There was a trio of home wins on Friday night in the BBL Championship, for the Newcastle Eagles, One Health Sharks Sheffield and Manchester Giants.
The Eagles have given themselves a cushion in second place in the BBL Championship table after beating the third-placed Surrey Heat 89-80 in the northeast. The Eagles have won five of their last six games, while it was the Heat's first loss on the road since October. Damon Huffman (186-PG-85) led the Eagles with 26 points, including six three-pointers, while Darius Defoe had a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds; the Eagles were missing Charles Smith.
After establishing an 11-2 lead straight out of the blocks, the Eagles led throughout the game although they were pushed late on. The Heat tied the game at 54 when Frank and Travis Holmes scored consecutive baskets, but the Eagles were settled by Damon Huffman and Fab Flournoy, and Huffman made two three-pointers inside the last two minutes to maintain their edge at 64-60 going into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles built on that foundation and saw the game out as a 6-0 burst, sparked by Anthony Martin, gave them a double-digit cushion at 72-62 and that was maintained heading into the last five minutes as Martin scored twice more. The Heat did threaten again, using an 8-0 run to get within one possession at 76-73 with four minutes to play, and they still had a chance with 1.13 remaining at 82-79 after Margai scored again. But the Eagles held their nerve as, surprisingly, Defoe made his first three-pointer of the season and Martin scored 4/4 from the line down the stretch.
Elsewhere, the Sharks made it three wins in a row, while condemning the Glasgow Rocks to their third straight defeat as they beat their Scottish rivals 83-74 in Yorkshire. Micah Williams led the Sharks with 23 points, while Mike Tuck added 16. The visitors were led by Gareth Murray's 16 points and 9 rebounds.
The Sharks used a flurry of third quarter three-pointers to win the game, after trailing for most of the first half. With 3.30 to play in the third, trailing 45-54, Micah Williams scored back-to-back three-pointers for the hosts to narrow the gap to 51-54, and when Lewis added another a minute later the game was level, and it stayed that way heading into the fourth quarter at 58-58.
The Sharks established a decisive lead when they scored the first 8 points of the fourth quarter, including 6 for Babalola, and they maintained a cushion through to the end.
Finally, the Manchester Giants made it two wins in a row, after a previous run of seven straight defeats, after edging out northwest rivals the Cheshire Phoenix by 85-83, meaning that the Phoenix have lost six of their seven road games this season.
The Giants were led by a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds from Ben Eaves, ably supported by 19 points from David Watts. Gabriele Haskins led all scorers, in vain for the visitors, scoring 31 points.
The Giants led for all of the first three quarters and 30-21 after a free-scoring first period, establishing an 18-8 lead after just five minutes courtesy of a 10-2 surge as Watts and Eaves each scored 6 early points. But thereafter the Phoenix chipped away at their hosts' lead.
Their persistence paid off in the fourth quarter as an 8-3 opening gave them their first lead of the game at 68-69 after Haskins made 4/4 from the line following a foul and Mike Bernard technical foul, and then the same player scored again as the Phoenix got the ball back, meaning Haskins scored 6 points in 20 seconds. But their lead would not last long, as, fittingly, Ben Eaves' three-pointer put the hosts back up 73-71, with 6.30 to play. The teams were never separated by more than one possession all the way to the end, and they were tied at 83 inside the final minute. It was down to Eaves to settle the game after Stefan Gill stole the ball and set him up for a dunk with 20 seconds left; there was time for the Phoenix to tie the game, but Gumbs missed his shot before Eaves emerged with the rebound as the clock ran down.
The BBL are delighted to announce that the Bristol Flyers will be joining their ranks.
The Flyers, who will be owned by Bristol Sport Ltd, will commence participation in BBL Competition from the start of the 2014-15 season. They will remain in the EBL Division One for the forthcoming season [read more]
The BBL are delighted to announce that the Bristol Flyers will be joining their ranks.
The Flyers, who will be owned by Bristol Sport Ltd, will commence participation in BBL Competition from the start of the 2014-15 season. They will remain in the EBL Division One for the forthcoming season.
The club have established themselves as one of the most successful and well-supported community basketball clubs in the country outside of the BBL, securing promotion to National League Division 1 in 2007, becoming National Cup Champions in 2010 and being crowned as English Division 1 Champions in 2011.
Bristol Sport Chairman Martin Griffiths said 'The Flyers have already developed one of the best youth schemes and academy pathways in the country, and having performed so successfully in recent years at the top of the semi-professional leagues, it is right and proper they should be part of the UK's premier professional basketball league.
"This new Bristol Flyers BBL franchise will give the city's talented young basketball players and coaches the chance to develop and to shine at the national level. It's great news for sport in Bristol, and I am delighted that Bristol Sport has been able to make it happen."
Andy Webb, BBL Chief Operating Officer, commented: "We are delighted to welcome the Bristol Flyers to the BBL. They are a perfect fit to extend our reach within the UK and, with the support of Bristol Sport, we believe all the building blocks are in place for a hugely successful franchise."
The London Lions have made point guard Rod Brown(186-PG-78, college: W.Michigan) their first signing as they get ready to move to the Copper Box Arena.
The 61 American made an instant impact when he joined the Lions at the turn of this year, spearheading their successful push for a Playoff place. Brown is a veteran of many years playing in the UK before heading off to Europe to play in the big leagues in Spain and Italy [read more]
The London Lions have made point guard Rod Brown (186-PG-78, college: W.Michigan) their first signing as they get ready to move to the Copper Box Arena.
The 61 American made an instant impact when he joined the Lions at the turn of this year, spearheading their successful push for a Playoff place. Brown is a veteran of many years playing in the UK before heading off to Europe to play in the big leagues in Spain and Italy.
Now a British passport holder, Brown took hold of the team making the winning basket in the Lions last regular season game to qualify for the Playoffs.
Lions Head Coach Vince Macaulay had this to say, Im just so excited, we have a great opportunity at the Queen Elizabeth Park and with these great challenges we need capable men, Rod was a great addition to us last season and hes just as excited as I am about the move, his veteran leadership was key and will be required this season as we try to compete at the top of the League table, we had a job on our hands to retain his services as he was in great demand hear and overseas but the potential here is the best in British basketball and I think Rod saw that.
A native of Texas, Brown graduated from Western Michigan University in 2000 before coming over to the UK to play. Following spells in Greece, Spain and Italy, Brown played in Switzerland in 2011 where he won the Championship and Playoffs.
Last season Brown averaged 15 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Lions, however it was the calmness under pressure that he brought to his team mates, Macaulay added, In building this years team Rod was our first name down and all at the club are delighted to have been able to bring him back but this is only the start of assembling an exciting team for London.
Player sponsorship is now available for Rod Brown on a first come first served basis.
The Lions are about to announce Season ticket offers for the Copper Box as well as a first opportunity to go to the Copper Box and pick your seats in Seat Selection Sunday, if youre interested in any of these please just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Prunty takes over Great Britain - Jun 12, 2013
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Great Britain has finally got to know the name of their new head coach. Joe Prunty will guide the team at the 2013 EuroBasket. He replaces Chris Finch who stepped down after the London Olympics. Joe Prunty has lately worked as assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Previously he was assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Previously Joe Prunty worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs [read more]
Great Britain has finally got to know the name of their new head coach. Joe Prunty will guide the team at the 2013 EuroBasket. He replaces Chris Finch who stepped down after the London Olympics. Joe Prunty has lately worked as assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Previously he was assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Previously Joe Prunty worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs. Great Britain will try to improve their two consecutive 13th-place EuroBasket campaigns in 2009 and 2011. They will play in Group A of EuroBasket. Great Britain will face France, Germany, Belgium, Israel and Ukraine. Top three teams from the group will advance into the Second Stage of the tournament.
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