Mersey Tigers now hold the destiny of the BBL title in their own hands. Their victory over Sheffield Sharks on Wednesday – plus Newcastle’s stunning upset at Milton Keynes – means it is advantage to the Liverpool outfit.

And their 87-82 win over Sheffield looks to have eliminated one of the three contenders in the Championship race.

Great Britain guard Nate Reinking came back from injury to score nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Tigers ended the match on a 13-0 run to stun the visitors and gain revenge for their BBL Cup final humiliation.

The Tigers went 11-2 ahead early on and despite a Sharks rally, the Tigers ended the first quarter strongly to go in 25-17 in front.
Steve D'Agostino brought back memories of his sensational showing at the final in Birmingham with a fine three-pointer which dug the Sharks back in to the contest but the Tigers hit back and opened up a 44-32 lead.
A big timeout talk by Sheffield coach Atiba Lyons proved the inspiration for a vital final minute of the first half, as the Sharks hit nine unanswered points to reduce arrears to three at the interval.
The importance of the game was highlighted in a tense second half and the home support thought their side had thrown it away when Ryan Patton gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 57-56.
The pendulum went on to swing both ways but it required big three-pointers from Andrew Sullivan and Nate Reinking to keep the Tigers in front, 68-65 at the end of the third.
As time ticked on, the Sharks grew in confidence and they established a 82-74 cushion with four minutes on the clock and it looked like they would pick up a vital victory.
But the resilient Tigers weren't to let their rivals steal a march and big defence, which saw the Sharks frozen out with the ball in hand, enabled them to complete the comeback as the Tigers ended the game with a flourish.

Tafari Toney, who scored 14 points against his former club, said: "The game went back and forth for a long time but in the end it was a nice game.
"We've got to keep going now. We've got two games at the weekend, and we've still got to play Sheffield at their place, which is always a tough game, and then Newcastle, so it's not over yet."
The Tigers now hold a two point advantage over both Newcastle and Sheffield, but have to travel to both teams in their final five games, as well as hosting the Sharks again at the Echo Arena next Tuesday.

Newcastle’s grip on the title is looking precarious after a shock 83-81 defeat at Milton Keynes.

Missing the injured Trey Moore, the Eagles struggled but led 78-77 with a minute to play before a three-point play from Travis Nelson – who hit a game-high 26 points – gave Lions the lead for good.

A late Reggie Jackson three-pointer gave Newcastle some hope but Charles Smith couldn't follow suit with a last-second attempt as Mike New’s men kept their slim play-off hopes intact.

Darius Defoe paced Newcastle with 21.

Earlier, Cheshire Jets strengthened their grip on a top four spot, and condemned Essex Pirates to finish bottom of the BBL Championship, with a 106-83 win at MK Lions Arena.

In the BBL’s first-ever double-header, the Pirates led for most of the first half and were still in the match after three quarters. However a decisive final stanza by the Jets saw them ease clear.

Jeremy Bell ended the match with 39 points for Cheshire.

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