Manchester Magic maintained their spell over London Lituanica for a second weekend in succession to defend their National Trophy crown with an authoritative 81-53 victory at Hertfordshire Sports Village on Sunday. Having defeated their opponents 74-61 in Division One of the National Basketball League a week ago, it was simply a case of different day, same story as Manchester achieved a swift double in league and cup over the club from the capital. A game-high 19 points and five rebounds were more than enough for standout star Duane Morgan (198-F-93, college: Adelphi) to emerge from this one-sided outing as the MVP. Magic's Stefan Gill (173-PG-83) (16 points and eight assists), captain Jack Minister (196-G-86) (14 points and six rebounds) and Simon Anumba (11 points and eight rebounds) chalked up double digits to boot against a lacklustre Lituanica, who struggled to keep pace throughout despite the best efforts of Mantas Guzys (180-PG-93) (15 points and seven rebounds) and Mantas Adomaitis (203-F, college: Oklah.Panhandle) (10 points and seven rebounds). 'This was my first opportunity to play in a championship game and it's a really good feeling to have won it,' Morgan said. 'We knew that we had to shut them down on defence, so that was a big emphasis for us, along with our high-tempo game. 'We now want to win the league and finish up as the number one side in Division One. 'There's a great group of guys here at the Manchester Magic. They've been very welcoming and made me feel right at home. I feel like I've been playing with them for a long time. You want to play for your brothers and I feel like they are mine.' Earlier on in the day, Team Newcastle University came away with the Patron's Cup courtesy of a 77-65 success against Kent Crusaders and Sussex Bears clinched the Men's National Shield thanks to a tense and tight 58-57 triumph over Team Birmingham Elite. Kent Crusaders began the first quarter in earnest fashion, yet Team Newcastle University soon recovered from a somewhat sluggish start and never looked back thereafter. Indeed, the Knights bookmarked the game brilliantly - winning the opening stanza 24-16 and the fourth and final one 24-18 to render the narrow losses in between (18-17 and 13-12) rather redundant. Team Newcastle's Richard Austin registered 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to claim the MVP accolade. He was well supported on offence by Jack Beresford (17 points), Frank Urli (14 points and six assists) and Matt Brown (196-F) (12 points). RJ Eytle-Rock (192-SG-98) produced a game-high 23 points in the Kent Crusaders' challenge for the silverware and Mohamed Adamu and Dan Akin both scored 10 on a day when the Shodipo brothers, John (four) and Tim (one), both failed to fire. 'The Kent Crusaders have an excellent programme and they are a credit to British basketball in terms of where they're going,' said Team Newcastle University head coach Ian Hewitt. 'But, we're just as talented as them, we played outstanding basketball today and we're a little bit older and more mature. I think that showed as well. 'We fought like crazy defensively too and it was just a great win. We wanted the Cup and we stepped up massively, which was fantastic to see. 'We've held Thames Valley to 66 and Kent to 65 now. It just shows what we're doing defensively and - offensively - we simply look better and better every week, so we're excited about the rest of the season. We are going to keep getting better.' Sussex Bears meanwhile held an eight-point cushion heading into the last 10 minutes having won the second quarter (17-11) by six points and the first and third (both 13-12) by one apiece. However, they very nearly blew it as Team Birmingham Elite came storming back late on to set up a nerve-jangling finale. Steven Hansell (192-G-75, college: Illinois St., agency: Court Side)'s side just couldn't drain that crucial basket down the stretch to ensure overtime or snatch a previously unlikely W though and Sussex prevailed by the narrowest of margins. The Bears' Hank Rivers (202-F-81, college: SF Austin) produced a performance of Superman-esque proportions in keeping with his choice of socks for the day. His 25 point-haul and 14 rebounds saw him deservedly pick up the MVP award ahead of other worthy candidates like his Sussex team-mate Bud Johnson (pictured below), who provided 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists overall. Darren Mason also plucked 15 rebounds out of the air. Team Birmingham Elite had two players progress beyond single-figure tallies in Meris Masolovic (17 points and nine rebounds) and David Stevic (14 points). 'It feels good to have finally won a final as I've been in England for almost nine years now,' the amiable Rivers stated afterwards. 'It's nice to have won for the people that I know as they really are like a family to me. 'We've been together for so many years and there's a good atmosphere. We feel like we're moving up every year, so you cannot complain about that. 'It was a scrappy game. Team Birmingham Elite are young and we inherently knew that they were going to get runs, but we pulled it out in end. The main thing is that we got it done - that's all that matters.' Courtesy of: basketballengland.co.uk
Manchester drop curtain on Senior Playoff Finals with D1M win - 3 hours ago
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Manchester retained their D1M Playoff title after a comfortable 73-53 win over Loughborough. A poor 2nd quarter where the Riders fell behind and shot just 2/15 from the floor proved too much to overcome against a well drilled and talented Magic side. Unable to call upon the injured Josh Ward-Hibbert, Loughborough struggled to find answers on offence for the duration. With the game meandering through the 2nd half, an altercation between Lee Goldsborough and Jonas Dieterich during a loose b... [read more]
Manchester retained their D1M Playoff title after a comfortable 73-53 win over Loughborough. A poor 2nd quarter where the Riders fell behind and shot just 2/15 from the floor proved too much to overcome against a well drilled and talented Magic side. Unable to call upon the injured Josh Ward-Hibbert, Loughborough struggled to find answers on offence for the duration. With the game meandering through the 2nd half, an altercation between Lee Goldsborough and Jonas Dieterich during a loose ball play led to unsportsmanlike fouls for both players and a disqualification for Magic's Stefan Gill (173-PG-83) after he was involved in the aftermath. That was as exciting as things got in a 2nd half that never really threatened a comeback from Loughborough. Duane Morgan (198-F-93, college: Adelphi) treated the vocal Manchester crowd to some spectacular plays, including a number of dunks and an alley-oop for good measure. He was awarded the game's MVP trophy after his stat line of 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists. Morgan started his MVP afternoon off well and picked up a team high 5 points in the opening 10 minutes. More importantly captain Jack Minister, guard Kayin Darbey (183-PG-94) and Lee Goldsborough all settled into the game with early points as Manchester moved out to a 22-16 1st quarter lead. Loughborough's athletic guard Reiss Pinnock offered some resistance but it wasn't the start the Riders were looking for as the initiative was with their opponents heading into the 2nd. With the largely Manchester based crowd fully into the game and behind the team in the lead, Loughborough crumbled in the 2nd. With only Pinnock and Levi Noel (197-G-91, college: E.Illinois) troubling the scorers, it was a crippling 10 minutes for Loughborough's chances of success as practically everything they attempted failed to connect. With a young roster, confidence was quickly dented and the D1M 5th seeds never really recovered. A 21 point Manchester lead at the half meant the game was firmly in the hands of the reigning playoff champions. The main talking point of the 2nd half occurred midway through the 3rd period and led to Stefan Gill leaving the court much earlier than expected. With Duane Morgan grabbing an offensive rebound, he went to put the ball back before being forced into a miss by a Lucien Christofis foul. Grabbing the rebound as the whistle sounded, both Goldsbrough and Dieterich went about the act with a bit too much effort for the others' liking. That led to a shove from the Manchester man and a chest bump from the Riders' captain. Taking exception to Dieterich's actions, Gill became involved in the melee with a shove that earned him a DQ. Aside from that flash point, the 3rd period played out with little of note. Loughborough sought a way back into the game that was frequently denied by the continued scoring of Manchester and their own errors on offence. Even when the Riders were presented with opportunities from the free throw line, they faltered there to and recorded a 39% success rate from the charity stripe in the game. The final quarter provided Manchester Coach Paul Middleton with a real luxury as he was able to provide his bench with some useful minutes in a showpiece game. Cian Hickey, Tyme Regent-Bascombe and Yannick Onifade (201-C/F) all saw their first action of the contest during the final 10 minutes and Kaiyem Cleary (196-G-99) was provided with an extended opportunity to showcase his talented. To their credit, Loughborough continued to fight but the difference in score didn't deviate far from the 20-point mark before the final buzzer sounded. Courtesy of: basketballengland.co.uk
The BBL Championship regular season came to a close with an action-packed Sunday with Bristol Flyers sealing the final spot in the Play-Offs. Andreas Kapoulas and his side defeated Surrey Scorchers 71-79 behind a double-double from Hameed Ali as both sides edged out Plymouth Raiders, who saw their season end with a 99-93 loss at Manchester Giants. Leicester Riders were beaten 77-80 at home to Worcester Wolves, while Esh Group Eagles Newcastle edged out DBL Sharks Sheffield for an 82-84... [read more]
The BBL Championship regular season came to a close with an action-packed Sunday with Bristol Flyers sealing the final spot in the Play-Offs.
Andreas Kapoulas and his side defeated Surrey Scorchers 71-79 behind a double-double from Hameed Ali as both sides edged out Plymouth Raiders, who saw their season end with a 99-93 loss at Manchester Giants.
Leicester Riders were beaten 77-80 at home to Worcester Wolves, while Esh Group Eagles Newcastle edged out DBL Sharks Sheffield for an 82-84 victory on the road.
Also, Glasgow Rocks came from 20 down to beat London Lions 80-77 with Cheshire Phoenix storming to a 128-77 success over Leeds Force with Mike DiNunno pouring in 34 points.
2017 BBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals
Riders (1) v Scorchers (8) Eagles (2) v Flyers (7) Rocks (3) v Lions (6) Sharks (4) v Wolves (5)
All ties will be played over two legs starting next weekend, with exact dates and tip-off times to be confirmed on Monday 24 April. BBL Championship Surrey Scorchers 71 (19,36,50) (McCray 18, Williams 12, Ogedengbe 11) Bristol Flyers 79 (23,36,52) (Ali 19, Smith 16, Cosby/Boggs 13)
Bristol Flyers secured their place in the BBL Play-Offs after beating Surrey Scorchers 71-79 on the road to finish seventh.
Andreas Kapoulas ' side knew that a double-winning weekend would be enough to make the post-season and did exactly that as they followed up a win against Manchester Giants.
The Scorchers had cemented their own spot with a win against Plymouth Raiders on Saturday, and were playing for a higher-placed finish.
Hameed Ali posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists, while three other players reached double figures in the win.
The Flyers managed to push ahead by four at the end of the first after an even start, but the game was level at 36 heading into half-time.
The lead changed hands throughout the third quarter with Bristol edging into a two-point lead before quickly opening up a 54-62 advantage in the fourth.
Surrey provided another twist as they closed to within a single point on three occasions late in the game, but Ali closed out the win with a decisive 7-0 run.
Bristol will now face Newcastle in the Play-Offs Quarter-Finals having recovered from a 1-11 start to make the post-season, while Surrey take on league champions, Leicester BBL Championship Leicester Riders 77 (26,47,60) (Bernardini 19, Thomson 16, King 11) Worcester Wolves 80 (21,36,52) (Khan 17, Zeigler 15, Navajas 14)
Worcester Wolves made a return to winning ways as they held on to hand Leicester Riders a first home defeat since December with a 77-80 victory.
Ashton Khan top scored with a 17-point haul having hit a huge triple heading into the final minute with Wolves also welcoming back Maurice Walker to action on court.
The Riders led 20-9 early on before the Wolves cut the gap with a strong finish to the first, though the hosts restored their 11-point lead at the half.
A 16-0 start to the second half saw Worcester take the lead before the Riders responded with 13 straight to end the third up eight. The visitors poured in 28 points in the fourth to power to victory as they finish with 20 league wins.
Tyler Bernardini had a game-high 19 points for the Riders as they drop three of their last four having already secured the league title. BBL Championship DBL Sharks Sheffield 82 (19,42,60) (Rembert 16, Riley 15, Davis 13) Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 84 (27,37,66) (Fletcher 28, Martin 15, Behrens/Hart 8)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle closed out their regular season camapign with an 82-84 victory on the road against DBL Sharks Sheffield.
Rahmon Fletcher netted a game-high 28 points as the Eagles followed up Friday's win over Leicester Riders to finish 23-10 on the season.
Scott Martin opened with back-to-back triples in an early 13-0 run from the Eagles before the home side responded to cut the gap and took the lead in the second on an 11-2 run.
The Sharks led by as many as nine points at 53-44 before Fletcher scored 13 points in a pivotal 20-0 reply from Newcastle as they surged into an 11-point lead.
A 5-0 close reduced the deficit and after falling 10 behind once more, the Sharks hit back with a 9-2 run to set up an exciting finish. Rashawn Rembert made it 80-79 in the final minute before Drew Lasker fired Newcastle back ahead from downtown before his free throw sealed the win.
Rembert had 16 points in the loss with Jordan Davis adding 13 points and 10 assists as the Sharks finish in fourth with a 20-13 record behind Glasgow. BBL Championship Glasgow Rocks 80 (16,37,54) (Lescault 19, Achara 17, Bunyan/Watson 15) London Lions 77 (25,49,68) (Hassan 19, Owumi 15, Taylor/Niktash 14)
Glasgow Rocks came from as many as 20 points down to beat London Lions 80-77 for a dramatic final day victory.
The Rocks were 48-68 behind with less than two minutes to go in the third, but battled back with a 26-9 final period to take the win with third place secured earlier in the day.
Glasgow still trailed by 14 heading into the fourth and sealed the win with a 15-2 close in the final six minutes with a couple of huge triples from Jonny Bunyan.
Hayden Lescault top scored with 19 points, while Kieron Achara added 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting as well as eight rebounds, four assists and five blocks i the win.
The Lions looked set to finish with two wins on the weekend before their opponents' stunning rally and the two teams will meet again next week in the Quarter-Finals of the Play-Offs.
BBL Championship Manchester Giants 99 (26,49,75) (Jones 26, Williams 25, Bell/Okoro 13) Plymouth Raiders 93 (28,55,80) (Dixon 29, Corletto 26, Nicholas 14)
Manchester Giants finished a difficult season with a flourish as they claimed a 99-93 victory over Plymouth Raiders.
The Raiders needed a win coupled with a loss for Bristol Flyers to make the post-season, but their campaign ends with double disappointment.
Callum Jones starred with 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, while player-coach Yorick Williams fired in seven triples in a 25-point haul.
Plymouth jumped out to a 2-13 start and that would be their largest lead of the game as the Giants battled back and eventually took the lead with a 7-0 start to the fourth.
Cory Dixon had 29 points in vain for the Raiders with Daryl Corletto adding 26 as they finish with a 14-19 record.
BBL Championship Cheshire Phoenix 128 (39,76,101) (DiNunno 34, Brown 26, Allen-Jordan 16) Leeds Force 77 (12,40,59) (Marsden 30, Sanders 20, Matthew 10)
Cheshire Phoenix ended their 2016-17 BBL campaign in style after recording an emphatic 128-77 success against Leeds Force.
Mike DiNunno poured in 34 points in just 22 minutes, while Earl Brown recorded a double-double with 26 points and 14 rebounds, missing just two shots from the field.
Cheshire scored 39 points in a dominant first quarter and had a commanding 76-40 advantage at the half as they powered their way to a 51-point win.
The visitors were without two starters in Rob Sandoval and Jack Isenbarger as they suffered a heavy defeat to end their campaign.
Rob Marsden led Force with 30 points and 11 rebounds as they finish the season with eight wins to their name, with Cheshire one place ahead in 10th with an 11-22 record.
The final day of the 2016-17 BBL Regular Season on Sunday has seen the line-up for the forthcoming BBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals confirmed. 2017 BBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals Riders (1) v Scorchers (8) Eagles (2) v Flyers (7) Rocks (3) v Lions (6) Sharks (4) v Wolves (5) All ties will be played over two legs starting next weekend, with exact dates and tip-off times to be confirmed on Monday 24 April. The last two teams standing after the Quarter-Finals and subsequent Semi-Finals, will adv... [read more]
The final day of the 2016-17 BBL Regular Season on Sunday has seen the line-up for the forthcoming BBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals confirmed.
2017 BBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals
Riders (1) v Scorchers (8) Eagles (2) v Flyers (7) Rocks (3) v Lions (6) Sharks (4) v Wolves (5)
All ties will be played over two legs starting next weekend, with exact dates and tip-off times to be confirmed on Monday 24 April.
The last two teams standing after the Quarter-Finals and subsequent Semi-Finals, will advance to The 02 in London on Sunday 14 May for the 2017 British Basketball Play-Off Finals, where a record-breaking crowd is being anticipated.
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