter start after racing out to an 11-0 lead with Kinu Rochford scoring seven points early on before being pegged back by the Raiders to lead by just three at the end of the first.

Plymouth carried their momentum into the second with a blistering 16-2 start over the opening five minutes. 3-pointers from Dante Wiliams and Josh Wilcher closed the half with the visitors up by 17.

The home side began their revival when play resumed in the second half and an 8-0 run saw them cut the gap to 10 as Danny Huffor and Jordan Williams netted from beyond the arc.

However, the Raiders kept their opponents at bay and had a 14-point advantage to protect in the fourth. The lead grew to 15 points briefly before Cheshire responded with another 8-0 burst to move within single figures.

The gap was just four points in the final minute following a three from Olu Babalola, but it proved too late as Plymouth were able to wrap up the win from the line and leapfrog Manchester Giants and Bristol Flyers as a result.

For Cheshire, it was a second defeat in as many days as they fall to 6-8 in the league despite a 25-point haul from Williams.


P   PL W L Pts
1 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 13 13 0 26
2 Worcester Wolves 13 9 4 18
3 Leicester Riders 9 8 1 16
4 London Lions 10 6 4 12
5 Cheshire Phoenix 14 6 8 12
6 Glasgow Rocks 12 5 7 10
7 Leeds Force 13 5 8 10
8 Sheffield Sharks 10 4 6 8
9 Surrey Scorchers 8 3 5 6
10 Plymouth University Raiders 10 3 7 6
11 Bristol Flyers 11 3 8 6
12 Manchester Giants 13 3 10 6