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.
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.
Devon Van Oostrum (ex Koroivos) signs at MZT Skopje - 1 day ago
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Defending champion KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (Prva Liga) landed 24-year old British guard Devon Van Oostrum (190-93, agency: Octagon Europe). He has a double citizenship as he also holds Dutch passport. Van Oostrum played recently at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greek A1 league, but left the team earlier this month. In 11 games he averaged 11.0ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.7apg this season. The last season Van Oostrum played at Arkadikos (also in A1) where in 26 games he had 9.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.5apg and 1.2s... [read more]
Defending champion KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (Prva Liga) landed 24-year old British guard Devon Van Oostrum (190-93, agency: Octagon Europe). He has a double citizenship as he also holds Dutch passport. Van Oostrum played recently at ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greek A1 league, but left the team earlier this month. In 11 games he averaged 11.0ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.7apg this season. The last season Van Oostrum played at Arkadikos (also in A1) where in 26 games he had 9.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.5apg and 1.2spg. Among other achievements Van Oostrum's team made it to the Spanish ACB Supercup Final Four in 2014. He received also Eurobasket.com All-European Championships U20 Division B 1st Team award back in 2012 and 2013. Van Oostrum was also a member of British international program for some years. He played for British Senior National Team between 2011 and 2014 and previously for U20 National Team between 2011 and 2013. Van Oostrum also represented United Kingdom at the Qualifications to European Championships 2015 three years ago. His stats at that event were 3 games: 7.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 4.0apg, FGP: 31.8%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 50.0%. Van Oostrum is a very experienced player. He has played also professionally in Croatia (Cibona), Finland (Kouvot), Spain (Baskonia, Magia Huesca, Caceres Basket, CB Tarragona 2017 and Baskonia) and United Kingdom (Sheffield Sharks).
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