Leicester Riders clinched the BBL Championship title with an 84-73 victory against two-time reigning champions Esh Group Newcastle Eagles on Friday. The League’s top two went into the penultimate game of the regular season with identical records of 28 wins and three losses and that pattern continued as they went blow-for-blow until a 10-0 Riders run late in the fourth quarter.
Leeds Force moved within one win of a first trip to the BBL Play-Offs with a 92-77 victory against Manchester Giants on Friday. After Plymouth Raiders’ defeat to Glasgow Rocks on Wednesday, Matt Newby’s men came into the game knowing two wins from their final two games would secure their place in the post-season. That appeared at the forefront of their minds as they jumped out to a 7-0 start and held a solid lead for much of the early stages before three triples in two minutes from Stef Gill reduced the deficit. But point guard Marek Klassen simply refused to let this one get away from Force. The Canadian scored seven unanswered points after Force slipped behind late in the third quarter and went on to tally an incredible 34 points and 10 assists.
Danny Huffor exploded for 38 points on Friday as Cheshire Phoenix completed a season sweep of Worcester Wolves. The energetic guard connected on 16 of 24 field goal attempts, as well as reeling in 15 rebounds during 38 minutes of action as Phoenix once again ran with just seven players. Wolves led by nine points early in the second quarter before a Quincy Taylor three-pointer sparked a 10-0 Phoenix run, capped by a Huffor triple.
Leicester Riders 84 (29, 47, 60)(Anderson 18, Wright 15, Watson 14)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 73 (19, 45, 58)(Chapman 15, Fletcher 13, Flournoy 11)
Leeds Force 92 (20, 40, 68)(Klassen 34, Sayers 11, Waller 11)
Manchester Giants 77 (14, 38, 57)(Jones 22, Gill 19, Attah 14)
Worcester Wolves 92 (23, 45, 70)(Blackwell 28, Aaron 23, Losonsky 14)
Cheshire Phoenix 99 (19, 48, 75)(Huffor 38, Taylor 17, Rochford 15)