Worcester Wolves and Cheshire Phoenix completed the line-up for the BBL Trophy semi-finals with contrasting victories over the weekend.
On Friday night Paul James' Wolves shocked a sell-out crowd at Sport Central with a superb 94-88 victory against Newcastle Eagles while the following evening saw Phoenix win 106-61 at Worthing Thunder in a game they led from tip to buzzer
At Newcastle, nothing could separate the teams over the first three quarters but a 7-0 burst gave Wolves a 78-71 lead late in the fourth quarter and they held off Eagles' furious attempts of a fight-back. Newcastle pulled to within one (81-80) but a three from Alex Owumi (pictured) keyed a 9-2 run to reclaim their seven point advantage. Owumi was the main-man for the Wolves, leading all scorers with 34 points.
The following night Phoenix started the game strongly, scoring the first 11 points of the contest and never looking back. Phoenix captain Chez Marks ended the game with 23 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Gabe Haskins (178-G-85, college: Huston-Tillotson) scored 16 points and also had 9 assists.
Marks was pleased with his side's performance: "We treated Worthing like we do with every other team. Worthing was up for it, they're a great team and they came out and played hard. We had to bounce back from the tough loss to London Lions last night but we knew we had to come out, play hard, play together and now we are in the semi-finals and we have as good of a chance as any of making it to the final."
Phoenix will now face One Health Sharks Sheffield in the semi-finals, while Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and Worcester Wolves will contest the other semi-final.
Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders moved level with the Newcastle Eagles at the top of the BBL Championship table thanks to a convincing 72-51 victory over the One Health Sharks Sheffield at Sir David Wallace Sports Centre.
21 points from Andrew Sullivan was the leading figure for the home side in the victory, but it was Jay Couisnard's basket that sparked the game breaking 13-2 burst in the third quarter to take the score out to 52-39, and Rob Paternostro's side never looked back.
Glasgow Rocks kept up the pressure on the top four with a comfortable 97-58 victory at Mersey Tigers. Led by 20 points from Donald Robinson the Rocks outscored the home side 29-5 in the third period to pull away from the winless Tigers.
Sterling Davis and his team made it a winning weekend on Sunday thanks to a hard-fought 94-84 victory over the UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders at the Emirates Arena.
24 points from Donald Robinson was the mainstay for the Rocks in the victory, though it was Michael Ojo to lead all scorers in the contest with 30 points for the Raiders. The Rocks lead for the majority of the game, and despite the Raiders getting themselves right back in the contest trimming the gap back to five points at 81-76, but that was as close as the visitors would get as the Rocks held on for the victory.
Manchester Giants put a big dent in any title hopes Surrey Heat may have with an 83-70 victory.
A dominating second quarter opened up a ten point lead and then a 13-4 burst in the final period sealed the points. Stefan Gill was on fire with 28 points as Giants strengthened their bid for the play-offs.
London Lions won a crucial play-off positions battle as they defeated Cheshire Phoenix 94-83 in the capital. The teams were locked together in the BBL Championship table and on points up to half time before the Lions took over in the third quarter with Tayo Ogedengbe and Adrien Sturt each scoring 20 for the hosts.
The Lions couldn't make it a winning weekend, though, as they went down 89-84 at Durham Wildcats on Sunday. Keith Page led the way for the hosts and the Wildcats lead by as many as 16 points at 80-64 in the final period. But a 17-3 burst from the Lions trimmed the deficit right back to two points at 83-81 but they were not able to get themselves in front as the Wildcats held on for the win to move level with the Cheshire Phoenix and Manchester Giants in ninth position in the table
Townsville Heat adds Anderson to their roster, ex Cheshire P. - 1 day ago
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Townsville Heat (QBL) added to their roster 27-year old British forward Jamell Anderson (200-90). He just played at Cheshire Phoenix in British BBL league. In 33 games he recorded 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.9spg this season. The last season Anderson played at Leicester Riders (also in BBL) where in 34 games he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.5apg. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. A very spectacular season in his career... [read more]
Townsville Heat (QBL) added to their roster 27-year old British forward Jamell Anderson (200-90). He just played at Cheshire Phoenix in British BBL league. In 33 games he recorded 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.9spg this season. The last season Anderson played at Leicester Riders (also in BBL) where in 34 games he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.5apg. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. A very spectacular season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com British BBL All-Defensive Team. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Anderson's team won British BBL Cup for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). He represented United Kingdom at the 3x3 World Championships in Greece five years ago. Anderson has played also professionally for other British teams like Nottingham Tribe and Essex Pirates.
It's our penultimate line-up of 2016-17 and while a trio took their last opportunity to shine as their respective seasons came to an end, two of our starters will be hoping to re-appear as they head into the Play-Offs! Mike DiNunno (Cheshire Phoenix) As the curtain fell on an eventful season at Phoenix, the playmaker signed off his participation in spectacular style with a typically influential contribution. Di Nunno lit it up at Cheshire Oaks Arena against Leeds Force by harvesting a ma... [read more]
It's our penultimate line-up of 2016-17 and while a trio took their last opportunity to shine as their respective seasons came to an end, two of our starters will be hoping to re-appear as they head into the Play-Offs!
Mike DiNunno (Cheshire Phoenix) As the curtain fell on an eventful season at Phoenix, the playmaker signed off his participation in spectacular style with a typically influential contribution. Di Nunno lit it up at Cheshire Oaks Arena against Leeds Force by harvesting a massive 36 points in just 22 minutes, after sinking a sizzling eight scores from beyond the three-point line. He also had three rebounds, three assists and not a single turnover during his time on court.
Callum Jones (193-G-85, college: Pace) (Manchester Giants) They may have finished propping up the table, but there was at least a smile of sorts heading into the summer for Giants as they ended their participation with an exciting home win against Plymouth Raiders. That was largely down to a magnificent effort from Jones, as he led his team to victory with a quite brilliant line. The guard finished with a majestic double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds, while adding seven assists for good measure.
Earl Brown (Cheshire Phoenix) Finishing the season with a flourish and arguably the most consistent performer throughout a campaign of changes for Phoenix, Brown was in scintillating form against Leeds. While his team-mate DiNunno excelled in the backcourt, the forward scythed down Force by registering a huge double-double. He did the business in the paint with an astonishing 84% from the field for 28 points and also added 14 boards and five steals.
Leslee Smith (Bristol Flyers) Despite their worrying start to the season, Flyers find themselves in the Play-Offs after a weekend win double which catapulted them into seventh place. It was imperative Flyers got off to a positive start in their double-header and Smith brought the noise in a big way against Manchester. He was sensational and very much the difference-maker in a hard-fought victory against Giants with a monumental 19-point and 21-rebound double-double to delight the locals.
Tony Wroblicky (DBL Sharks Sheffield) The Sharks are now looking to defend the BBL Play-Off title they famously won at The 02 in London last May and if they manage to do it, you can expect Wroblicky to have a big hand in it. He was on fire for Sharks as they ended Worcester's record winning streak by beating them on the road and in front of the BBC Sport cameras. He weighed in with an outstanding double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds, also not spilling the ball once in 30 minutes on the hardwood.
Off the Bench - Rashad Hassan (London Lions), Kieron Achara (Glasgow Rocks), Jermaine Sanders (Leeds Force), Rahmon Fletcher (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle), Hameed Ali (Bristol Flyers), Chaz Rollins (Surrey Scorchers), Rob Marsden (Leeds Force).
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