BBL Cup: Rocks, Heat and Sharks complete quarter final line-up

Glasgow Rocks, Surrey Heat and One Health Sharks Sheffield completed the line-up for the BBL Cup quarter-finals with contrasting victories over the weekend.

A host of home-grown players all shone brightly in a fantastic advert for British basketball as the Rocks edged out Manchester Giants 88-85 at the Emirates Arena, to set up a last eight game in Sheffield.

Five of the top six scorers in a highly gripping and entertaining encounter were all British born and Sterling Davis’ Rocks survived a last second scare when Giants tried to force overtime. Scottish duo Keiron Archara and Gareth Murray (pictured)┬áboth added to the patriotic feel in Glasgow with excellent performances for the Rocks whilst EJ Harrison top scored with 27 points for the winning team.

Sharks continued their good record in the Cup as Gage Daye poured in 19 points as they comfortably saw off Cheshire Jets 90-59. Mike Tuck added 16 points as the Sharks did most of the damage in the first half on their way to their first win of the season.

Heat were even more ruthless in their win at Mersey Tigers, never looking back after taking a 28-9 first period lead on the way to a 103-51 win in the north west. Chavis Holmes led the Heat with 19 points, supported by 16 each from Sam Cricelli and Julius Joseph.

There was also plenty of BBL Championship action over the weekend, with Heat completing a good weekend as a blistering final quarter performance propelling them to a 79-63 success against the Sharks.

Top scorer Martelle McLemore was the headline performer for the hosts, although he was supported well by namesakes Chavis and Frank Holmes.

Champions Newcastle Eagles continued their seemingly relentless pursuit of a fifth league title in six years with a 99-75 home win against neighbours Durham Wildcats. Joe Chapman led their scoring as eight three-pointers helped him to 30 points, including a staggering 25 in the first half as the Eagles took control. Charles Smith added 22 points and Damon Huffman scored 18.

Eagles’ player-coach Fab Flournoy was understandably pleased with the result: “We really clamped down defensively in the second quarter and we got some good looks in transition which led to easy scores and then Joe in particular got going. That really helped us break the game open.”

Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders were made to work hard by London Lions before running out 89-83 winners. The visitors had the better of the first half, leading 45-37 going into the locker room 45-37 ahead at half-time, but a strong third period saw Riders outscore them 32-15, and they never looked back.

Worcester Wolves picked up a comfortable victory as they routed Mersey Tigers 98-48 at home. Alex Owumi continued his good debut season in the BBL with 19 points in less than 18 minutes as his side never looked back after a 22-0 run put them 25-4 ahead.

In the final game of the weekend, it proved one to forget for Jets who were routed 98-59 in brutal fashion by the Wolves who picked up back to back wins to move up the table. Paul James’ team could barely miss at some points during the game, with Daniel Belgrave on fire and lighting it up with a stunning five triples from just six attempts.