Is there a new Sheriff in town? Leicester Riders moved top of the BBL Championship action, defeating Newcastle Eagles to make it seven wins out of seven this season.
Rob Paternostro’s side ended the champions’ unbeaten start to the campaign with a 75-63 victory at Sport Central.
Jay Couisnard was the main man for the Riders as he netted 27 points to lead all scorers in the contest. After a tight first quarter, the visitors took control in the second period and never looked back despite valiant efforts from the home side to keep themselves in the contest.
“We were very happy with the way we defended against the Eagles, all nine players that took the floor were excellent on the defensive end,” said Riders coach Rob Paternostro.
“From the beginning of the season I have been impressed with how this group has been committed to defence and Friday was one of our best defensive performances so far. It was our first game without the injured John Fraley, who has had a fantastic start to the season, and it was important that the other players stepped up in his absence.”
Riders were certainly made to sweat the following day as they won an overtime thriller 79-75 against Cheshire Jets it had looked like a sweet-looking weekend was about to turn sour for Rob Paternostro and his team before Zaire Taylor helped force overtime and set up a win which proved a real gut-wrencher for Jets. Pavol Losonsky had a fine double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds for Riders, a feat matched by veteran Jets forward Shawn Myers who finished the game with exactly the same figures.
Leicester are now the only unbeaten team in the league after Plymouth Raiders lost 95-78 against Surrey Heat. There were four double-double performances in the game, two from each team, but it was Heat’s Chavis Holmes and Martelle McLemore who were left to celebrate. Holmes had 17 points and ten assists while his team-mate top-scored with 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Worcester Wolves were another side to enjoy double success over the weekend as Paul James’ side hammered Mersey Tigers 86-54 on the road on Friday night before completing a winning weekend with an 82-66 home win against Sheffield.
Wolves led from tip to buzzer against Tigers, but on Saturday they had the hot hand of Alex Owumi to thank as he was again on fire from three-point range on the way to a 29 point night, whilst Carlos Fernandez added seven assists and Stan Ocitti racked up a powerful double-double.
Durham Wildcats doubled their number of victories with a 91-71 success against hapless Mersey at Newton Aycliffe. Rudy Etilopy had a massive 27 point, 14 rebound double-double for the visitors, but 18 points apiece from Keith Page and Andrew Keister proved too much for the Tigers.
There was more heartache for Jets as London Lions scored the final seven points of the game to win 82-75 at Northgate Arena. Londoner Orlan Jackman continues to light it up for Lions as he finished with a 22 point, 15 rebound double-double.
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