BALL GAINS: SEASON OFF TO FLYER

BBL LOGO 568Many tipped the 2013/14 BBL season to be one of the closest yet and the opening two weeks have certainly lived up to expectations. Only Worcester and Glasgow remain unscathed while Sheffield lead the way at the top despite equalling an unwanted BBL record in their most recent match. New boys Birmingham had a tough introduction to the league and the reformed Surrey United have been on the receiving end of two heavy defeats already. However, it’s Manchester who find themselves at the foot of the table after failing to win any of their opening three games.

Paul James’ Wolves eased their way into their campaign with a thumping 117-60 victory over Surrey before confirming their title credentials with a 73-61 win at home against the defending champions, Leicester. Ex-Rider Zaire Taylor made a stand against his former club with 22 points while Will Creekmore added an 11-11 double-double to add to the impressive tally of 32 points and 17 rebounds he collected in the opening game rout.

The Riders were quick to bounce back with a 60-40 win against Sheffield 24 hours later, in a game which equalled the lowest combined total of points in a BBL game. Jay Couisnard led the way with 17 points as Leicester recorded their second home success after easing past Birmingham 90-56 on the opening weekend.

As for the Sharks, they shot at just 26% from the field and lost their 100% start, having picked up home wins against Cheshire and Plymouth as well as defeating Manchester
on the road, with captain Mike Tuck top scoring in each of those three encounters.

Manchester’s loss at home to Sheffield came after an 80-75 defeat against London Lions on the opening night and they were unable to pick up their first win at Cheshire after falling to an 83-71 loss. The ‘Nix had tinkered with their roster after two opening defeats and added Kai Williams, who added 12 points on his second debut with all five starters in double figures led by 21 from Reggie Middleton.

Newcastle were the other team to have beaten Cheshire so far when they inflicted a 106-65 loss in the North-West. The Eagles had begun their title challenge with an 85-78 win at home to Durham on the first night of the season but saw their winning start come to an end on Sunday when Plymouth got the better of them in overtime.

The Raiders came out 89-87 victors after a 24 point haul from Donald Robinson for their first win of the season having been beaten by the Sharks as well as London in their first home game. The Lions were another team to see their perfect start vanquished as they were beaten 83-73 by Durham. Mike Allison produced the goods for the Wildcats with 22 points along with 11 rebounds.

The final team to get their campaign underway were the Glasgow Rocks and they were too strong for Surrey, running out 100-63 victors in the first game to be broadcast on BBL TV. The game is still available to watch on demand if you have signed up to the service.

The next game sees Worcester take their 100% record to the CopperBox Arena to take on the Lions on Thurdsay evening. Wolves also host Cheshire the following night with all 12 teams in action during Week 3.

Notable performances in the first two rounds :

Nick Lewis 16points/13rebounds/5assists
Scott Martin 16points/16rebounds
Will Creekmore 32points/17rebounds
Andrew Sullivan 9points/10rebounds/7assists
Mike Tuck 15points/14rebounds/5assists

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