The very first BBL Team Of The Week for the 2012-13 season sees three familiar faces and two league rookies make the starting five.
Chavis Holmes (Surrey Heat)
BBL debutante Chavis Holmes certainly made an instant impression during his first taste of British Basketball League action. He helped his team destroy Mersey Tigers in brutal fashion. The playmaker showed Heat fans what they can expect this season with an excellent first night performance. He just missed out on a double-double after scoring 15 points and dishing up nine assists to torture the under-cooked Tigers. He also showed he is willing to do the dirty work too, pulling down six rebounds to complete a terrific performance.
Shooter James Jones (193-G/F-83, college: Whitworth) may have moved club but he is no stranger to our BBL Team Of The Week having landed a place when at both Mersey Tigers and UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders. Now, it has taken him only 40 minutes to accomplish the same feat with his new team, Manchester Giants, after a match winning role in the thrilling one-point home victory against London Lions. James was in typically deadly form from long-range, sinking five triples on his way to a mammoth 29 points. He was also excellent finishing inside the three-point line, going six of seven from two-point range while adding four rebounds, three assists and three steals to his line.
The all-action, energetic and bustling play of Samuel Cricelli was very much in evidence at Surrey Sports Park as he made his debut for Heat, announcing his arrival with a typically buoyant display against a toothless Tigers team who just couldnt keep pace with their opponent. One of the reasons for this was the instant form of the forward who landed a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds whilst also claiming four assists and three steals to help his team cruise to a landslide success.
It was a mixed weekend for the Rocks who crashed on opening night at Sport Central against the Eagles but then returned to the north-east 48 hours later to experience victory against Durham Wildcats at Newton Aycliffe. Pivotal to that first win of the new season was Gareth Murray (201-F-84, agency: Prossin Sports Management, college: Kalamazoo Valley CC) who showed his impressive inside-outside skills. He finished with 20 points after going an impressive four of six from downtown where he had the hot hand but also converted three of five inside which made him a tricky customer for the Wildcats' defence. The Scots forward also wrapped up a double-double by harvesting 11 rebounds in an excellent display.
Saving the best until last, centre John Fraley (203-C-89, college: Austin Peay St.) marked his first outing in British Basketball with the best performance of the opening weekend. Racking up a valuation score of 31 by torturing One Health Sharks Sheffield under the hoop, Fraley finished with a superb 10 of 13 inside on his way to 23 points, and was just as productive on the glass. He cleaned up with seven offensive rebounds giving him eleven in total. This secured a double-double, handed Riders their opening win of the season and also excited the clubs fans who can seemingly look forward to great things from their new big man this year.
Off The Bench Frank Holmes (Surrey Heat), Duane James (London Lions), Alex Owumi (Worcester Wolves), David Watts (Manchester Giants), Mike Baldarelli (Durham Wildcats), Joe Chapman (Newcastle Eagles)
Manchester Magic retain National Trophy title as Team Newcastle University clasp Cup & Sussex Bears seal Shield success - 18 hours ago
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Manchester Magic maintained their spell over London Lituanica for a second weekend in succession to defend their National Trophy crown with an authoritative 81-53 victory at Hertfordshire Sports Village on Sunday. Having defeated their opponents 74-61 in Division One of the National Basketball League a week ago, it was simply a case of different day, same story as Manchester achieved a swift double in league and cup over the club from the capital. A game-high 19 points and five rebounds w... [read more]
Manchester Magic maintained their spell over London Lituanica for a second weekend in succession to defend their National Trophy crown with an authoritative 81-53 victory at Hertfordshire Sports Village on Sunday. Having defeated their opponents 74-61 in Division One of the National Basketball League a week ago, it was simply a case of different day, same story as Manchester achieved a swift double in league and cup over the club from the capital. A game-high 19 points and five rebounds were more than enough for standout star Duane Morgan (198-F-93, college: Adelphi) to emerge from this one-sided outing as the MVP. Magic's Stefan Gill (173-PG-83) (16 points and eight assists), captain Jack Minister (196-G-86) (14 points and six rebounds) and Simon Anumba (11 points and eight rebounds) chalked up double digits to boot against a lacklustre Lituanica, who struggled to keep pace throughout despite the best efforts of Mantas Guzys (180-PG-93) (15 points and seven rebounds) and Mantas Adomaitis (203-F, college: Oklah.Panhandle) (10 points and seven rebounds). 'This was my first opportunity to play in a championship game and it's a really good feeling to have won it,' Morgan said. 'We knew that we had to shut them down on defence, so that was a big emphasis for us, along with our high-tempo game. 'We now want to win the league and finish up as the number one side in Division One. 'There's a great group of guys here at the Manchester Magic. They've been very welcoming and made me feel right at home. I feel like I've been playing with them for a long time. You want to play for your brothers and I feel like they are mine.' Earlier on in the day, Team Newcastle University came away with the Patron's Cup courtesy of a 77-65 success against Kent Crusaders and Sussex Bears clinched the Men's National Shield thanks to a tense and tight 58-57 triumph over Team Birmingham Elite. Kent Crusaders began the first quarter in earnest fashion, yet Team Newcastle University soon recovered from a somewhat sluggish start and never looked back thereafter. Indeed, the Knights bookmarked the game brilliantly - winning the opening stanza 24-16 and the fourth and final one 24-18 to render the narrow losses in between (18-17 and 13-12) rather redundant. Team Newcastle's Richard Austin registered 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to claim the MVP accolade. He was well supported on offence by Jack Beresford (17 points), Frank Urli (14 points and six assists) and Matt Brown (196-F) (12 points). RJ Eytle-Rock (192-SG-98) produced a game-high 23 points in the Kent Crusaders' challenge for the silverware and Mohamed Adamu and Dan Akin both scored 10 on a day when the Shodipo brothers, John (four) and Tim (one), both failed to fire. 'The Kent Crusaders have an excellent programme and they are a credit to British basketball in terms of where they're going,' said Team Newcastle University head coach Ian Hewitt. 'But, we're just as talented as them, we played outstanding basketball today and we're a little bit older and more mature. I think that showed as well. 'We fought like crazy defensively too and it was just a great win. We wanted the Cup and we stepped up massively, which was fantastic to see. 'We've held Thames Valley to 66 and Kent to 65 now. It just shows what we're doing defensively and - offensively - we simply look better and better every week, so we're excited about the rest of the season. We are going to keep getting better.' Sussex Bears meanwhile held an eight-point cushion heading into the last 10 minutes having won the second quarter (17-11) by six points and the first and third (both 13-12) by one apiece. However, they very nearly blew it as Team Birmingham Elite came storming back late on to set up a nerve-jangling finale. Steven Hansell (192-G-75, college: Illinois St., agency: Court Side)'s side just couldn't drain that crucial basket down the stretch to ensure overtime or snatch a previously unlikely W though and Sussex prevailed by the narrowest of margins. The Bears' Hank Rivers (202-F-81, college: SF Austin) produced a performance of Superman-esque proportions in keeping with his choice of socks for the day. His 25 point-haul and 14 rebounds saw him deservedly pick up the MVP award ahead of other worthy candidates like his Sussex team-mate Bud Johnson (pictured below), who provided 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists overall. Darren Mason also plucked 15 rebounds out of the air. Team Birmingham Elite had two players progress beyond single-figure tallies in Meris Masolovic (17 points and nine rebounds) and David Stevic (14 points). 'It feels good to have finally won a final as I've been in England for almost nine years now,' the amiable Rivers stated afterwards. 'It's nice to have won for the people that I know as they really are like a family to me. 'We've been together for so many years and there's a good atmosphere. We feel like we're moving up every year, so you cannot complain about that. 'It was a scrappy game. Team Birmingham Elite are young and we inherently knew that they were going to get runs, but we pulled it out in end. The main thing is that we got it done - that's all that matters.' Courtesy of: basketballengland.co.uk
Surrey Scorchers moved into the Play-Off places after a blistering display in front of the BBC Sport cameras on Friday. Creon Raftopoulos' side torched Plymouth Raiders in the second half en route to a 99-75 victory behind 25 points from Quincy Taylor(183-PG-91, college: Longwood). "It was one of those special nights and I'm glad we were able to perform," Surrey's head coach commented post-game. "I think we showed four quarters of maturity and it was great to come out quick in the thir... [read more]
Surrey Scorchers moved into the Play-Off places after a blistering display in front of the BBC Sport cameras on Friday.
Creon Raftopoulos' side torched Plymouth Raiders in the second half en route to a 99-75 victory behind 25 points from Quincy Taylor (183-PG-91, college: Longwood).
"It was one of those special nights and I'm glad we were able to perform," Surrey's head coach commented post-game.
"I think we showed four quarters of maturity and it was great to come out quick in the third.
"We took a gamble on Quincy late in the half as he had two fouls, but made a really big play and that gave us a lift going into the locker-room."
Plymouth bounced back on Sunday as they came from 12 points down in the fourth to beat Cheshire Phoenix 110-116 in double overtime.
Earl Brown had a season-high 43 points as he and Mike DiNunno combined for 74 in the loss with Cory Dixon leading the victors with 25 points as four Raiders hit 20+.
Meanwhile, Leicester Riders extended their lead at the top with back-to-back victories over Manchester Giants with a 98-73 home success followed by a 73-99 road victory.
Scott Martin exploded for 41 points to help Esh Group Eagles Newcastle keep up the pressure on the leaders with a 108-94 victory over Bristol Flyers.
Glasgow Rocks were victorious at the Emirates Arena as they saw off Cheshire Phoenix 95-82, while DBL Sharks Sheffield complete the top four after edging past rivals, Leeds Force 58-62 away from home.
Worcester Wolves were another team to overturn a double-digit deficit as they recovered from a slow start to beat London Lions 99-91 with 16 made 3-pointers helping them to the win.
"It was a good win against London," declared Danny Huffor. "The first half was back and forward, but in the second half we found our rhythm, got some stops which helped our offence.
"Our ball movement was good as it opened up driving lanes that also created open shots as well."
Leicester Riders extended their lead at the top of the BBL Championship, while there were dramatic road wins for DBL Sharks Sheffield and Plymouth Raiders. Rob Paternostro's Riders secured a 73-99 win away at Manchester Giants with Pierre Hampton(201-F-91, agency: Interperformances) netting 20 points for the league leaders. Plymouth came from 12 points down in the fourth before eventually beating Cheshire Phoenix 110-116 in double overtime, despite 43 points from Earl Brown. Finally, t... [read more]
Leicester Riders extended their lead at the top of the BBL Championship, while there were dramatic road wins for DBL Sharks Sheffield and Plymouth Raiders.
Rob Paternostro's Riders secured a 73-99 win away at Manchester Giants with Pierre Hampton (201-F-91, agency: Interperformances) netting 20 points for the league leaders.
Plymouth came from 12 points down in the fourth before eventually beating Cheshire Phoenix 110-116 in double overtime, despite 43 points from Earl Brown.
Finally, the Sharks held on late on to earn a 58-62 success over their Yorkshire rivals, Leeds Force.
DBL Sharks Sheffield held their nerve down the stretch as they closed out a 58-62 victory on the road against Yorkshire rivals, Leeds Force.
The season head-to-head was split with the home side winning convincly on both previous meetings, but this encounter would go right down to the wire.
Tony Wroblicky and Malcolm Riley both top scored for the Sharks with 16 points apiece as four players reached double figures, including Jordan Davis, who contributed an all-round effort of 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
The visitors started brightly with a 2-9 opening before Leeds settled with a 7-0 response. Sheffield edged ahead and began to further their advantage in the second as they built an eight-point gap by half-time.
There was no change to the margin heading into the final quarter after a 14-14 third period with the Sharks still in control.
Sheffield led 49-58 inside the last three minutes, but a 9-1 burst saw the home side make it a one-point game.
Robert Sandoval top scored with a game-high 20 points, but he fouled out and Rashawn Rembert sank the game-clinching free throws to secure the win for the Sharks.
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