Manchester Giants 99-96 Newcastle Eagles (22-26, 45-55, 73-76)
(Giants: Fletcher, 23; Roberson, 18; Green, 17 — Eagles: Johnson/Cohn, 20; Hamlet, 18; Gordon, 15 )
London Lions 80-82 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (13-22, 42-45, 68-59)
(Lions: Dekker, 24; Zubcic/Oni, 14; Nelson, 9 — Sharks: Ramsey, 22; Nichols, 15; Pipkins, 12)
Plymouth City Patriots 67-90 Cheshire Phoenix (22-19, 39-42, 53-65)(Patriots: Dang Akodo, 11; Dusha/Hawthorne Jr., 10; Hassan, 8 — Phoenix: Neighbour/Austin, 17; Evans, 15; Anderson, 14 )
Manchester Giants produced a monumental fourth quarter comeback to overcome Newcastle Eagles 99-96 at the National Basketball Performance Centre on Sunday.
Jubilation for Manchester, heartbreak for the Eagles, who had led for the majority of the game but came unstuck in the last minute as Dirk Williams tied the game at 96-96 with a deep three at the top.
Anthony Roberson then gave the hosts the lead for good with 30 seconds left with a long range two before Manchester settled the thriller from the foul line.
Rahmon Fletcher – playing against his former club – led the winners with 23 points and 13 assists, with Roberson scoring 18 to go with 10 rebounds.
Tajh Green also posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
For the Eagles, losing the game in the last minutes for the second time in 48 hours, they were led by Kyle Johnson and David Cohn, who both posted 20 points.
It looked to be the Legend Robertin show for the hosts in the early going as he brought the house down with back-to-back slams, but Eagles were composed, leading 16-12, midway through the first.
Fletcher come out firing as he glided to the hoop in a trademark score inside and he repeated the feat as he came out aggressive in the first.
But thanks to eight points from Cohn, the Eagles took a four-point lead after the first period.
And Newcastle’s lead was extended early in the second as Cohn – who passed up a three – found a trailing Denzel Ubiaro for a dunk, followed by a score by Kyle Johnson lay-up to give the visitors a 37-27 lead.
The second quarter was a scrappy affair, somewhat different to how free scoring the first was, Kofi Josephs drained his 100th three in 44 BBL games but the Eagles still enjoyed a 55-45 lead capped by a triple from Jermel Kennedy.
And Eagles stretched their advantage to 62-50 in the opening possessions of the third with a breakaway windmill slam but despite that highlight play, Giants came out rejuvenated and you could sense a run.
That run would come to fruition and a basket inside by Green off his own miss would knot the game at 68-68 with more than two minutes to play.
And a corner three from Roberson would give the Giants their first lead of the game at 71-69 with 1:45 left but Cohn made sure the visitors were in front heading into the final quarter, with a three from the wing on the buzzer.
That three sparked a run that gave the Eagles an 81-73 advantage as the visitors withstood the positive spell from Manchester and Cohn went up to 20 points with a three-pointer.
And the lead ballooned to 91-78 with 5:53 left as Gordon hit a big three that looked to seal things.
But the Giants were never going to give it up. And from there, erased the deficit gradually with an insane 21-5 finish in five minutes.
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks became the first team to beat the London Lions twice this season following an 82-80 victory at the CopperBox Arena.
The pride of Yorkshire had to come from behind to do it but chipped away at the Lions lead in the final quarter and a game-changing 11-2 burst to end the game, highlighted by a floater from Rodney Glasgow Jr. sealed the win.
Sam Dekker had a chance to win it for the home side, but Sheffield’s defence stood tall and the American’s game-winning attempt missed everything.
Devearl Ramsey led the Sharks with 22 points, supported by Kipper Nichols’ 15 to go along with six rebounds, as they become the first BBL side to win in the capital this season.
Dekker led London with 24 points with Tomislav Zubcic and Miye Oni adding 14.
The Sharks began aggressively at both ends as they disrupted the Lions’ flow and as a result, took an early 7-3 lead.
As a result, team fouls were building for London, but offensively, got the ball in the basket any way they could, whether that was from the foul line, or under the basket.
Glimpses of what the Lions can do were on show as Oni rose for the one-handed slam on the break for a 12-7 cushion, but it was just that, a glimpse as Sheffield responded with an 11-0 run en route to lead 22-13 after one.
The aggressive offensive game from the Sharks continued in the second as a reverse lay-up by Nichols gave his side a 30-18 advantage with the Lions relying on Dekker for the scoring.
However, London saw light with Marcus Delpeche and Bennett Koch both on the bench due to foul trouble, Mo Soluade drained an open three to narrow the gap to 38-33 with 3:05 remaining.
The Sharks though continued their offensive onslaught, shooting 50% from the field for a 45-42 lead at the half.
And London’s struggles looked to be a thing of the past as in the third, Oni almost single-handedly put the Lions in front as he scored five points to rattle the Sharks.
Sheffield hit back but the home side kept the lead as Zubcic put in a three to extend the lead to five and it grew to 68-59 heading into the final period.
Not having the lead since the early stages of the third quarter, Sharks hit a 9-0 run on the back of three triples, capped by Glasgow Jr. to take a 80-77 lead with under two minutes to play.
And Glasgow Jr. was at it again in the closing moments as the Sharks picked up a massive win that will boost their Playoff hopes.
Cheshire Phoenix’s preparations for next Sunday’s BBL Trophy final were given a confidence boost as they beat Plymouth City Patriots 90-67 at the Pavilions.
The win halts four straight losses for Phoenix as a strong third quarter was the catalyst for the win.
Will Neighbour and Larry Austin both had 17 points to lead five players in double figures on a good afternoon for Cheshire.
Jules Dang Akodo paced Plymouth with 11.
To start the Patriots were comfortable from outside in the early going, looking to go in the corner on their first four possessions, connecting on two of them, whereas the visitors attacked the basket, going to the foul line for their first points.
As the quarter progressed, both teams relied on their three-point strengths as Otas Iyekekpolor stringed two from the top for the hosts with Neighbour connecting for the Phoenix but Plymouth – who were 4/10, led 22-19.
Very quickly into the second quarter though, Plymouth were forced into a timeout as a three from Maceo Jack and a beautiful up and under lay-up from Tahjai Teague gave Cheshire a 24-23 lead with more than a minute played.
Jack and Teague were at it again for the Phoenix from three-point land before a dunk in transition from Jamell Anderson gave his side a 34-28 lead with 4:12 remaining.
At this point, the Patriots needed to be more composed. Normally a fun team to watch on the fast break, that part of the game wasn’t working as much as they had liked.
And led by the masterful Elvisi Dusha, he found gaps in the Cheshire defence, which led to scores from Rashad Hassan and Jules Dang Akodo to give the hosts a 36-34 lead. The Phoenix recovered though at the half, as they took a three-point cushion.
The Phoenix came out on fire in the third, as they started with an 11-0 run, startling the home side, who finally got the scoreboard moving, four minutes into the quarter through James Hawthorne Jr..
Plymouth looked to build some momentum, but a Marcus Evans-inspired 9-0 run from Cheshire fluffed the cushion a little more and after three, were in front 65-53.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, they were unable to bring to single figures as an 11-0 run midway through the fourth from the Phoenix sealed their first win in five ahead of Sunday’s Trophy final.
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