Friday night saw three dominant first half performances as the Newcastle Eagles remained unbeaten in the BBL Championship and both the One Health Sharks Sheffield and Surrey Heat progressed to the last eight of the BBL Cup.
The Eagles have now recorded six wins out of six in the defence of their BBL Championship crown, after overpowering their North East rivals the Durham Wildcats by 99-75. Joe Chapman (193-G-84, agency: I.D.S. Law, college: Marquette) led their scoring as eight three-pointers helped him to 30 points, including a staggering 25 in the first half as the Eagles took control. Charles Smith added 22 points and Damon Huffman (186-PG-85) scored 18.
The first quarter was tight, with neither team establishing more than a one possession lead up to 12-11 in favour of the hosts midway through, before Chapman's three-pointer changed the tone as the Eagles pushed into a 20-13 lead, Smith capping that run with a triple of his own.
But the second quarter was where the game was blown open, despite the Wildcats opening the scoring with Brad Guinane's triple. The Wildcats didn't score for the next six minutes, as the Eagles scored 23 unanswered points in a run that included 7 points for Smith and a trio of triples from Chapman, including two back-to-back that made the score 46-20. Chapman added another two three-pointers, for four in just two minutes, as the lead reached 54-22, staying at that margin to the half at 56-24. The Eagles had won the second quarter 33-7 and up to that point Chapman and Smith - the duo that fired the Eagles to the title last year - had 40 points between them. There was no way back for the visitors, despite a spirited second half.
Elsewhere, in the BBL Cup, the One Health Sharks Sheffield, who have won the competition twice in the last three years, progressed by beating the Cheshire Jets 90-59. Gage Daye (188-G-89, college: Bloomfield) led their scoring with 19 points, supported by 16 from Mike Tuck (201-F-83, college: Loyola, MD) and 13 from Andrew Bridge.
The Sharks did most of the damage in the first half, despite a slow start that saw them trailing 3-8 after 4 points from Alif Bland got the Jets going. But the Sharks hit back with the next 9 points, including 5 for Bridge as his triple gave them a 12-8 lead and set the tone for the remainder of the first half. Bridge hit another three for a 17-11 lead, and then scored again to make it 23-15 before the quarter was up as he already had 11 points.
That pattern became even more profound in a second stanza that the Sharks won by 15 points. Olu Babalola (198-F-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Clemson) immediately sent their lead into double-digits and it stayed of that magnitude until midway through the quarter at 30-20. From there, the Sharks broke the game open with the next 13 points, sparked by 5 in a row from Micah Williams and including another 4 for Babalola. The lead stayed at that margin through to half time, at 49-26. Despite a fairly even third quarter, the Sharks outscored their visitors by 20-10 down the stretch to see the game out.
Finally, the Surrey Heat - BBL Cup winners in 2006/07 - progressed to the last eight of the competition with an emphatic 51-103 rout of the Mersey Tigers. Chavis Holmes led the Heat with 19 points, supported by 16 each from Sam Cricelli and Julius Joseph; every Heat player got on the scoresheet in the game. Eboige led the Tigers with 10 points, but he was their only player in double figures.
The visiting Heat asserted themselves on the game immediately, storming out to a 9-28 lead in the first quarter. The second quarter was the only bright spot for the Tigers, and it included an 8-0 run as they nearly matched their visitors, the score being 22-25 over the ten minutes and seeing the Heat maintain a comfortable lead at 31-53 at the halfway point.
But the Heat closed the game down after the break as they opened the third period with a 14-4 spell to make the score 35-67. And they only compounded their hosts' misery as they pushed further ahead in the fourth quarter, winning it 27-9 for a winning margin that more than doubled the Tigers' score.
BK Lions Jindrichuv Hradec (NBL) tabbed British center Chris Tawiah (208-F). He just graduated from Wiley (NAIA). He recorded 7.3ppg, 9.3rpg, with FGP: 42.7% on 16 games. He had also impressive FT percentage at 80.0%. He can count that season as a very successful as was selected to All-RRAC Honorable Mention. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season in pro basketball. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Czech Republic [read more]
BK Lions Jindrichuv Hradec (NBL) tabbed British center Chris Tawiah (208-F). He just graduated from Wiley (NAIA). He recorded 7.3ppg, 9.3rpg, with FGP: 42.7% on 16 games. He had also impressive FT percentage at 80.0%. He can count that season as a very successful as was selected to All-RRAC Honorable Mention. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season in pro basketball.
Colin O'Reilly (ex UCC Demons) takes over Cheshire Phoenix - 2 days ago
follow us on
Cheshire Phoenix (BBL) agreed terms with 32-year old Irish coach Colin O'Reilly. He has coached for the last three seasons at UCC Demons in Irish Premier League. He helped them to win the league title. Quite impressive season as he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Irish Premier League Coach of the Year. O'Reilly has been coaching Irish Senior National Team between 2015 and 2016 and coached also U18 National Team last year. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Unit... [read more]
Cheshire Phoenix (BBL) agreed terms with 32-year old Irish coach Colin O'Reilly. He has coached for the last three seasons at UCC Demons in Irish Premier League. He helped them to win the league title. Quite impressive season as he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Irish Premier League Coach of the Year. O'Reilly has been coaching Irish Senior National Team between 2015 and 2016 and coached also U18 National Team last year.
Ex-Plymouth Raiders Head Coach Gavin Love has landed a great opportunity in Luxembourg for the coming season having been appointed Head Coach at AB Contern. Love who coached The Raiders for three seasons in The BBL after nine years as a player is looking forward to the challenge. 'Last year I was coaching in Munich as Head Coach of the new DBA academy. It was a new project that I was helping to get off the ground and I was over there a number of times to recruit and run the camps.' 'It... [read more]
Ex-Plymouth Raiders Head Coach Gavin Love has landed a great opportunity in Luxembourg for the coming season having been appointed Head Coach at AB Contern. Love who coached The Raiders for three seasons in The BBL after nine years as a player is looking forward to the challenge.
'Last year I was coaching in Munich as Head Coach of the new DBA academy. It was a new project that I was helping to get off the ground and I was over there a number of times to recruit and run the camps.'
'It was a great place and the people were good to me but unfortunately the project had been delayed so I had to look for opportunities elsewhere. My agent contacted me and I spoke with the GM of Contern who was very professional and we had the deal completed quickly.'
Contern's Vice President, Francis Rollinger talked about what Love can bring to his Club and what they are hoping to achieve.
'We called Gavin Love to come to Luxembourg to follow our goals and to built a young strong team for the future, furthermore Gavin is responsible for the Espoir (U21) and Cadets (U18) teams to bring up as much players as possible into the men team and to make our players better every day.'
'AB Contern is one of the biggest basketball and sports club in Luxembourg, the men team won 4 championships and 3 cups, and the team is playing since 20 years in the first division, the Total League.'
'AB Contern is known for good youth players, and we looking forward to rebuilt another good team for the future. Our goals are to include young players from the club helping the men team to be again one of the best clubs in Luxembourg.'
'Contern is a small village with 1500 habitants, 450 of which who are involved in the club, coming from 15 different communes and 40 villages. Contern has the nicest gym in the country, is a very popular and traditional club, who is investing in the men and women team as well, followed by a big youth department.'
Clearly Love is going in to a situation where a lot is expected of him and the goals are high. But that will not faze a coach who's willing to take risks and has already had a successful and experience coaching in Europe with Denmark's Copenhagen Wolfpack.
' knew some players that had played in the Total League before and had good things to say about the level of the league, Contern and the country itself.'
'I will be arriving in Luxembourg early August for a six week pre-season, I have seen the facilities and they are very impressive, I believe Contern have the biggest arena in the league which holds around 2500 spectators. Contern has great support from the local community and sponsors together with having an outstanding reputation.'
Love himself has a pretty good reputation and is highly thought of as a coach. His previous GM at Copenhagen Tommy Nielsen had this to say about him.
'Gavin Love is a Players Coach, his mindset is set on winning by every means and that sets a impacts on players being poised for every game. His playing style is offensive minded and very spectator friendly.'
'He is well in communicating and appearance and goes well with sponsors and media. He fits an organization who is settle to win Championships . His flair for recruitment, quality network and roster arrangement can be used with success.'
Nice words and a good assessment of what Love hopes to bring to AB Contern and he advises that recruitment has already begun.
'A majority of the team has returned from last year which will give us a good level of continuity. We have signed Dylan Talley (196-G-89, college: Nebraska, agency: Octagon Europe) who has played in both the German BBL and Pro A. Dylan is a versatile guard who will to be a good addition to the team.'
'We also have a number of young players in the squad who will be looking to take that step to the next level. We are looking for a forward who will be the final import player to complete the roster.'
One of the obvious things that Love will do is look at the differences between The Total league and The BBL back in the UK although it's not something that he's in a position to judge just yet.
'I wouldn't be able to make any comparison to any league until the season begins. The first obvious thing that stands out is there are less import players and Bosmans than the BBL. The second is the genuine passion for developing the young talent which can only be a good thing for Luxembourg basketball.'
'My goals for the season is to enhance the team in all areas whilst maximising the potential of every player on the roster together with reaching the top six and the play-offs.'
It's going to be an interesting year for AB Contern and Gavin Love but one which should be an exciting one and an educational one for both parties. Certainly for Love it's another step forward and addition to an ever growing career CV.
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.