Plymouth City Patriots 93-85 Caledonia Gladiators (20-13, 23-22, 23-27, 27-23).
Patriots – Hassan 23, Dusha 16, Brandon 14; Gladiators – Onwas 21, Sloan 20, Bailey 15
Sheffield Sharks 72 – 86 Leicester Riders (24-15, 20-28, 13-24, 15-19)
Sharks – Nichols 20, Kock, Nelson, Ratinho 10; Riders – Loving 22, Jackson 20, Whelan 18
Manchester Giants 106-93 Surrey Scorchers (29-21, 21-25, 27-23, 29-24)
Giants – Williams 21, Roberson 19, Fletcher 18; Wang 24, Taylor 19, Johnson 17
In this Sunday’s BBL action, the Plymouth City Patriots hosted the Caledonia Gladiators. A sold-out crowd attended the Pavilion in a closely fought end-to-end game. The Patriots were looking to bounce back after a Friday night loss to the Newcastle Eagles; whereas the Gladiators looked to build momentum following their Thursday night victory against the Bristol Flyers.
The Patriots, who were pleased to welcome back star point guard Antonio Williams, raced to a 7-0 start – finding gaps in the Gladiator defence for easy lay-ups, forcing coach Gareth Murray to call timeout.
Gladiators finally got off the mark with a three-pointer by Darian Adams three, before David Sloane thread a pass to Jeremiah Bailey for two points.
The teams traded baskets before Plymouth captain Elvisi Dusha icing a jumper and Troy Simons banking an off balance three-pointer with the shot clock running down. At the end of the quarter the Patriots clung to 20-18 lead.
In the second quarter, recently returned Antonio Williams spin back door and catch an alleyoop pass from Dusha.
However, it was Gladiators’ Princeton Onwas who stood out; the 6’6 power forward scored 10 of his 19 points (5-5) in the second quarter; dominating in the paint through an array of drop-steps, pump fakes and floaters.
Markedric Bell exhibited some nifty footwork; driving to set up Isa Brandon inside. Brandon added to his tally with back-to-back threes to force another timeout from coach Murray.
Later in the period, some excellent defence from the Patriots led to a perfectly executed three on one fast break as Bell finished with a huge two-handed dunk. A resilient Gladiators’ Adams responded immediately with an and-one finish. Plymouth held an eight-point lead at halftime, 43-35.
To begin the third quarter, the Gladiators put their foot on the gas as they utilised 24 seconds of crisp ball movement to find Patrick Tape inside for an open dunk.
Scores from Onwas and a put-back dunk from Bailey chipped away at Plymouth’s lead – but it was a huge block from Tappe which resulted in a fast break score from Onwas that would tie the game – forcing coach Paul James to call a timeout.
Two consecutive buckets by veteran leader Rashad Hassan stopped the Gladiators from building any further momentum. Hassan was excellent in the game; finishing with an impressive 23 points and nine rebounds.
In the fourth quarter a scary landing saw Troy Simons being stretchered off the court. After the break in play, Sloan continued to demonstrate a versatile array of moves as the Gladiators searched for a way back into the game.
The Gladiators tied the game with an Adams jump shot before Hassan spun free of his defender for an and-one finish, making the extra point. Two late turnovers by the Gladiators saw Plymouth cap off a 7-0 run to push the lead to 11.
The Patriots closed out the game to win 92-85.
In the second game of Sunday BBL action the Sheffield Sharks took on the Leicester Riders. The Sharks, fresh off their victory against the London Lions on Friday night started the game strong. Bennett Koch score the opening two possessions to take a 10-0 lead for the home side.
Following a timeout by coach Rob Paternostro, the Riders came back into the game with a three-pointer by Connor Washington cutting the lead to seven. Kipper Nichols was impressive early on; scoring on a dribble step back and then sealing his defender for a two-handed dunk.
In the second quarter, the Riders began to dismantle the Sharks lead, bringing it back to a single point margin. A strong baseline dunk by Blake Bowman opened the scoring for the Riders, whilst Derryck Thornton scored on the fast break; readjusting for a finish through contact. With the Riders building up momentum with a 7-0 run, Sharks coach Atiba Lyons calls for a timeout.
Sharpshooter Patrick Whelan found his mark in the third quarter; hitting multiple three-pointers. Whelan was 4-7 from 3pt range. Zach Jackson produced a steal and finished an awkward off-balance euro step to push the lead to seven – as the Sharks struggle to find any scoring.
An Marc Loving three-pointer put the Riders up by 14 points; concluding A 30-point turnaround since the second quarter.
Nichols finally snapped the Sharks out of their scoring drought with a turnaround baseline jumper, but it was a little too late. Another three-pointer from Whelan pushed the Riders into a firm position to close out the game
Thornton and Kipper Nichols traded baskets as the clock ran down; Riders taking their second straight win 86-72.
In the final game of the weekend, Manchester Giants took on the visiting Surrey Scorchers.
The Scorchers were playing their second game of the weekend following a loss to the Cheshire Phoenix on Saturday. Scorchers were without guards Josh Steel and Andrew Lawrence.
It was a good start by the Scorchers with Charleston Dobbs finishing inside for a hook shot. Padiet Wang missed a ferocious dunk that might have put him in contention for dunk of the season. However racing to the other end was Tajh Green, who finished the break with a one had slam on route to 19 points in the game.
Quinn Taylor hit a couple of smooth jump-shots for the Scorchers as the teams wrestled for the lead. There was some high flying basketball in the second quarter with acrobatic finishes from Giants’ Nick Lewis and an electrifying dunk by Green.
Scorchers, despite trailing by 11 points never dropped their heads showing excellent ball movement with an extra pass by Taylor finding Wang for a three-pointer. Giants responded with three-pointers by Rahmon Fletcher and Dirk Williams to give Manchester a 5 point cushion.
Although the teams were evenly matched through the first five minutes of the third quarter – Dirk Williams took over with three minutes left in the period – scoring seven points in forty two seconds and pushing the Giants lead to 12.
Williams finished with 23 points on 9-12 shooting from inside the arc.
In the fourth quarter, the Scorchers tried to make their way back – Luke Busumbru scoring on one end and Taylor getting active on defence to pick up a steal and assist. Padiet Wang, who finished with 24 points on the night, cut the lead to four points.
However the Scorchers still trailed by 12 with a minute remaining. Anthony Roberson scored a number of late baskets for the Giants as they finished the game 106-93.