The rookie Riders guard has been gradually growing in influence since he arrived in British Basketball back in September. During the first few months of the campaign, the likes of John Fraley, Drew Sullivan, Jay Couisnard and Pavol Lasonsky have generally taken the limelight, but Taylor has found recognition for his input by way of a debut BBL Team Of The Week appearance. It was made possible due to his efforts in a hard fought win at Manchester Giants when despite having difficulty in getting his perimeter game going, he excelled to great effect in other areas. He finished with 23 points thanks to making the most of getting to the hoop and also sinking a perfect eight of eight free-throws. Taylor also added a fabulous seven assists, four rebounds and two steals.
It's a Riders' double in our backcourt this week as Connor Washington also grabs his first BBL Team Of The Week appearance courtesy of a magnificent eye-popping, three-point shooting display against Mersey Tigers. He was on absolute fire from downtown as he found the hot-hand to make seven triples from eleven attempts which left the shell-shocked visitors trailing in Riders' wake. That helped Washington to accumulate 24 points and a great night of work was underlined when he also handed out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and harvested two steals to wrap up a convincing victory for the home team and extend their lead at the top of the BBL Championship.
Colin O'Reilly (UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders)
Not for the first time this season, Colin O'Reilly posted the best performance of the weekend. Although after losing to Glasgow Rocks on Saturday night, it will probably have tasted slightly bitter-sweet for the Irish forward who provided the inspiration for his team to bounce straight back with a success against London Lions on Sunday. His display was typically influential in so many facets of the game, pouring in a massive 29 points including three scores from long-range, pulling down six rebounds, dishing up five assists and coming up with a block as he secured a third appearance of the season in our line-up.
Yes, Great Britain forward Kieron Achara finally makes it into our a starting five although the fact he hasn't made it until now reflects his willingness and desire to play for the team which has been every bit as important and influential as any individual numbers. But, as he showed last weekend when Rocks achieved a magnificent win double on the road, he is capable of stepping up when required, and posting dominant displays. He was excellent in the win at Surrey Heat, but even better 24 hours earlier against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders. He put his opponent to the sword with a sublime 23 points, not missing a single shot inside and dropping three triples to go with six rebounds and a block.
The centre secures impressive consecutive BBL Team Of The Week appearances after playing his part in a quite thrilling victory in the north-west derby against Manchester Giants. Whilst Chez Marks grabbed the plaudits for his buzzer beating three-pointer which sent the Cheshire fans at Northgate into raptures, it was the rock solid contribution of Bland which laid the foundation for the win. He recorded a fine double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, but it was four precious defensive stops in the shape of three blocked shots and a steal which really mattered in such an intense and close contest which provided an immeasurable morale boost to everyone at the club.
Off The Bench: Chez Marks (Cheshire), EJ Harrison (Glasgow Rocks), Drew Sullivan (Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders), Matt Schneck (UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders), Stefan Gill (Manchester Giants), Orlan Jackman (London Lions), Chavis Holmes (Surrey Heat)
Vardar signs Deji Adekunle, ex Plymouth R. - 7 hours ago
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Vardar Skopje (Prva Liga) signed British power forward Deji Adekunle (209-104kg, college: Kaiser). He started the season at Plymouth University Raiders in British BBL league. In 7 games he had just 2.6ppg and 2.6rpg this season. Adekunle's team won TSC Regular Season in 2016. He graduated from Kaiser University in 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in FYR Macedonia [read more]
Vardar Skopje (Prva Liga) signed British power forward Deji Adekunle (209-104kg, college: Kaiser). He started the season at Plymouth University Raiders in British BBL league. In 7 games he had just 2.6ppg and 2.6rpg this season. Adekunle's team won TSC Regular Season in 2016. He graduated from Kaiser University in 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player.
Worcester Wolves, Plymouth Raiders and London Lions all overturned half-time deficits to record victories on Friday night. Worcester won the third period 14-30 on their way to beating the recent Cup champions, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 103-112 in front of the BBC Sport cameras. There was a huge comeback win for Plymouth Raiders as they recovered from being 20 points down to beat Bristol Flyers 98-103 in overtime and snap their rivals' six-game win streak. Meanwhile, Zaire Taylor(193-G... [read more]
Worcester Wolves, Plymouth Raiders and London Lions all overturned half-time deficits to record victories on Friday night.
Worcester won the third period 14-30 on their way to beating the recent Cup champions, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 103-112 in front of the BBC Sport cameras.
There was a huge comeback win for Plymouth Raiders as they recovered from being 20 points down to beat Bristol Flyers 98-103 in overtime and snap their rivals' six-game win streak.
Meanwhile, Zaire Taylor (193-G-86, college: Missouri) netted 28 points to lead London Lions to a 70-67 success at home to Glasgow Rocks with both teams now standing at 10-4.
BBL Championship London Lions 70 (22,33,52) (Taylor 28, Owumi 16, K Williams 14) Glasgow Rocks 67 (24,38,49) (Watson 25, Thomas 14, Achara 10)
London Lions claimed their 10th league win of the season after holding off Glasgow Rocks for a 70-67 victory.
Zaire Taylor led the way with 28 points and also dished out seven assists as the Lions improve to 10-4.
Lewis Thomas hit back-to-back triples to put the Rocks up 12-19 in the first, but the home side closed the gap to two by the end of the first.
The lead peaked in the second on a 9-0 run for the visitors to make it 24-33, but the Lions finished the quarter well once again as they began to mount a comeback.
Taylor scored six early points in the third before an 8-0 run put the Lions ahead, and they maintained a slender advantage ahead of the final 10 minutes. Glasgow levelled with the first score of the fourth period, but a trio of triples gave the hosts the upper-hand.
Taylor hit a huge three to make it 68-63 inside the final two minutes, and although Watson answered, Taylor nailed a pair of free throws which proved to be enough for the win.
The Rocks were paced by Watson's 25 points, while Kieron Achara finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Worcester Wolves produced an impressive display to pull off a 103-112 victory away at the recent Cup champions, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.
Paul James' side were down five at the half, but turned things around with a huge third quarter before holding off a late fightback from the Eagles in front of the BBC Sport cameras.
Maurice Walker, Ashton Khan and Danny Huffor all netted 20+ points with three other players in double figures in the Wolves' seventh league success.
The Eagles made a strong start before being pegged back by Worcester's hot streak from downtown. Rahmon Fletcher's mid-range jumpshot edged his side ahead and they extended their lead to five by half-time.
However, there was to be a twist in the second half as the Wolves came out firing in the third and racked up 30 points to open up a 12-point advantage.
The visitors stretched their lead out to 18 in the fourth and despite a rally from the Eagles, they were left with to much to do and suffered their third league defeat despite 34 points and 13 assists from Fletcher.
BBL Championship, OT Bristol Flyers 98 (22,48,71,88) (Cosby 20, Smith 18, Boggs 17) Plymouth Raiders 103 (20,37,55,88) (Corletto 29, Dixon 20, Nicholas 17)
Plymouth Raiders came from 20 points down to beat their South-West rivals Bristol Flyers 98-103 in overtime.
The visitors were down 71-51 inside the final two minutes of the third, but rallied with a huge fourth quarter before securing the win in the extra period.
Daryl Corletto netted seven triples including two late in the fourth to force overtime on his way to an impressive 29-point haul.
Cory Dixon added 20 points, while Rhys Carter flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists as the Raiders level the head-to-head series.
The Flyers edged an even first period, but pulled clear in the second after finishing the half with a 9-0 run to lead by 11 at the half.
Bristol continued to extend their advantage and led by 20 before the Raiders put together a 19-5 spell across quarters to cut the gap and later levelled at 80.
An 8-2 run put the Flyers in control only for Corletto hit two 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds to force overtime.
Plymouth compiled another key run with 11 unanswered points late in overtime to complete the comeback victory to improve to 10-6 in the league.
Texas Legends agreed terms with experienced 34-year old American guard Ben Gordon (190-91kg-83, college: Connecticut). He is a dual citizen owning also British passport. Gordon played last season at Golden State Warriors in the NBA. The previous (14-15) season he played at the Magic where in 56 NBA games he had 6.2ppg and 1.1rpg. In 2004 Gordon was drafted by Chicago Bulls (NBA) as #3 pick overall. The former University of Connecticut staris in his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro bas... [read more]
Texas Legends agreed terms with experienced 34-year old American guard Ben Gordon (190-91kg-83, college: Connecticut). He is a dual citizen owning also British passport. Gordon played last season at Golden State Warriors in the NBA. The previous (14-15) season he played at the Magic where in 56 NBA games he had 6.2ppg and 1.1rpg. In 2004 Gordon was drafted by Chicago Bulls (NBA) as #3 pick overall. The former University of Connecticut staris in his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro basketball. Gordon was also a member of USA international program for some years. He played for USA Senior National Team back in 2003 and previously for U18 National Team in 2000. Gordon represented USA at the Qualifications to European Championships 2017 last year. His stats at that event were 6 games: 9.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 26.3%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 72.7%. Gordon has spent his entire career in NBA playing for two other teams: Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets. Gordon could be described:
Athletic combination guard with high basketball I.Q. .Superb leaper with excellent shooting range.
Outlook (by NBADraft.TK):
Positives: Ben Gordon is a great combo guard. A great scorer with a versatile offensive game. He is a deadly three-point shooter. Not just a long-range bomber, he has a good midrange game and is a good free throw shooter. Has the ability to take it strong to the hoop with exceptional strength and quickness for his size. Has a great handle as and is also good passer. Gordon is also a great athlete. Very quick and has great leaping ability. Has a near 40-inch vertical, which allows him to throw down impressive dunks despite his size. A solid defender, he uses his strength and lateral quickness well. A good rebounder for the guard position.
Negatives: Not a natural point guard. Gordon's ability to run the point os questionable. He played shooting guard at UConn with Taliek Brown as the point. Might be better at the shooting guard, but will have to play point guard in the NBA. (Jason Terry, Steve Francis). Can be a streaky shooter.
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