Glasgow Rocks play-caller Sterling Davis has been named Molten BBL Coach Of The Month for November after guiding his team to a fantastic run of results to help bury memories of their slow start to the 2012-13 season.
Indeed the player-coach was just a whisker away from harvesting an unbeaten run during the month, but had to endure a gut-wrenching 72-71 BBL Cup defeat at One Health Sharks Sheffield.
That solitary loss came right at the start of November, and was followed by a five game winning streak as Rocks began the process of getting themselves back to the fringes of the BBL Championship title race.
At the start of the month, Rocks had lost three of their opening four league games, but there was soon to be a transformation off the back of five successive victories.
The first was an 85-79 home win against Worcester Wolves, one of the teams they would subsequently overhaul in the league table. And, the Rocks faithful at the Emirates Arena were treated to successive home wins as their favourites got back on an even keel with three wins and three losses after overpowering London Lions by 87-73.
Perhaps the most impressive work came towards the end of the month, when Davis and his team recorded three consecutive road victories, including a monumental weekend win double at the title chasing UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders and Surrey Heat.
Great Britain forward Kieron Achara was central to those two wins as the Rocks stunned Raiders with a 97-84 win at the Pavilions, before following it up 24 hours later with an 82-76 success at Surrey Sports Park.
The last win of the month came without Achara who has since left the club, but that didnt prevent Rocks from showing they can still hit the road and come away victorious after staving off a late surge by Manchester Giants to chalk up an 83-77 victory.
The biggest challenge now for Davis, is to overcome the loss of Achara in the medium term, and show his team can continue to sustain their bid to claim a top-four finish in the BBL Championship.
Although perhaps top of the wish list will be a place in the BBL Trophy Final, a showpiece event which is scheduled to take place in Glasgow at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 9th March 2013.
The final weekend of the regular season started with wins for three of the top four sides in the BBL Championship. League champions, Leicester Riders were beaten 83-76 away at Esh Group Eagles Newcastle with Rahmon Fletcher leading the way with 24 points. Meanwhile, Glasgow Rocks needed a game-winner from Kieron Achara to get past Leeds Force 70-72 on the road with DBL Sharks Sheffield inflicting a first loss in 13 on Worcester Wolves with a convincing 70-83 success. Also, London Lions... [read more]
The final weekend of the regular season started with wins for three of the top four sides in the BBL Championship.
League champions, Leicester Riders were beaten 83-76 away at Esh Group Eagles Newcastle with Rahmon Fletcher leading the way with 24 points.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Rocks needed a game-winner from Kieron Achara to get past Leeds Force 70-72 on the road with DBL Sharks Sheffield inflicting a first loss in 13 on Worcester Wolves with a convincing 70-83 success.
Also, London Lions defeated Cheshire Phoenix 101-89 behind a 25-point haul from Rashad Hassan (203-C/F-89, college: Savannah St.).
DBL Sharks Sheffield boosted their hopes of a top-four finish after ending the 12-game win streak of Worcester Wolves with a 70-83 road triumph.
Atiba Lyons' side gradually pulled away for an important win in front of the BBC Sport cameras with both teams having identical records heading into the contest.
Tony Wroblicky impressed with a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Mike Tuck and Rashawn Rembert both added 13 points apiece in the win.
There was still nothing to separate the two sides after the opening 10 minutes with the game level at 22 before the Sharks began to make their move.
Worcester had led 28-24 early in the second until a 9-0 run gave the visitors control and they opened up an eight-point advantage at the half. Sheffield moved as many as 13 points infront in the third quarter and still had a double-digit lead by the end of the period.
A strong start to the fourth pushed Sharks out to a 62-79 lead and they wrapped up an impressive victory ahead of Sunday's showdown with Newcastle.
As for Worcester, they head to league champions, Leicester Riders, having seen their win streak come to an end with Ashton Khan netting a team-high 14 points.
London Lions raced out of the blocks en route to a 101-89 victory over Cheshire Phoenix to continue their momentum ahead of the Play-Offs.
Rashad Hassan, Navid Niktash and Alex Owumi combined for 68 points with Hassan leading the way with 25 to remain the league's top scorer.
Niktash netted eight early points in a dominant 18-4 start as the Lions went on to pour in 35 points in the first quarter to lead by 18. The lead peaked at 23 points in the second as a Joe Ikhinmwin triple made it 56-33.
The home side had 60 points on the board at the half for a commanding lead. Cheshire kept fighting in the second half as a 10-2 run helped cut the gap before a 9-0 run reduced the deficit to single figures at 87-78 in the fourth.
However, the damage had been done and the Lions held on for a 12-point win to avoid a series sweep against the Nix with both sides playing their final league game on Sunday.
Jawad Adekoya had 20 points off the bench for Cheshire and they will look to bow out of the season on a high against Leeds Force.
BBL Championship Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 83 (29,45,68) (Fletcher 24, Martin 18, Flournoy 10) Leicester Riders 76 (21,44,61) (Clark 18, Thomson 13, King 12)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle secured second spot as they defeated the league champions, Leicester Riders, 83-76, at Sport Central.
Rahmon Fletcher led the Eagles to victory with 24 points and eight assists as they avenged their loss to the Riders from Wednesday.
The Eagles were without Deondre Parks, while the visitors had captain Tyler Bernardini on the sidelines and it was the hosts who made the stronger start with a 29-21 opening quarter.
However, Leicester responded well from 11 points down with a 16-2 run to take a 38-41 lead, but Fletcher pushed the Eagles ahead by beating the half-time buzzer.
Newcastle pulled away in the third to lead by seven with 10 minutes to go and despite Riders cutting the gap to three, they held on to secure the win.
Brandon Clark top scored with 18 points for the Riders, who finish their regular season campaign at home to Worcester Wolves on Sunday with Newcastle away at Sheffield.
The 2016-17 BBL campaign comes to an end for four teams this weekend. Three already know that, while three teams are battling to extend their seasons. Six teams have booked their spots in the Play-Offs with two still up for grabs heading into the final round of regular season fixtures. Bristol Flyers, Plymouth Raiders and Surrey Scorchers. Two will make it, one finishes with disappointment. The winner of Plymouth-Surrey on Saturday will advance and if Bristol can beat Manchester on the... [read more]
The 2016-17 BBL campaign comes to an end for four teams this weekend. Three already know that, while three teams are battling to extend their seasons.
Six teams have booked their spots in the Play-Offs with two still up for grabs heading into the final round of regular season fixtures.
Bristol Flyers, Plymouth Raiders and Surrey Scorchers. Two will make it, one finishes with disappointment.
The winner of Plymouth-Surrey on Saturday will advance and if Bristol can beat Manchester on the same day, then they will advance with a win over Surrey on the final day with Plymouth taking on Manchester on the road.
"We feel these are two must win games for us and we plan to approach this weekend like it's the playoffs," said Flyers' Aaron Cosby (190-G-92, college: W.Kentucky). "We have to do whatever it takes to win.
"It won't be easy as we expect both Manchester and Surrey to give us their best shot but I'm confident if we play together we will come out on the winning side of both games."
The league's top two meet again tonight as Esh Group Eagles Newcastle host Leicester Riders having lost on Wednesday, while this season's double-winners return home to host Worcester Wolves on Sunday.
Paul James' Wolves take a 12-game win streak into the final weekend and they take on DBL Sharks Sheffield live on BBC Sport tonight in the battle for third with the Sharks then hosting Newcastle on Sunday.
Glasgow Rocks visit Leeds Force tonight before welcoming London Lions to the Emirates Arena as they can secure a third place finish with two wins on the weekend.
Also, the Lions take on Cheshire Phoenix this evening before the visitors return home to host Leeds on Sunday as they look to sign off the season in style.
Joel Freeland selected the top British players playing abroad in last week's games - 3 days ago
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Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of British players who are currently playing abroad. This week's number one is former international power forward Joel Freeland (209-87). He contributed to an easy CSKA's victory against the bottom-ranked Parma in the VTB United League in Thursday night's game.
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of British players who are currently playing abroad.
#1. This week's number one is former international power forward Joel Freeland (209-87, currently plays in VTB United League). He contributed to an easy victory against the bottom-ranked Parma (1-21) crushing them 116-55 in the VTB United League in Thursday night's game.
Freeland scored 8 points and blocked 2 blocks in only 9 minutes on the court.
CSKA Moscow (22-2) is placed first in group A.
It was his team's eighth consecutive victory in a row.
The Regular Season already ended in the VTB United League.
This year Freeland averages: 4.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 2FGP: 54.5% in 11 games he played so far.
He played for the British senior national team three years ago.
#2. Second place goes to an international forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning (205-88, college: Washington, currently plays in Japan). Bryan-Amaning was the major contributor in a Fukuoka Rizing's victory against the seventh-ranked Saitama Broncos (12-24) crushing them 96-75 in the Japanese B League D3 last Saturday.
He scored 20 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
Fukuoka Rizing (32-4) is placed second in the B League D3.
It was his team's ninth consecutive victory in a row.
It's Bryan-Amaning's first season with the team.
Bryan-Amaning has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 16.8ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3bpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 57.5%(296-515), 3FGP: 21.8% and FT: 59.7%.
Bryan-Amaning has a dual citizenship: Ghanian and British.
Ex-London Lions player is in the roster of the British senior national team.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was former U20 international forward Rowell Graham (197-94, currently plays in Spain). He led Blancos de Rueda to a victory over the third-ranked Cambados (20-9) 63-59 in the Spanish LEB Silver (third division) on Sunday night.
Graham was MVP of the game. He scored 15 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and made 2 blocks in 32 minutes.
Comercial Ulsa Ciudad de Valladolid (16-13) is placed seventh in the LEB Silver.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
Graham has relatively good stats this year: 11.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.2bpg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 52.6%, 3FGP: 14.8% and FT: 73.0% in 27 games.
He played for the British U20 national team three years ago.
#4. Forward Ashley Hamilton (201-88, agency: Court Side, college: Loyola Mary, currently plays in Greece) could not help Lavrio (11-15) in their last game on Thursday. Despite Hamilton's good performance Lavrio was defeated 72-61 on the road by the one of league's weakest teams Apollon Patras (#13).
He was the top scorer with 12 points. Hamilton also added 6 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
Hamilton's overall stats this season are: 8.7ppg and 4.3rpg.
He is also British national team player.
#5. International center Gabriel Olaseni (211-91, agency: Pensack Sports, college: Iowa, currently plays in France) was not able to help Entente Orleans 45 (8-20) in their last game. Despite Olaseni's good performance Entente Orleans 45 lost 74-78 on the opponent's court to the leading Monaco.
He scored 13 points, had 7 rebounds and made 2 blocks (went 5 for 5 at the free throw line) in 23 minutes.
This year Olaseni's overall stats are: 9.9ppg and 9.0rpg in seven games.
He plays currently for the British national team.
#6. Power forward Will Neighbour (210-90, agency: HMS, college: UALR, currently plays in New Zealand) contributed to Rams' victory against the closely-ranked Mountain Airs (3-5) 95-82 in the New Zealand NBL on Friday night.
Neighbour scored 13 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
Canterbury Rams (4-4) are placed fourth in the NBL.
Neighbour's total stats this season are: 9.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.3apg and 1.1spg.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior British National Team roster.
#7. Former U20 international forward Ryan Martin (206-91, college: Tenn Tech, currently plays in France) was not able to secure a victory for STB Le Havre (12-9) in their last game. Despite Martin's good performance STB Le Havre lost 75-81 on the opponent's court to the lower-ranked (#7) Poitiers.
He recorded 11 points in 21 minutes.
This year Martin's total stats are: 5.1ppg and 4.0rpg in 12 games.
He used to play for the British U20 national team
seven years ago.
#8. Power forward Ryan Richards (212-91, currently plays in Iran) contributed to an easy victory against the second-ranked Arak (3-3) crushing them 113-71 in the Iranian Superleague last Thursday.
Richards recorded 7 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
It was the game of the round between two top 3 ranked teams in Group 2. Naft Abadan (5-1) is placed first.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only two games left until the end of the Second Stage. So now every game will be important.
This season Richards has relatively solid stats: 13.3ppg and 6.1rpg.
He used to play for the British national team
back in 2011.
#9. International point guard Justin Robinson (185-87, agency: Promotex, college: Rider, currently plays in France) couldn't help Saint-Quentin (12-16) in their last game on Saturday. Despite his good performance Saint-Quentin was crushed 98-64 on the opponent's court by the much higher-ranked Charleville-Mezieres (#3).
Robinson recorded 12 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Robinson has averaged so far 6.7ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.7apg.
He is also in the roster of the British national team.
#10. Forward Jesse Chuku (203-93, college: Lehigh, currently plays in Greece) contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Aiolos Trikallon (10-16) crushing them 73-53 in the Greek A1 last Thursday.
Chuku scored 6 points in 20 minutes.
Kolossos H Hotels (13-13) is placed seventh in the A1.
They ended the series of three consecutive loses.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be extremely important.
Chuku has averaged so far 5.6ppg and 2.5rpg in 23 games.
He is a former U20 international player as five years ago he still played for the British national team.
#11. International center Fahro Alihodzic (208-89, college: UAB, currently plays in Greece) contributed to an easy victory against the tenth-ranked Amyntas Dafnis 83-66 in a derby game in the Greek A2 (second division) on Wednesday night.
Alihodzic scored 10 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
Alihodzic has reliable stats this season: 12.7ppg and 6.5rpg.
He plays currently for the British national team.
#12. U18 international forward Carl Wheatle (196-98, currently plays in Italy) managed to help Angelico Biella to win against the 12th-ranked Mens Sana 1871 crushing them 83-55 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) last Saturday.
He scored only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Wheatle has averaged so far 5.1ppg and 3.3rpg.
He is also in the roster of the British U18 national team.
#13. An experienced former international power forward Dzaflo Larkai (203-81, agency: Interperformances, college: Bellarmine, currently plays in Japan) contributed to an easy victory against the leader Gunma 87-68 in the Japanese B League D2 in Sunday night's game.
Larkai scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Larkai has averaged so far 6.4ppg and 3.9rpg.
He used to play for the British national team
four years ago.
#14. International point guard Ogooluwa Adegboye (182-87, agency: Octagon Europe, college: St.Bonaventure, currently plays in Italy) couldn't help Unieuro Forli in their game against Imola in the Italian Serie A2 (second division). Despite his very good performance on Saturday night Adegboye was the second best scorer with 14 points.
This season Adegboye has very high stats. He averages: 15.3ppg, 2.8rpg and 3.8apg.
Adegboye plays currently for the British national team.
#15. Former international power forward Laurence Ekperigin (200-88, college: Le Moyne, currently plays in France) couldn't help Nantes in their game against Denain Voltaire in the French ProB (second division), despite his very good performance in Friday night's game.
He was the second best scorer with 14 points. Ekperigin also added 6 rebounds in 33 minutes.
But his team lost 55-65.
Ekperigin's stats this year are: 12.4ppg, 7.9rpg and 1.9apg in 26 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Ekperigin used to play for the British national team
six years ago.
Strangely he has never played in United Kingdom.
The list of other players, who all have British passport but never been selected to any of British national teams:
#1. Experienced Lindsay Tait (190-G-82, currently plays in New Zealand) led Rangers to a victory against the league outsider Giants (1-6) 99-87 in the New Zealand NBL on Saturday night.
Tait scored 17 points, grabbed 6 boards, passed 7 assists and added 3 steals (was perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line) in 24 minutes.
James Blond Supercity Rangers (4-2) are placed second in the NBL.
But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen.
Tait has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages: 17.2ppg, 4.7rpg, 5.5apg and 1.8spg in six games he played so far.
Tait has a dual citizenship: British and New Zealand.
#2.Darren Phillip (201-PF-78, agency: DTMones, college: Fairfield, currently plays in Argentina). Phillip could not help Instituto (27-22) to beat Quilmes MP (20-26).
He scored 7 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 16 minutes.
The fifth-placed Instituto (27-22) was badly defeated 84-68 at home by the lower-ranked (#7) Quilmes MP in the Norte group.
Phillip has averaged so far 8.1ppg and 4.3rpg in eight games.
He is a naturalized American.
Strangely Phillip has never played in United Kingdom.
#3.Obi Emegano (190-G-93, college: ORU, currently plays in Poland) was not able to help Polfarmex (5-25) in their last game. Despite Emegano's good performance Polfarmex lost 72-86 on the road to the much higher-ranked (#9) Polpharma.
He was the second best scorer with 11 points in 26 minutes.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season.
Emegano has averaged so far 5.1ppg and 1.2rpg in nine games.
He is another player who holds two passports: Nigerian and British.
#4.Nicholas Spires (210-C-94, currently plays in Sweden) was not able to secure a victory for one of league's weakest teams Sodertalje Kings (23-9) in their last game. Despite Spires' good performance Sodertalje Kings lost 74-80 in Norrkoping to the second-ranked Dolphins.
He recorded 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in a mere 18 minutes.
Spires has averaged so far 8.9ppg, 6.1rpg and 1.6bpg in 39 games.
He has both British and Swedish nationalities.
#5.BJ Anthony (200-F-88, currently plays in New Zealand) contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Sharks (4-3) 111-93 in the New Zealand NBL last Thursday.
Anthony scored 8 points.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Wellington Saints (8-0) are placed first in the NBL.
So far his team won all eight games in the Regular Season.
Anthony has averaged so far 6.3ppg and 4.8rpg.
He also holds two passports: British and New Zealand.
#6.Akeem Williams (178-PG-91, college: Mass.-Lowell, currently plays in France) managed to help Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket to win against the closely-ranked Le Mans 80-64 in the French ProA last Tuesday.
Williams scored only 3 points.
Williams has averaged so far 5.4ppg, 1.8rpg and 1.3apg.
He is a naturalized American.
Apparently Williams has never played in United Kingdom.
#7.Kaj-Bjorn Sherman (213-C-92, college: UTSA, currently plays in Spain) contributed to an easy victory against the fifth-ranked Fontedoso Carrefour 60-45 in the Spanish LEB Silver (third division) on Sunday night.
He scored only 3 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 11 minutes.
Sherman has averaged so far 4.7ppg and 2.8rpg in 27 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Sherman used to play for Cheshire Phoenix in British league.
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