BBL LOGO 568Leicester and Newcastle Eagles remain entangled in a gripping battle at the top of the BBL Championship after the Riders demolished Surrey Heat 88-58.

The BBL Cup winners took advantage of a Heat side without Chavis Holmes to pull away in the second half, led by 18 points and nine rebounds from Anthony Rowe.

“I really liked the intensity we played with against the Heat. Our mind-set this week in practice was very impressive, these guys continue to practice well,” said Leicester coach Rob Paternostro.

“Our depth allows us to really mix and match combinations in practice when we play five-on-five it is very competitive no matter how we arrange the teams.

“From the start we really defended, I thought our guards Jorge Calvo, Zaire Taylor and Connor Washington really set the tone defensively. We were very balanced with a lot of players making contributions, and our bench making a major impact , Barry [Lamble], Connor, Jamell Anderson and Jorge all were able to contribute

“I thought Antony Rowe, Pavol Losonsky and Jamell were very effective inside on both ends if the floor, I thought Sam Cricelli and Julie’s Joseph played well for the Heat, but it was a lot of travelling for Creon and his team this week, and as the game wore on you could see that.”

It keeps them level on points with rivals Newcastle who swept past Sheffield 107-86 on Friday.

And it was a miserable weekend for Surrey who sustained a shock 85-68 loss to Manchester Giants.

Elsewhere, Worcester Wolves used a 10-0 at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away from Durham, eventually coasting to a 98-91 win, with Alex Owumi pacing the visitors with 22.

However Worcester will run tests on a knee injury sustained by Sherrard Prezzie-Blue in the second half.

Sheffield also slipped to a double defeat, losing 85-65 at Glasgow Rocks as the hosts used a 14-2 burst late in the second period to break the Sharks resistance.

BJ Holmes was taken off in a wheelchair with a possible calf tear at the start of the fourth.

And Mike Ringgold had 18 points and 10 rebounds to break out of his slump.

Rocks coach Sterling Davis said: “We’ve been pushing Mike to give us more offensively. Over the last couple of weeks, he’s just looked more athletic in practice that carried over here. But we want him to do that consistently.”

Meanwhile, Plymouth have signed American centre Andreas Schreiber.

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