There were important home wins for Leicester Riders and Bristol Flyers in the BBL Championship on Saturday night.
Riders capitalised on Esh Group Eagles Newcastle's defeat on Friday by beating Plymouth Raiders 88-71 to extend their lead at the top of the table. It was done through a dominant fourth quarter, Brandon Clark leading the way with 18 points and six assists to extend Leicester's winning streak over Plymouth to 17 games over four years.
Meanwhile, Flyers took a step towards the Play-off places with an 85-77 defeat of Leeds Force, as a Hameed Ali (188-G-93, college: Texas A&M-CC) double-double of 23 points and 10 assists ensured that they remain unbeaten at home against Leeds in five BBL meetings.
BBL Championship Bristol Flyers 85 (22,47,66) (Ali 23, Vigor 18, Cosby 15) Leeds Force 77 (22,41,61) (Sanders 24, Marsden 20, Matthew 9)
Bristol Flyers took a step closer to the BBL Championship Play-off places after beating Leeds Force 85-77 behind Hameed Ali's double-double of 23 points and 10 assists on Saturday night. The win means that Flyers remain unbeaten against Leeds at home, in five BBL meetings.
The teams were not separated by more than one shot until Ali opened the second period with a three-pointer and Mike Vigor scored to make it 28-23. Vigor - who finished with 18 points on 66% shooting - then hit a three-pointer to spark a run of eight unanswered points that sent Bristol's lead into double-figures at 36-25, as Leeds didn't score for five minutes.
But from that point, the teams traded runs. Leeds responded 13-4, Jermaine Sanders scoring eight of those, to get back to 40-38.
Although another Ali triple halted that spell and scores from Aaron Cosby and Daniel Edozie sent Flyers into the half 47-41 in front; before the double-digit lead was restored, at 64-51, on Vigor's trey early in the third period.
Force had one more run in them, scoring 10 in a row towards the end of the third period to once more get back to within one shot at 64-61, and Sanders tied the game at 66 early in the fourth with a three-pointer.
But Leslee Smith scored immediately in response, and once more in a run of six straight points to settle the hosts, before they were 77-70 up on Cosby's crucial three-pointer. Ali dished to Smith for a big 'and-one' to settle the game as the final minute approached.
Flyers have now won 11 of their last 16 games and are potentially one win away from moving into the Play-off places.
Leicester Riders took another step towards the BBL Championship title after an astounding fourth quarter led them to an 88-71 defeat of Plymouth Raiders at Leicester Arena, all the more important after Esh Group Eagles Newcastle lost on Friday night.
Riders now hold a streak of 17 straight wins over Raiders, spanning four years; and it is eight years, 13 games, since they lost at home to this opposition.
The game looked as though it was going to the form book when Brandon Clark and Pierre Hampton each scored five early points as the hosts raced into a 12-3 lead, before reaching double-digits when Eric Robertson's three-pointer made the score 28-17 in the second stanza.
But the contest was hard fought from that point, as Raiders posted an 11-2 response and got back to within one at 31-30 on Anton Gradys score.
Riders maintained their edge, until Grady scored again to cap a run of six in a row in the third period to tie the game at 51, and they were in front soon after on Daryl Corletto's triple, taking a one-point edge into the decisive fourth quarter.
But Riders finished the game even more emphatically than they started it. The league-leaders scored the first 11 points in an 18-2 opening to the fourth, with Clark (5) and Hampton (4) sharing nine of those, before Robertson's triple made the score 73-62 as the visitors didn't score for four minutes.
Taylor King added consecutive baskets and Sullivan scored a three as the hosts finished comfortably. Clark led their scoring with 18 points and six assists, while King added 16 points from 66% shooting.
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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