The line up for the BBL Cup semi-finals was completed over the weekend, with some contrasting last eight ties.
The closest game came at Sport Central where Newcastle Eagles continued their winning start to the season with a 78-75 victory against old rivals Glasgow Rocks. They did it the hard way, though, against a Rocks side without injured point guard EJ Harrison, with the visitors taking it down to the wire. Charles Smith proved to be the hero as his three-pointer with 22 seconds remaining gave Eagles a lead they would never relinquish.
Eagles’ coach Fab Flournoy was a relieved man after the game: “We managed to scrape out a win. We over-relied on the outside shot early and struggled to gain any rhythm. At one stage I think we went something like five minutes without a basket but our defence kept us in the game.
“The third quarter was more of the same and it was only towards the end of the third quarter that we managed to kick our offence into gear. We closed the game out in quite a mature way which was pleasing but even without EJ the Rocks gave us just about as much as we can handle.”
Thing were more clear-cut in the north west as Worcester Wolves produced a dominant performance to hammer hosts Mersey Tigers 91-62 on their own court. Led by 27 Richie Gordon points, Paul James’ team took command midway through the third period, and will now meet UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders in the two-leg semi-final.
Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders completed the semi-final line-up as they returned from Northgate Arena with a 95-74 victory against Cheshire Jets. Cameron Rundles hit eight points in a 17-4 run to end the first half which put Riders in a position to take control of the game, and seal their final four berth against the Eagles.
That win completed a good weekend for Rob Paternostro’s side as they wrapped up their BBL Trophy campaign with a comfortable 96-58 victory at injury-hit London Leopards.
There were two BBL Championship games this weekend, and Glasgow Rocks will enjoy watching the game on Sky Sports 3 on Tuesday evening following their 82-64 hammering of One Health Sharks Sheffield. Mychal Green led the way for Sterling Davis’ team with 23 points.
In contrast, Worcester Wolves versus Durham Wildcats went down to the wire before David Watts hit the winning basket for the home side to give them a 65-64 victory – their sixth straight success.