A resolute One Health Sharks Sheffield have won the BBL Trophy after beating the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 69-71 at the Emirates Arena. It is 15 years since the last and only time that the Sharks have won the BBL Trophy, and is their third piece of silverware in the last four seasons.
It came down to a pair of free-throws from Bryan Holmes (180-PG-88, college: Texas A&M) with ten seconds to play, and he led all scorers with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists for an unquestionable MVP performance; he was supported by 15 points and 7 rebounds from Demetrius Jemison. The league-leading Riders were led by Jay Couisnard's 21 points. The result was somewhat of an upset as the Riders had previously beaten the Sharks on four occasions this season, by margins of between 16 and 30 points each time; but this time the Sharks held the favourites scoreless for a crucial six minutes late in the game and survived a late barrage.
The Sharks did lead for much of the game, resolutely keeping the favourites for the league title at bay on numerous occasions. They exchanged baskets to open the game, with the Sharks edging the early exchanges before Couisnard's three-pointer and a basket from Zaire Taylor gave the Riders their first lead at 9-7. It didn't last long, as Holmes' three-pointer gave the Sharks the edge back, before a number of lead changes until the teams were tied at 13. The Sharks gained the ascendancy as they posted a rapid 8-2 burst, with Holmes and Andrew Bridge scoring from beyond the arc, to take a 17-21 lead that they carried through to the end of the first quarter at 21-23. Bryan Holmes was clearly in the mood as he scored 11 first quarter points.
The Sharks built on that to start the second quarter with a 10-5 spell over the opening five minutes, the score at 26-33, despite the Riders initially tying the game with the first score from Drew Sullivan. The Riders called a timeout, but it didn't help them as they failed to make any inroads and, in fact, Jemison gave the Sharks a double-digit lead at 27-37 with 2.40 to play in the first half. But another chance for Rob Paternostro to talk to his team, when the Sharks called timeout, did seem to sort the Riders out as Cousinard's dunk soon afterwards changed the momentum in the run up to half time. The Riders held the Sharks scoreless for the last two minutes and scored the last 7 points themselves, with Taylor getting the other 5 of those to cut the gap to 36-39.
The Riders looked as though they would build on that momentum as they scored the opening basket of the third quarter through Cousinard, but the Sharks stood firm. They responded with a 7-0 surge over two minutes, with Jemison scoring the first 5 of those including an 'and-one' play to swing the momentum in their favour and push the lead back out to 38-46. But another timeout seemed to make the difference for the Riders after Nick Lewis made the score 44-51 with a three-pointer; the Riders came storming out of the timeout to tie the game at 51 with Anthony Rowe scoring 4 and a Couisnard three-pointer. But again they could not capitalise as the Sharks held their nerve to push the lead back out as Holmes immediately broke the tie with a three-pointer of his own; when Holmes hit another triple with a minute to play in the third, the lead was back out to eight at 53-61 as, after their burst, the Riders went two and a half minutes without scoring.
And the Riders failed to score in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, making it nearly six minutes without a basket, as the Sharks put their lead through double-digits with scores from Olu Babalola and Jemison making it 53-65. But from there Sheffield's resoluteness was tested to the full. Paternostro intervened with another timeout, and the Riders made a massive final push with a 13-2 run as 8 more points for Taylor made it a one-point game, his second three-pointer in that run making the score 66-67 with a little over three minutes to play. Leicester's comeback was complete with 1.18 to play when Jorge Calvo made another three-pointer to tie the game at 69, but once more the Sharks did not allow them to get in front. The Riders had two chances to take the lead, through Jamall Anderson and Cousinard, but could not convert either before Bryan Holmes was fouled by Couisnard with 10 seconds to play. He showed fortitude characteristic of his team to sink both of his free-throws and win the Trophy.
Ryan Richards selected the top British players playing abroad in last week's games - 17 hours ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from British players who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. Kofi Josephs (198-G-91) led Hertener Loewen to a victory over the ninth-ranked Bonn II in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) in Friday night's game.
We bring you last week's top performances from British players who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is former international power forward Ryan Richards (212-91, currently plays in Iran). Richards led Naft Abadan to a victory over one of league's weakest teams Shahrdari Gorgan (2-11) crushing them 84-49 in the Iranian Superleague last Thursday.
He was MVP of the game. Richards scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
Naft Abadan (10-3) is placed second in the Superleague.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
It's Richards' first season with the team.
He has relatively good stats this year: 10.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 2FGP: 40.9%, 3FGP: 31.8% and FT: 75.0%.
Richards played for the British senior national team six years ago.
#2. Second place goes to former international forward Luol Deng (206-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Duke, currently plays in NBA). He could not help the Los Angeles Lakers (15-31) in their last game. Despite Deng's good performance the Los Angeles Lakers (15-31) were crushed 108-87 on the road by the Portland Trail Blazers.
He was the top scorer with 14 points. Deng also added 6 rebounds in 30 minutes.
It was Lakers' fifth consecutive loss in a row.
This year Deng has relatively solid stats: 8.1ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 43.0%, 3FGP: 33.1% and FT: 68.5% in 43 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: British and South Sudanese.
Deng played for the British national team in 2014.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was former international power forward Joel Freeland (209-87, currently plays in Euroleague). He managed to help CSKA Moscow to win against the bottom-ranked Armani Milano (4-13) crushing them 101-64 in the Euroleague in Friday night's game.
Freeland scored only 4 points.
CSKA Moscow (13-4) is placed first in group A.
They ended the series of three consecutive loses.
This season Freeland averages: 2.4ppg, 2FGP: 71.4% and FT: 33.3%.
He played for the British national team three years ago.
#4. Forward Myles Hesson (198-90, currently plays in FIBA Europe Cup) contributed to Gravelines-Dunkerque's victory against the closely-ranked Prievidza (1-3) 79-68 in the FIBA Europe Cup last Wednesday.
Hesson recorded 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 27 minutes.
BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral (1-3) is placed third in group L.
It was his team's first victory after five consecutive loses.
There are only two games left until the end of the FIBA Europe Cup Second Stage. So now every game is very crucial.
Hesson has reliable stats this year: 13.3ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.7apg in 10 games.
He used to play for the British national team
back in 2015.
#5. U18 international forward Carl Wheatle (196-98, currently plays in Italy) contributed to an easy victory against the 14th-ranked Viola RC (6-11) crushing them 96-61 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) in Sunday night's game.
He scored 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 23 minutes.
Angelico Biella (12-5) is placed second in West group.
It was his team's first victory after three consecutive loses.
Wheatle has been at the team for four years.
This season Wheatle's overall stats are: 6.0ppg and 3.0rpg in 16 games.
He plays currently for the British U18 national team.
#6. Forward Rowell Graham (197-94, currently plays in Spain) was not able to help Blancos de Rueda (10-7) in their last game on Friday. Despite Graham's good performance Blancos de Rueda was edged 56-54 in Avila by the higher-ranked Fontedoso Carrefour (#3).
He was the top scorer with 12 points. Graham also added 9 rebounds and made 3 blocks.
Graham's stats this season are: 11.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.2bpg and 1.6spg.
He is a former U20 international player as he played for the British team three years ago.
#7. International power forward Daniel Clark (210-88, currently plays in ABA League) contributed to an easy victory against the ninth-ranked KK Zadar (6-12) crushing them 92-65 in the ABA League on Saturday night.
Clark scored 5 points, had 6 rebounds and dished 4 assists in 20 minutes.
KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom (5-13) is located at the very bottom in the ABA League.
But the situation may improve as they ended a series of five consecutive loses.
Clark's stats this year are: 10.7ppg, 4.9rpg and 2.2apg in nine games.
He is also British national team player.
#8. Forward Elliott Sentance (193-94, college: Mineral Area CC, currently plays in Canada) was not able to secure a victory for the Lethbridge University (8-6) in their last game on Friday. Despite Sentance's very good performance the Lethbridge University (#6) was defeated 89-83 in Saskatoon, SK by the Huskies.
He was the top scorer with 29 points. Sentance also added 8 rebounds and dished 5 assists.
Sentance has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 19.7ppg, 7.3rpg, 2.2apg and 1.8spg.
Sentance used to play for the British U20 national team
back in 2014.
#9. International swingman Chris Caird (198-89, also represented by Interperformances, college: Drake, currently plays in Iceland) couldn't help Tindastoll (9-4) in their last game. Despite his very good performance Tindastoll lost 85-100 in Akureyri to the lower-ranked (#4) Thor AK.
Caird was the second best scorer with 18 points. He also added 5 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Caird has very impressive stats this year: 18.5ppg, 4.1rpg and 1.8apg in 13 games.
He is also in the roster of the British national team.
#10. Point guard Andrew Lawrence (185-90, agency: Two Points, college: Charleston, currently plays in France) contributed to Chalons-Reims' surprising victory against the second-ranked Chalon/Saor (12-4) 74-69 in the French ProA on Saturday night.
Lawrence recorded 8 points and added 3 passes.
Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket (7-9) is placed 13th in the ProA.
Lawrence's total stats this season are: 3.3ppg, 2.8apg and 2.0spg.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior British National Team roster.
#11. Former international guard Luke Nelson (190-95, currently plays college basketball in the States) contributed to an easy victory against the California State University, Fullerton crushing them 87-67 in the NCAA in Saturday night's game.
Nelson scored 20 points in 24 minutes.
Nelson averaged so far 14.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.5apg and 2.3spg in four games.
He used to play for the British national team
three years ago.
#12. Former U18 international center Kingsley Okoroh (216-95, currently studies in the States) contributed to California's victory against the The University of Washington 69-59 in the NCAA last Thursday.
Okoroh recorded 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Okoroh's total stats this season are: 5.4ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.2apg and 2.6bpg.
He used to play for the British U18 national team
back in 2013.
#13. Former international power forward Laurence Ekperigin (200-88, college: Le Moyne, currently plays in France) couldn't help Nantes (8-6) in their last game. Despite Ekperigin's good performance Nantes lost 56-68 on the opponent's court to the much lower-ranked (#12) Poitiers.
He had a double-double by scoring 11 points and getting 12 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Ekperigin averaged so far 11.3ppg, 8.7rpg and 1.4apg in 12 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Ekperigin used to play for the British national team
six years ago.
Strangely he has never played in United Kingdom.
#14. Former U18 international swingman Akwasi Yeboah (198-97, is currently at the American university) contributed to an Stony Brook's shocking victory against the University of Maine crushing them 74-54 in the NCAA on Saturday night.
He scored 13 points, had 6 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
Yeboah's total stats this season are: 9.3ppg and 3.9rpg.
He used to play for the British U18 national team
back in 2014.
#15. Former U20 international guard Jordan Spencer (188-94, currently plays in NCAA2) contributed to an Augustana College, SD's victory against the Northern St. University 80-66 in the NCAA2 last Saturday.
He recorded 14 points and added 9 passes.
Spencer averaged so far 14.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 7.3apg and 1.6spg.
He used to play for the British U20 national team
three years ago.
The list of other players, who all have British passport but never been selected to any of British national teams:
#1.Kofi Josephs (198-G-91, college: Fort Lewis, currently plays in Germany) led Hertener Loewen to a victory over the ninth-ranked Bonn II (7-9) 107-98 in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) in Friday night's game.
He was MVP of the game. Josephs recorded 49 points (!!!), 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in 34 minutes; quite an impressive performance considering it's only his third season in pro basketball. Hertener Loewen Basketball (6-10) is placed tenth in West group.
It's Josephs' first year with the team.
Josephs has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 17.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.3apg and 1.7spg in 12 games he played so far.
#2.Akeem Williams (178-PG-91, college: Mass.-Lowell, currently plays in France) was the main contributor in Hyeres-Toulon's victory against the closely-ranked Cholet Basket (6-10) crushing them 86-66 in the French ProA on Saturday night.
Williams was the best player in that game. He recorded 16 points and added 3 passes; not bad, considering it's only Williams' third season in pro basketball. Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (7-9) is placed 12th in the ProA.
Williams' overall stats this season are: 6.6ppg, 2.0rpg and 1.6apg.
He is a naturalized American.
Strangely Williams has never played in United Kingdom.
#3.Joshua Palmer (201-F, college: Drury, currently plays in NCAA2) contributed to a Drury University's victory against the Saint Joseph's College (IN) (2-5) 90-77 in the NCAA2 in Thursday night's game.
Palmer scored 19 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
The Drury University has a solid 4-2 record this season.
Palmer averaged so far 10.3ppg and 4.1rpg.
#4.Solomon Rolls-Tyson (203-F, agency: Mansfield and Associates, college: E.Utah JC, currently plays in Norway) helped Kongsberg win their game against the seventh-ranked Centrum (9-10) 100-97 in the Norwegian BLNO last Thursday.
He recorded 15 points and blocked 2 shots in only a mere 11 minutes.
Kongsberg Miners (15-2) is placed first in the BLNO.
It was his team's seventh consecutive victory in a row.
Rolls-Tyson has very impressive stats this year: 19.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.5apg and 2.0bpg in two games.
#5.Elliott DeFreitas (208-F, currently plays in NCAA2) helped Hawaii-Pacific University win their game against the Notre Dame de Namur University (1-8) 68-50 in the NCAA2 in Monday night's game.
DeFreitas scored 15 points, had 6 rebounds and made 3 blocks in 25 minutes.
The Hawaii-Pacific University has quite an impressive 9-1 record this season.
It was his team's fifth consecutive victory in a row.
This year DeFreitas' total stats are: 9.9ppg, 5.8rpg and 1.4bpg in 11 games.
#6.Michael Ojo (195-G-89, college: Lehigh, currently plays in Austria). Ojo could not help Gmunden Swans to beat Arkadia Lions.
He recorded 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. It was his first game for Gmunden Swans this season.
His team lost 60-72.
Ojo is a naturalized American.
He used to play for Airwaves Plymouth Raiders in British league.
#7.Edward Alade (206-C, currently plays college basketball in the States) helped Navy win their game against the Lafayette College crushing them 88-51 in the NCAA in Saturday night's game.
Alade scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Alade's total stats this season are: 3.6ppg and 2.7rpg.
He is a naturalized American.
Apparently Alade has never played in United Kingdom.
#8.Nicholas Spires (210-C-94, currently plays in FIBA Europe Cup) was not able to help Sodertalje Kings in their game against Gaziantep in the FIBA Europe Cup.
He recorded 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
His team was crushed by 42 points 93-51.
Spires' total stats this season are: 8.4ppg, 4.6rpg and 1.1bpg.
He has a dual citizenship: British and Swedish.
#9.Deane Williams (203-F-96, currently plays in NCAA2) helped Augusta University win their game against the Young Harris College crushing them 90-58 in the NCAA2 last Monday.
Williams scored 8 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 23 minutes.
This year Williams' total stats are: 8.8ppg and 6.2rpg in 12 games.
#10.Rishi Kakad (188-G-87, college: Hawaii-Pacific, currently plays in Germany) helped Ibbenbueren win their game against the third-ranked Muenster 94-87 in the German Regionalliga (fourth division) last Saturday.
He was the best player in that game. Kakad recorded 43 points (!!!).
This season Kakad has very high stats. He averages: 37.0ppg, 2.5rpg and 3.0apg.
Our line-up this week includes the 2017 BBL Cup Final MVP, as well as our season leader who ran him close for the accolade with a double-double. Rahmon Fletcher (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle) The reigning BBL MVP showed his qualities yet again with an unprecedented third successive MVP gong in the BBL Cup Final as he helped the Eagles land a historic three consecutive Cups. After his team went down early, Fletcher wrestled the initiative away from Glasgow and eventually finished with 29 po... [read more]
Our line-up this week includes the 2017 BBL Cup Final MVP, as well as our season leader who ran him close for the accolade with a double-double.
Rahmon Fletcher (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle) The reigning BBL MVP showed his qualities yet again with an unprecedented third successive MVP gong in the BBL Cup Final as he helped the Eagles land a historic three consecutive Cups. After his team went down early, Fletcher wrestled the initiative away from Glasgow and eventually finished with 29 points and six assists to wow the near 9,000 crowd at the Barclaycard Arena and many more watching worldwide on BBC Sport.
Tyler Bernardini (Leicester Riders) It's a third appearance of the season in our line-up for the Leicester guard, who was pivotal in his team clinging on to a hard-fought and precious BBL Championship victory against DBL Sharks Sheffield. Bernardini showed his usual shooting prowess for Riders with a terrific 20-point haul, as he dropped four triples on his opponents. He also handed out seven assists to showcase how he's' a whole lot more than a deadly shooter.
Scott Martin (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle) While his Eagles' colleague edged the MVP award, the forward was not that far away from taking the accolade either. Martin finished with 17 points via an excellent shooting performance against the Rocks and registered a double-double after pulling down 10 rebounds. He also blocked three shots and had two steals and an assist, as he becomes the first player this season to seal five starting appearances in our line-up.
Leslee Smith (203-F-90, college: Nebraska) (Bristol Flyers) The south-west club have found a really nice rhythm of late and the forward has been a key part in Flyers turning around their season. Smith helped to catapult his team to a valuable success against Worcester Wolves as they moved into seventh spot. His athleticism caused his opponents all kinds of problems as he garnered a fine double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds - as well as coming up with three blocked shots.
Will Neighbour (208-PF-90, college: UALR) (Surrey Scorchers) It was an incredible weekend for Neighbour and the Scorchers as they claimed a last-gasp win in the BBL Trophy at London Lions which followed on from another buzzer-beating win in the league against Giants 24 hours earlier. That is when British centre posted the best performance of the entire weekend as he tormented Manchester with a magnificent double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, as well as a scintillating six steals and three assists.
Off the bench - Mike Ochereobia (Surrey Scorchers), Navid Niktash (London Lions), Kieron Achara (Glasgow Rocks), Michael Creppy (Manchester Giants), Deondre Parks (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle), Taylor King (Leicester Riders), Malcolm Riley (DBL Sharks Sheffield).
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List... [read more]
Surrey Scorchers (BBL) strengthened their roster with addition of 23-year old American forward Gabe McCray (201-91kg-94, college: South Carolina State). He supposed to play at SC Rasta Vechta in German BBL league. McCray played in the final of MEAC Tournament. He received All-MDJUCO 1st Team award back in 2014 at his college time. McCray graduated from South Carolina State in 2016 and it is his first season in pro basketball.
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