BBL Trophy: First Round
Manchester Giants 107 – 114 Leicester Riders (18-28, 46-50, 76-78, 99-99)
(Giants: Green, 38; Williams, 23; Roberson, 15 – Riders: Loving, 32; Jackson, 25; Whelan, 20)
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 98 – 66 Thames Valley Cavaliers (35-13, 58-30, 73-47)
(Sharks: Ratinho, 17; Nichols, 15; Koch, 14 – Cavaliers: Olarerin, 20; Hart, 15; Roberts, 10)
Cheshire Phoenix 129 – 80 Nottingham Hoods (44-24, 74-45, 104-65)
(Phoenix: Anderson, 30; Jack, 29; Daniels, 27 – Hoods: Campbell, 22; Hall, 21; Guddemi, 14)
One of three Riders players to finish with at least 20 points, Marc Loving, put on a fantastic performance tallying 32 points, 13 rebounds, converting seven shots from outside the arc – registering two career-highs in points and three-pointers.
be outdone, Manchester’s Tajh Green, who delivers flair and eye-catching
highlights on a regular basis for the Giants, provided 38 points, 14 rebounds,
and two big-time blocks.
game got off to a promising start for the visitors, a 9-3 lead midway through
the opening quarter had the Riders hedging forward – with guard Kimbal
Mackenzie adding six quick points.
responded energetically for the trailing Giants, reaching double figures in
scoring without virtually breaking a sweat.
the Riders ahead, recent signee Devonte Bandoo entered the game for his first
taste of BBL action, draining his first shot ambitiously from three-point range
to extend Leicester’s lead.
pulled together during the second quarter, outscoring the visitors by six
behind a handful of crisp shots from Dirk Williams to lag behind by just four
continued to flaunt his shooting capabilities to begin the second half, knocking
down a pair of triples in the blink of an eye to get the home crowd roaring.
the scoreline creeping towards Manchester’s favour, Leicester’s Zach Jackson
sunk a dagger solo three-point effort to kickstart a second pull-away attempt
for the visitors.
momentum lasted mere minutes, after an 8-0 Giants run catalysed by Rahmon
Fletcher’s passing expertise, propelled Manchester into the lead.
before Giants fans could applaud their player’s heroism, Loving and Jackson –
again – returned fire with a parade of three-point shots.
an immense matchup, the Riders entered the fourth quarter with a fragile
Giants started out the stronger side, with Fletcher and Green combining for six
reappeared to coax the score in Leicester’s favour, delivering a crucial
three-point play, while Mackenzie used his toughness inside the paint to get
awarded free throws, missing his first one of nine attempts during the game.
less than a minute, Green struck again, tearing down an offensive board and
going back up for a defiant layup.
suspenseful back-and-forth period, the sides were level 95-95 with just over a
minute to spare.
found himself at the free-throw line after drawing contact from Fletcher,
converting both to put the Riders ahead at a quintessential moment.
doubled their chances of winning with Patrick Whelan’s transition layup to go
up by four.
very next Giants possession, however, Williams was able to get to the
free-throw line for three attempts, knocking them all down.
by two, Mackenzie was forced into a missed layup – Callum Jones secured the
ball for the Giants.
dishing out 14 assists in total, Fletcher found himself as the saviour for the
Giants, getting a layup to drop in the last 30 seconds to tie the game up
tried to end the game at the buzzer by getting the ball to experienced guard
Mackenzie, but was denied a game-winning jump shot by springy defender Anthony
in similar fashion to the previous quarter, had Manchester as the strong
starters – Green surfacing yet again to knock down two quick buckets for the
Equally motivated, Whelan replied with a pair of two-point efforts to keep the Giants fans in awe.
a small lead with seven points via free throws, and Giants going cold from
deep, the Riders prevailed in securing the win, despite the constant comeback
efforts by Manchester.
the best contests of the BBL Trophy so far, Leicester have firmly established
themselves as a contender for taking home the silverware.
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks hosted NBL D1 side Thames Valley Cavaliers in the first BBL-NBL clash of the day.
game as comfortable victors, with a score of 98-66, the Sharks progress through
the next stage of the competition.
for the Sharks across the board, Illinois alumni Kipper Nichols delivered 15
points, eight rebounds, four assists, and a steal, while shooting an efficient
75% from the field.
began the match-up very confidently – Nichols and Jordan Ratinho recording the
first few baskets forced Thames Valley into an early timeout.
leading scorer Victor Olarerin, who finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds,
got the NBL D1 side out of the starting blocks, converting a tightly contested
three-point effort from the top of the perimeter.
Despite a quick surge from the visitors, Sharks centre Bennett Koch proved difficult to contain, receiving an interior pass off a pick-and-roll play to finish with a defiant two-handed dunk.
coach Atiba Lyons then subbed in new arrival Devearl Ramsey.
only being in the United Kingdom for a matter of days, there was no off switch
for Ramsey, providing immediate impact as he bounded down the floor and
distributed the ball out to his open teammates.
the Sharks edged out by nearly 20 points, Jarrett Hart fought hard to complete
an and-one play over the mountainous Sharks centre Koch.
replied on the next defensive possession with a well-timed block. Then, on the
attacking side, he finished strong to get the and-one post move to fall his
Cavaliers turned up their defence in the second quarter with Olarerin able to
pick off a Sharks pass easily.
there, it was off to the races for Olarerin, soaring high to flush home a nice
dunk. Cavaliers forward Aiman Rezk got a clean three-point effort to fall
allowing the visitors to bite back.
14-2 frenzy for the Sharks, Thames Valley trailed by nearly 30 at the halfway
well-established lead for the Sharks enabled young homegrown hopefuls Nathaniel
Montgomery and Hensy Sako to see respectable court time.
as training a corner three in the opening half, Montgomery proved his toughness
in drawing fouls from Cavaliers solid defenders.
Sako provided some sound defence to constrain the Thames Valley offence
providing an acrobatic block in the process.
Thames Valley, behind a handful of threes from Olalerin and Aiden Saunders,
outscored the Sharks by two in the third quarter, the hosts managed to hold on
to a comfortable 22-point lead to see themselves advance to the second round.
In the second BBL-NBL contest of the day, the Cheshire Phoenix earned an emphatic 129-80 victory over the Nottingham Hoods.
fielding a depleted eight-man roster, Cheshire recorded their highest score in
a BBL competition since September 2008.
their emphatic victory, Phoenix guard Maceo Jack managed 29 points, five
rebounds, five assists in 23 minutes of gametime from the bench.
Jack, a BBL rookie out of Buffalo, joined starters Lloyd Daniels and Jamell Anderson as the only players to draw at least 27 points.
game became competitive and well-contested in the opening stages.
and Daniels combined for Cheshire’s first 18 points, scoring exclusively from
the three-point line.
with the stellar Cheshire start, Nottingham guards Seth Hall and Johde Campbell
combined for a quick 10 points to keep it anyone’s game early on.
a 15-0 finish for Cheshire combined with a strong shooting start launched the
hosts into a 20-point lead, with 42 first-quarter points.
combined 12 three-pointers through the first two quarters, Cheshire rounded up
the first half with a staggering 74 points and a 29-point advantage over the
continued to nail three-point shots all night long, reaching 100 points before
the third quarter buzzer sounded.
an admirable shooting performance from the visiting Hoods – with Campbell and
Seth Hall reaching 22 and 21 points, respectively, on efficient shooting
percentages – Cheshire’s team total of 21 threes posed no match.
Cheshire move onwards in the competition in style, while Nottingham will have to bow out to a remarkable Phoenix shooting clinic.
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