Giants take bragging rights in overtime thriller; Lions, Riders and Sharks also earn wins

BBL Cup Group Stage

Leicester Riders 96-80 Surrey Scorchers (34-24, 56-45, 86-65, 96-80)
(Riders: M.Loving – 21, G.Crandall – 15, C.Washington – 12; Scorchers: T.Ogedengbe – 28, M.McLemore – 19, L.Robertin – 12)

London Lions 90-61 Plymouth City Patriots (23-14, 46-28, 64-48, 90-61)
(Lions: D.Williams – 19, I.Reese – 16, J.Williams – 15; Patriots: D.Ubiaro – 20, S.Shelton – 17, L.Carpenter – 7)

Glasgow Rocks 69-79 Sheffield Sharks (18-16, 36-38, 51-54, 69-79)
(Rocks: J.Johnson – 24, G.Murray – 12, A.Fraser – 10; Sharks: K.Nichols – 23, M.Delpeche – 15, A.Anderson – 10

Cheshire Phoenix 72-78 (OT) Manchester Giants (19-17, 34-32, 45-47, 65-65, 72-78)
(Phoenix: N.Wright – 15, M.Ochereobia – 14, J.Dang-Akodo – 14; Giants: D.Clark – 25, J.Anderson – 14, J.Whelan – 12)

The Manchester Giants required overtime to earn the bragging rights over their North-West rivals Cheshire Phoenix this afternoon in one of the most entertaining ties of the weekend, while Leicester Riders, London Lions and Sheffield Sharks also were triumphant in today’s BBL Cup games!

Leicester’s Morningside Arena played host to the first game of the afternoon, as the BBL Championship holders welcomed the Surrey Scorchers, but despite Tayo Ogedengbe’s incredible 28-point performance, the Riders took the victory in front of their returning home fans.

Marc Loving came within two rebounds of a double-double after dropping 21 points, and Geno Crandall came within two assists from a double-double – with both players linking up superbly all game and putting on a show for the spectators.

Meanwhile in London, Vince Macaulay’s Lions team put on an excellent offensive performance as they had four players reaching 15+ points, lead by the superb Dirk Williams (19) returning for his second season in the capital.

Denzel Ubiaro did impress for the Patriots however, as he played all 40 minutes and dropped 20 points, while Shawn Shelton put up 17 points and 11 rebounds – but unfortunately for them and the rest of the Plymouth side, the Lions strength in depth proved too much to handle on this occasion.

It was a closer game up in Scotland where Glasgow Rocks were stopped in their tracks by an excellent fourth quarter from the Sheffield Sharks – and a dominating Kipper Nichols performance where he dropped 23 points and crashed the backboard for 10 rebounds.

Marcus Delpeche also excited the crowd with his thunderous dunking ability, but the Rocks’ Jordan Johnson was equally as impressive and exciting to watch as he put up a game-high of 24 points and set his team-mates up for six more buckets – but the home side came up just too short in the end.

Finally, up in Ellesmere Port, the Manchester Giants were inspired to victory by Team GB captain Dan Clark’s 25-point 10-rebound double-double as Cheshire Phoenix were defeated in overtime.

However, there were plenty of positives that the Phoenix will take from the match, particularly as four of their five starters reached double-figures for scoring, as well as former Lions guard Jules Dang-Akodo from the bench.