UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders earned a hard-fought double-overtime 119-115 victory over Manchester Giants on Saturday evening after Giants twice forced extra periods in the closing seconds, first through a pair of freethrows scored by Ben Eaves (200-F-87, agency: Interperformances, college: Rhode Island) in the final quarter and then with a putback made by Devan Bailey at the end of the first period of overtime. The win sees Raiders remain fourth in the BBL Championship table with 24 points from 17 games, two points behind Surrey Heat in third. Giants meanwhile slip to tenth spot with 14 points from 21 games, level on points with One Health Sharks Sheffield and London Lions just above them, but having played three more games than Sharks and one more than Lions.
Raiders' Javarris Barnett (200-G-89, college: Charlotte) led all scorers with 30 points, also pulling down 11 rebounds and finishing with 9 assists. Matt Schneck scored 27 points and had 8 rebounds, while Drew Lasker finished with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Colin O'Reilly had a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Rod Brown also had a double-double, scoring 10 points and had 14 assists for Raiders on his debut, also finishing with 5 steals. Stefan Gill led the Giants' scorers with 28 points including a perfect 8/8 freethrows, while Nick George scored 27 points. David Watts had a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The game featured a tight opening with neither side was able to build a lead of more than 2 points as Raiders' Javarris Barnett and Giants' Nick George both scored 9 points in a spell that left Giants up 16-15 mid-way through the quarter. Matt Schneck's dunk then started the Raiders rolling on an 8-0 run, with new Raiders signing Rod Brown assisting on two of their field goals and scoring the other two to put them up 23-16.
But the Giants hit back, scoring the final 6 points of the quarter to spark a 28-12 run, with Stefan Gill scoring 12 points for them in the run, to put Giants ahead 44-35 with about 4 minutes to go in the quarter. Raiders fought back however, going on a 14-4 run that featured 3-points from Rod Brown and Colin O'Reilly and 6 points scored by Matt Schneck before Drew Lasker put them ahead 51-50 early in the third period. Giants however prevented them from pulling out any further ahead, keeping the game close until they went on a 7-0 mini-run near the end of the quarter, putting them up 74-67.
But Raiders hit back, Drew Lasker scoring the final 3 points off the quarter as they started putting together a 22-7 run of their own to take an 89-81 lead after Barnett assisted on a basket scored by Jamal Williams with 4:15 remaining. That assist was Barnett's fourth in the run, while Williams had 9 points and a block in the run and Rod Brown had 3 assists in the run. A pair of freethrows and a 3-pointer from Nick George along with 2 field goals scored by Ben Eaves saw the Giants fight their way back into the contest, taking the Raiders lead down to just 92-90 with 93 seconds to play.
Barnett scored a 3-pointer to make the Raiders lead 95-90 but Nick George hit right back for the Giants with a trey of his own before Barnett missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to play. Gill claimed the rebound for the Giants and on the resulting possession, Matt Schneck fouled Eaves, sending him to the line with just seconds to play. Eaves sank both freethrows, tying the game at 95-95 and forcing overtime.
Overtime started with Rod Brown assisting on a Schneck freethrow before Lasker assisted on a trey scored by Barnett and a basket scored by O'Reilly, while tough Raiders defence stopped Giants making their first four shots of overtime. That put Raiders up 101-95. Giants then hit back, Eaves and Gill both sinking a pair of freethrows before Nick George made an 'and-one' play, putting the Giants back in front 102-101 with 87 seconds left.
Lasker assisted on a basket scored by Williams that put Raiders back in front 103-102. Gill missed the go-ahead basket for the Giants, but they were then able to force a Raiders shot-clock violation to get the ball back with 25 seconds to play. However, Schneck intercepted a pass by Nick George and forced Eaves to use up his final foul sending Scheck to the freethrow line. He made 1/2 attempts, putting Raiders up 104-102 and leaving Giants with 15 seconds to keep their chances alive. Nick George missed his attempt to tie the game up, but Devan Bailey grabbed the rebound and made the putback, scoring his first points of the game and tying the game up at 104-104, forcing a second period of overtime.
Raiders started the sixth stanza well, Schneck scoring 6 points as they went on an 11-4 mini-run and took a 115-108 lead with 1:41 to play. Bailey reduced that lead back down to 5 points but Schneck sank his fifth and sixth freethrows of the period to make it 117-110 with 1:07 left. David Watts made a putback off James Jones' missed trey for the Giants and after Schneck missed a shot, he fouled Stefan Gill. Gill sank both freethrows, reducing the Raiders lead to just 117-114 with 31 seconds left. After Jamal Williams missed a trey for Raiders, Drew Lasker grabbed the rebound and made a putback, putting Raiders ahead 119-114 with just 8 seconds to play. Lasker then fouled Bailey, who sank his first freethrow then missed his second. That allowed James Jones to grab the rebound for the Giants and attempt a 3-pointer, but he missed that and the Raiders ran out 119-115 winners.
Reading Rockets add Marzette to their roster - May 20, 2016
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Reading Rockets (EBL D1) added to their roster American guard Alex Marzette (196-84kg, college: Robert Morris). He played last summer at Pontiac 66ers (MPBA) in the U.S.. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Marzette's college team won GLVC Tournament in 2014. He was also voted All-CCAC 1st Team in 2015. Marzette graduated from Robert Morris College in 2015 and it is his second season as a profes... [read more]
Reading Rockets (EBL D1) added to their roster American guard Alex Marzette (196-84kg, college: Robert Morris). He played last summer at Pontiac 66ers (MPBA) in the U.S.. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Marzette's college team won GLVC Tournament in 2014. He was also voted All-CCAC 1st Team in 2015. Marzette graduated from Robert Morris College in 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player.
Manchester Giants are bringing back at least four players from last season's squad. And talks are under way to increase that number. Supporters' player of the year Ingus Bankevics(195-G/F-85, agency: Players Group) will return for the second year of his two-year contract. And player-coach Yorick Williams has moved to re-sign Jerelle Okoro, Barry Webster and Reiss Haggith. Guard Okoro had a breakout year last season forcing himself into the Giants' starting line-up with some energetic,... [read more]
Manchester Giants are bringing back at least four players from last season's squad.
And talks are under way to increase that number.
Supporters' player of the year Ingus Bankevics (195-G/F-85, agency: Players Group) will return for the second year of his two-year contract.
And player-coach Yorick Williams has moved to re-sign Jerelle Okoro, Barry Webster and Reiss Haggith.
Guard Okoro had a breakout year last season forcing himself into the Giants' starting line-up with some energetic, committed displays and typifying the kind of defensive intensity Williams values.
Webster and Haggith both played bit-part roles with Giants chiefs hopeful of further development from the pair.
Williams is currently in talks with senior Giants players from last season's squad while pursuing potential new signings.
Giants CEO John Dwan said: 'We've moved quickly to re-sign these three young players.
'We believe they have the potential to do even better next season.
'Yorick is talking to the other players from last season's group and has already started identifying potential new players.'
The Giants have also been working to expand their youth set-up with recent trials for next season's National League teams drawing around 350 youngsters to Wright Robinson.
'It has been really encouraging,' added Dwan. 'We hope it will mean a bigger and better junior section in the new season.'
Eurobasket.com All-British BBL Awards 2016 - May 17, 2016
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Playoffs MVP: Mike Tuck (201-F-83) of Sheffield S.; Player of the Year: Rahmon Fletcher (177-PG-88) of Newcastle E.; Guard of the Year: Rahmon Fletcher (177-PG-88) of Newcastle E.; Forward of the Year: Andrew Sullivan (203-F-80) of Leicester R.; Center of the Year: Kieron Achara (208-F/C-83) of Glasgow Rocks; Bosman Player of the Year: Kieron Achara (208-F/C-83) of Glasgow Rocks; Import Player of the Year: Rahmon Fletcher (177-PG-88) of Newcastle E.; Domestic Play [read more]
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