Manchester Giants 85-83 Leicester Riders (20-20, 41-38, 56-60)
(Giants – Armstrong 24, Saunders 17, Anderson 12; Riders – Whelan 25, Nelson-Henry 16, Loving 13)
Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks 99-87 Plymouth City Patriots (25-19, 48-41, 75-69)
(Rocks – Jacdonmi 20, Johnson 20, Hillsman 18; Patriots – Graham-Bell 23, Hassan 18, Hart 15)
Cheshire Phoenix 89-97 London Lions (24-28, 49-51, 74-74)
(Phoenix – Okereafor 22, Carey 22, Bradley 14; Lions – Kelley 20, Robinson 19, Cugini 19)
Manchester Giants stunned Championship leaders Leicester Riders with a late surge on Sunday to pick up a huge win, as London Lions and Glasgow Rocks both picked up big wins.
The Giants handed the Riders only their second loss of the Championship season as they climbed to second in the table, whilst the Lions picked up the win in a preview of next Sunday’s BBL Trophy Final. The Rocks closed the gap between them and the Playoffs in an action-packed Sunday.
The day’s action tipped off in Manchester in a repeat of the BBL Cup Final, with the Giants missing key big man Dan Clark. Manchester edged a tight first half as both teams traded buckets, then in the final 20 minutes the game exploded into life.
Leicester looked to have secured a tight victory with only six seconds on the clock remaining, before Will Saunders stepped up and drained a huge triple to send the Giants fans into raptures. The Riders still had the chance to steal the win for themselves before a Martaveous Mcknight put an exclamation point on the win with a monster block.
Tyrik Armstrong put in another electric performance as he posted 24 points to go with six assists, whilst Patrick Whelan led the Riders with a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds.
A repeat of the BBL Cup Final was followed by a preview of the BBL Trophy Final, as Cheshire Phoenix and London Lions looked to suss each other out before next week’s showdown.
If Sunday’s game was anything to go by, the two sides will serve up a classic as a closely fought affair culminated in a late Lions drive to pick up a big win in the Championship. With the game tied in the final period, the Lions defence clamped down on the Phoenix.
Cheshire enjoyed some good spells in the game and led by Terry Okereafor and Kyle Carey, more than matched the Lions who were missing star guard Isaiah Reese. London then saved their best defensive performance for last as they held the Phoenix to only 15 points in the final quarter.
Kylor Kelley posted 20 points and seven rebounds for London, whilst Okereafor and Carey picked up 22 points apiece for Cheshire.
The Emirates Arena will play host to next week’s final, and it served up a cracker today as Glasgow Rocks picked up a big win over in form Plymouth City Patriots,
With the race to the Playoffs heating up, every point is crucial for the Rocks as they look to close the gap to the teams above them. They started the game well and raced out to a 21-11 lead before the Patriots regrouped towards the end of the quarter.
The middle two periods saw very little to separate the sides as the Rocks were able to keep the Patriots at arm’s length, before a strong surge in the final quarter saw them outscore the Patriots 24-18 to pick up a valuable victory.
Boban Jacdonmi led the Rocks with 20 points and eight rebounds as Jordan Johnson posted 20 points of his own, whilst Rowell Graham-Bell racked up 23 points for the Patriots.