February opened with a busy night in the BBL: fans saw 792 points scored and 81 three-pointers poured in across five games. The Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders reached the BBL Trophy semi-finals in their quest for a second trophy of the season; while in the BBL Championship the Glasgow Rocks and Worcester Wolves closed the gap on fourth as the bottom three all lost, with the race for the Playoffs heating up as both of the clubs above them won.
The teams placed second and third in the BBL Championship fought it out for a BBL Trophy semi-final place, as the Riders prevailed with a 66-82 road win at the Surrey Heat. Jay Couisnard (198-F-88, college: UMKC) led the scoring with 22 points, with Drew Sullivan contributing 19 as both grabbed 7 rebounds. Julius Joseph led the Heat with 16 points after hitting 3/3 three-pointers.
The Riders stormed into a 2-15 lead after Zaire Taylor's three-pointer started the scoring and they held their hosts to just one basket in five minutes, Drew Sullivan adding 4 points in that run. The lead peaked at 4-18 on Sullivan's three-pointer, with more than seven minutes played. But the Heat found their range to end the first quarter as Julius Joseph's triple got them started and they narrowed the deficit to 16-24. And the hosts actually took the lead themselves in the second stanza after a 13-2 burst was capped by Albert Margai's second three-pointer for 37-35. But the Riders regained their footing and scored the last 8 points inside the final minute, with Pavol Losonsky scoring 4 of those.
After a tight third, the Riders settled the game decisively in the fourth quarter with Barry Lamble opening the scoring to set the tone and putting them into double-digits for good; they scored the first 7 points, with the next 5 coming from Sullivan and held the hosts scoreless for three minutes. From there the Riders kept the Heat at arm's length, with the lead peaking at 64-82 on a pair of Connor Washington free-throws inside the last minute.
In the BBL Championship, both the Glasgow Rocks and Worcester Wolves were victorious to maintain their pressure on the top four. The Rocks produced a dominant display to beat the Cheshire Phoenix 87-69, with Donald Robinson recording the highest score of the night with 30 points. The Rocks never trailed after Robinson opened the game with a three-pointer, with the key run coming early in the second as they went on 16-4 surge, Jamie Vanderbeken hitting a three-pointer and Michael Ringold adding 4 points. The Phoenix couldn't get close in the second half and the game was over when the Rocks opened the fourth with a 19-4 run, Robinson and Vanderbeken adding another 5 each.
The Wolves, meanwhile, were almost as impressive in beating the Manchester Giants 75-88 on the road, Stan Ocitti and Alex Owumi (196-G-84, college: Alcorn St.) equally splitting 40 points to lead the scoring, with the former adding 10 rebounds and the latter 5 assists. The Wolves led from early on and throughout after they edged the first quarter, despite finding themselves 11-6 in arrears as Nick George and David Watts, with a three-pointer, scored consecutively. The Wolves hit back with a 9-2 run, with Ocitti hitting 5 and Owumi 4 and then, after being pegged back to a tie at 15, Arnas Kazlauskas hit a three-pointer with the last play of the first quarter to give them the lead. That gave them momentum and they opened the second stanza with a 14-2 surge midway through to establish a double-digit lead at 28-39 behind three-pointers from Carlos Fernandez and Kazlauskas. Two big runs in the third quarter, firstly of 11-2 and then of 15-2, settled the game in the third quarter and gave the visitors the cushion that they needed to hold off the Giants in the fourth quarter.
In the scrap for Playoff places, the One Health Sharks Sheffield strengthened their position with an 88-70 defeat of the Durham Wildcats. Micah Williams led the scoring with 26 points, shooting 60% from the field and 57% beyond the arc, while Mike Tuck added a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. The game was tight through the early exchanges, before the Sharks established a commanding lead with a 10-3 spell in which Andrew Bridge scored the last four points, helping them to a 23-16 advantage after the opening ten minutes. Despite being pegged back by a 10-0 run which saw the game tied at 26, the Sharks dominated the rest of the second in what proved to be a decisive period. Williams hit a trio of triples in a minute to restore order in what became an 18-2 push for the hosts that was capped by back-to-back Nick Lewis three-pointers in the space of 30 seconds. The Sharks led 49-34 and made six three-pointers in the period, with Williams scoring 12 points and dishing out 2 assists. They were never threatened thereafter.
It was a different game in the capital as the London Lions took a share of a BBL Championship Playoff spot after emerging victorious, 88-79, from an attritional affair with the Mersey Tigers. Jordan Spencer led the Lions with 21 points, including five three-pointers, while Adrien Sturt added 17 and 9 rebounds. The Tigers won the first quarter but, despite the Lions getting in front in the second neither team could establish much of a lead throughout. That was until a frantic fourth quarter in which the teams shared 65 points; from a one point deficit, the Lions scored the next 5 points, Spencer connecting from beyond the arc, and established a lead at 62-58 that they would not relinquish. They headed into the final four minutes with a one point lead when Mahmood Diakite made a three-pointer to initiate the decisive spell as, soon after, the Lions recorded a 6-0 run, including another Sturt triple, to lead 84-75 inside the final minute. That was the biggest lead of the night and saw the Lions over the line.
San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (LEB Gold) landed 20-year old British international guard Jules Akodo (188-85kg-96). He played most recently at LTH Castings in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM. In 27 games he averaged 8.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg and 1.3spg last season. Akodo received also Eurobasket.com All-European Championships U20 Division B Honorable Mention award in 2016. The previous (14-15) season Akodo played at Fraport Skyliners II in ProB where in 15 games he had 11.4ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.4... [read more]
San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (LEB Gold) landed 20-year old British international guard Jules Akodo (188-85kg-96). He played most recently at LTH Castings in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM. In 27 games he averaged 8.6ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg and 1.3spg last season. Akodo received also Eurobasket.com All-European Championships U20 Division B Honorable Mention award in 2016. The previous (14-15) season Akodo played at Fraport Skyliners II in ProB where in 15 games he had 11.4ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.4apg and 1.3spg. He played in the final of Slovenian U18 Championships in 2013. He also represented United Kingdom at the European Championships U20 Division B in Chalkida (Greece) this year. His stats at that event were 8 games: 10.1ppg, 5.4rpg, Assists-3 (4.9apg), Steals-1 (3.6spg), FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 17.1%, FT: 72.2%. Akodo has played also professionally in Slovenia for Un.Olimpija. Let's have closer look into His outlook:
Has a great body and athletic skills for a point guard. He can drive to the lane and plays tough defense. He needs to work onn his outside shooting because he struggles a bit now, if left open from the distance.
San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos roster for 2016-2017:
Essex Leopards London (NBL D1) confirmed in their roster guard Brian Nguru (180). He played there last season. In 19 NBL D1 games he had 5.6ppg and 1.1apg. Nguru previously for Westminster Warriors. Essex Leopards London roster for 2016-2017: Guards: Brian Nguru Douglas Bennett Forwards: Justin Hitchman Jamie Hayes Coach: Steve Ogunjimi By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in United Kingdom [read more]
Essex Leopards London (NBL D1) confirmed in their roster guard Brian Nguru (180). He played there last season. In 19 NBL D1 games he had 5.6ppg and 1.1apg. Nguru previously for Westminster Warriors.
London Leopards keep Hayes for another season - 19 hours ago
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Essex Leopards London (NBL D1) re-signed forward Jamie Hayes (198). He played there last season. In 23 NBL D1 games he averaged 4.3ppg. Part of previous (2014-15) season Hayes spent at Newham (EBL D1) where in 6 games he had 4.8ppg and 6.2rpg. He also played that season for Eastside (EBL). In 6 games he recorded 4.7ppg and 6.2rpg. Hayes previously for Univ.E.London. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in United Kingdom [read more]
Essex Leopards London (NBL D1) re-signed forward Jamie Hayes (198). He played there last season. In 23 NBL D1 games he averaged 4.3ppg. Part of previous (2014-15) season Hayes spent at Newham (EBL D1) where in 6 games he had 4.8ppg and 6.2rpg. He also played that season for Eastside (EBL). In 6 games he recorded 4.7ppg and 6.2rpg. Hayes previously for Univ.E.London.
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