Lions end Riders unbeaten run; Patriots, Eagles and Phoenix all win also on thrilling day of BBL action

BBL Championship
Plymouth City Patriots 77-76 Manchester Giants (15-17, 37-33, 53-57, 77-76)
(Patriots: R.Graham-Bell – 17, K.Josephs – 16, R.Hassan – 16; Giants: J.Steel – 18, T.Armstrong – 17, J.Anderson – 10)

BBL Championship
London Lions 79-77 Leicester Riders (22-21, 43-48, 65-62, 79-77)
(Lions: I.Reese – 23, J.Ward-Hibbert – 15, L.Cugini – 11; Riders: P.Whelan – 20, G.Crandall – 15, D.Nelson-Henry – 14)

BBL Championship
Glasgow Rocks 91-97 Newcastle Eagles (21-39, 49-55, 69-79, 91-97)
(Rocks: J.Bunyan – 25, J.Harris – 21, A.Fraser – 18; Eagles: W.Person Jr – 22, R.Fletcher – 16, C.Johnson – 15)

BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 84-76 Bristol Flyers (13-17, 38-32, 59-58, 84-76)
(Phoenix: L.Bradley – 18, N.Wright – 18, L.Austin Jr – 14; Flyers: T.Jacob – 23, M.Evans – 22, M.Delpeche – 15)

London Lions inflicted Leicester Riders’ first defeat in the BBL Championship this afternoon, While Cheshire Phoenix, Newcastle Eagles and Plymouth City Patriots all also earned wins in thrilling games.

The Patriots hosted Manchester Giants in the first game of the day, with the visitors looking to exact revenge after their defeat back at the National Basketball Performance Centre last month – but thanks to a buzzer beater triple from Antonio Williams, Plymouth earned the two points and their 5th victory of the season.

Rowell Graham-Bell led the home side in points with 17 off-the-bench alongside Kofi Josephs who scored his 700th career point in the game, and reached 16 despite also not starting.

The Giants were lead by guard Josh Steel, who scored a game-high of 18, followed by Tyrik Armstrong who managed 17 with a field goal percentage of 70%.

Meanwhile in London, the Lions earned their 6th win of the season as they continue to chase down their opponents from today the Riders, who succumbed to their first loss of the Championship this campaign.

A game-high of 23 points from the home team’s guard Isaiah Reese inspired them to victory in front of the Copper Box Arena crowd, while Kylor Kelley managed an impressive five blocks – two more than the entire Riders team made combined.

Patrick Whelan put up 20 points for the visitors, including four three-pointers, but they will be disappointed with their efforts from the field as they went 39% as a team, as well as making seven less rebounds than their opponents who capitalised on that with 13 more second-chance points.

Up in Scotland, the Glasgow Rocks failed to stop Newcastle Eagles in their tracks, with BBL legend Darius Defoe reaching ninth in the all time BBL Championship points standings, as the forward put up 12 in 24 minutes.

Wesley Person Jr led his team in points with 22 – his 5th straight game for the Eagles scoring 20 or more points, while Justin Gordon continued his encouraging form since returning to Tyneside, putting up 15 from off the bench.

The comeback attempt was led by Rocks’ captain Jonny Bunyan, who put up a game-high of 25 points, sinking five three-pointers and contributing seven assists in what was a very impressive performance.

In the final game of the day, Cheshire Phoenix moved up to fourth place in the standings with a convincing victory over the thoroughly entertaining Bristol Flyers, who failed to capitalise on the abundance of highlight plays they made throughout the game.

It wasn’t until towards the end of the final quarter that the home side really began to pull away, after the Flyers had already overturned a deficit half-time as Trejon Jacob and Marcus Evans combined for 45 points.

However, 18 points each from Namon Wright and Levi Bradley as well as double-digit point contributions from Larry Austin Jr and Teddy Okereafor put the Phoenix in the driving seat and played a significant role in helping them towards victory.

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