BBL LOGO 568Newcastle Eagles produced a thrilling comeback to defeat Worcester Wolves 86-74 in overtime and were joined at the top by Sheffield and London. Elsewhere, it proved to be a good weekend for Glasgow as they picked up two wins on the road while Birmingham and Surrey remain winless.

With the head-to-head series on the line, Newcastle were in trouble, down eleven points in the final quarter. Then things changed in the BBL TV clash, Zaire Taylor fouled out and the Eagles began to make their shots as they conjured a spirited recovery in the final five minutes.

Malik Cooke started knocking down three’s and the hosts hauled themselves right back into contention. Trailing by four in the final minute, Darius Defoe successfully made two free throws before Paul Gause held his nerve at the line with four seconds remaining to force the additional period. He then netted back-to-back three’s in overtime as the Eagles went on an 11-0 run to put the game beyond their opponents.

London Lions’ route to the top was far simpler as they ran out 101-67 victors against Surrey. The visitors made a bright start and led by as many as five points before Vince Macaulay’s side broke clear in the second with a 33-10 quarter. Nick Freer provided a spark off the bench with 23 points and 10 rebounds while United were led by Ceslovas Kucinskas’ 26 points with debutant Brandon McGill adding a further 21.

Meanwhile, Sheffield were also involved in an overtime battle on Sunday and they joined Newcastle and London in first place by overpowering Manchester 12-0 in the extra period. In a topsy-turvy encounter, David Aliu netted a late three to tie the game at 79-79 but the hosts were scoreless in the resulting five minutes.

The Giants found themselves down by nine midway through the third but a strong finish to the quarter saw the momentum swing in their favour, opening up a five point lead.  However, the visitors regained control and a tense finish ensued. Patrick Horstmann led four starters over 15 points with an 18 point haul.

The 6’7″ German forward was also influential in the Sharks’ cup win over Durham on Friday night, pulling down 12 boards to compliment his 10 points in the 70-58 triumph. The game was evenly poised, tied at 50, heading into the final quarter before Sheffield produced a strong fourth to set up a semi-final clash with Newcastle.

The Wildcats recovered from their cup disappointment to defeat Plymouth 72-67 the following day. RJ Evans led the way with 14 points as Durham improved to a 5-5 record, just a win behind the Raiders, in seventh place. Donald Robinson was the game’s top scorer with 15 points but Plymouth missed out on the chance to gain ground at the top.

Glasgow’s double-winning weekend on the road began in Birmingham as they earned an 88-60 success over the Knights. The home side led 21-17 at the end of the first as they began brightly in their search for a first win but the Rocks stormed back with a particularly strong second half display. The scoring was spread across the board for the Scottish side while Brent Benson top scored once again for Birmingham with a game-high 22 points.

Sterling Davis’ side second victory came 24 hours later as they racked up fifteen triples on their way to a 102-90 win against Cheshire despite a mammoth game from Victor Moses. The American had a weekend BBL high of 31 points and also grabbed 15 rebounds to lead a depleted Phoenix side, who released Gerald Robinson earlier in the week. Glasgow captain EJ Harrison led six scorers in double-figures with a 25 point haul while Daniel Northern added 21 points and 14 rebounds.

Top 5 Notables:

Weekend highs: Victor Moses- 31pts; Malik Cooke- 29pts; David Aliu- 28pts
Stat: Durham defeated Plymouth at home for the first time in the BBL.
Milestones: Gareth Murray passed 500 assists in his BBL career.
Double-double Machines: Victor Moses- 31-15; Mike Tuck- 16-17; Reggie Middleton 16-11a;
Near triple-double attempts: Ralph Bucci- 10-14-8; Brent Benson 22-8-6; Rod Brown 19-9-7

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