Patriots secure eighth and final playoff spot on the final day of the season

BBL Championship
Surrey Scorchers 69-83 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (14-24, 34-49, 48-70)
(Scorchers – Mclemore 17, Raftopoulos 15, Ogedengbe 13; Sharks – Mvuezolo 17, Delpeche 16, Nichols 14)

BBL Championship
Plymouth City Patriots 80-72 Newcastle Eagles (20-16, 43-34, 60-54)
(Patriots – Graham-Bell 26, Hassan 25, Williams 11; Eagles – Fletcher 21, Gordon 20, Person Jr 9)

BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 101-100 Bristol Flyers (29-22, 56-37, 74-67)
(Phoenix – Wright 33, Okereafor 19, Austin 19 ; Flyers – Thomas-Edwards 22, Evans 18, Simmons 17)

BBL Championship
Manchester Giants 80-90 London Lions (14-27, 36-40, 62-64)
(Giants – Anderson 26, Armstrong 16, Mcknight 15; Giants – Reese 32, Cugini 17, Kelley 15)

Plymouth City Patriots secured the eighth and final playoff spot as they beat Newcastle Eagles in a close-fought encounter on Sunday afternoon. There were also wins for B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Cheshire Phoenix and London Lions as the 2021-22 BBL Championship regular season came to a close.

Patriots and Eagles went into their final day encounter both knowing that a win would secure them the final coveted playoff spot. It was Patriots that got off to the brighter start as they opened up a four-point lead after a fast-paced opening quarter.

The home side extended their lead in the second. They outscored Eagles 23-18 in the quarter to take a healthy 43-34 lead going into the half-time break. Eagles, however, fought back in the third. They scored 20 points and limited Patriots to 17 to reduce the deficit to six and set up a nail-biting finale.

Patriots responded well themselves in the last. Scoring 20 points and limiting Eagles 18 to play out the game well and secure the eighth spot.

Rowell Graham-Bell starred for Patriots as he finished with a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds in a superb double-double performance. Rahmon Fletcher led the scoring charts for Eagles with 21 points, but it would not be enough as his side slipped to defeat.

The day’s early tip-off saw Sheffield Sharks travel to Surrey Scorchers. Both teams started the game with their positions in the table already confirmed with Sharks in second and Scorchers at the foot of the table.

Sharks got off to a quick start as they scored 24 points in the first and 25 in the second to lead 49-34 at half-time. The away side continued to assert their dominance in the third as they went into the last quarter 70-48 ahead.

Surrey produced a spirited final quarter performance, outscoring Sharks 21-13 as they went on to lose 83-69. Martelle Mclemore of Scorchers and Joe Mvuezolo of Sharks both finished with a game-high 17 points.

Cheshire Phoenix hosted Bristol Flyers in the third game of the day. It had looked to be a routine win for Phoenix as they went into the half-time break 19 points ahead, leading 56-37.

Flyers, however, looked a different side in the second half as they scored 30 points in the third quarter. Phoenix could only produce 18 of their own points as Flyers quickly reduced the deficit. Flyers went into the fourth and final quarter confident as they trailed 74-67.

The away side scored another 33 points in a superb final quarter performance, but Phoenix held on as they scored 27 points to win 101-100. The result sees Phoenix finish as sixth seed going into the playoffs whilst Flyers are just ahead in fifth.

The evening’s and regular seasons final game saw London Lions travel to the National Basketball Performance Centre to face Manchester Giants. A win for either side would have seen them take third seed going into the playoffs.

Lions had looked to get off to the perfect start as they quickly opened up a sizable lead against their opponents. After a one-sided first quarter, they led 27-14.

Giants hit back in the second. They won the quarter 22-13 to cut Lion’s lead to four to trail 40-36 at the break. Giants reduced the deficit again in the third as they outscored Lions 26-24 to go into the last just two points behind with both sides battling hard for the third seed spot.

Lions showed composure in the last at both ends of the court to wrap up the 90-80 victory.

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