Mersey Tigers cruised to a 88-50 victory over the crumbling Glasgow Rocks to move closer to securing to the club's first BBL Championship.

The league leaders led 48-33 at half-time but embarked on a 15-4 burst in the third quarter which put the visitors out of range. And with David Aliu hitting a game-high 21 points, Mersey coasted to a win which sends them four points clear of Newcastle as the race for the title nears its conclusion.

From the moment James Jones landed a three-pointer just seconds in to the game, the Tigers rarely looked in trouble, with quickfire baskets from Andrew Thomson helping them to an 8-2 lead.

 Although the Rocks rallied to tie things up at 14-14, the home side, playing their fifth game in nine days went in 24-20 at the first stoppage.
Tafari Toney picked up where he left off on Wednesday to join the act in the second quarter, and with Jones regularly finding his range from outside the line, the Tigers were able to open up a 15 point half-time lead at 48-33.
It proved to be far too much for the Rocks, who were left damage limitation as their only motivation for the second half.
They struggled to contain the high-flying Tigers, just as coach Mike Kingma had predicted in the build up, and Max Casanove's basket on the buzzer put the home side 70-41 in front.
The fourth quarter turned in to a procession as Tony Garbelotto's men closed out the game, while saving energy for a tricky trip to Guildford Heat as they close in on the league title.
The Tigers now have four league games left, and could seal the championship with a win against Sheffield on Tuesday, if Newcastle lose both their games this weekend.
 "It was easier than expected," said Garbelott. "I'm not sure what's going on with them (Glasgow) but the guys did a really professional job.
"The guys are dealing with the schedule really well. We were unbelievable on Wednesday, and our energy was fantastic. We can't afford any mistakes, and we carry on with that against Guildford."

Moses Mubarak hit 13 to lead the visitors who, incredibly, missed 22 of their 23 three-point attempts.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Sharks thrashed Worthing Thunder 110-77, building on a 52-33 half-time cushions as they kept their own league hopes alive.


Back-to-back three pointers from former Worthing player Ryan Patton sparked a 22-4 to break the game open and take the score out to 45-24. 

The visitors tried valiantly to get themselves back into the game but could get no closer than 22 points at 90-68 down the stretch and a 20-7 game-closing run from the Sharks put the final nail in the visitors coffin. 

Milton Keynes Lions late run for a play-off place continued with a 105-98 victory over Guildford Heat..

Demarius Bolds and Travis Nelson hit 30 points apiece as the hosts broke open a tight contest in the final quarter.


A 12-2 burst gave the home side a decisive 102-92 lead with 1:30 remaining as they took the spoils – and the head-to-head series 2-1.

Tayo Ogedegebe had 19 for Guildford who host Mersey on Saturday.

Saturday 2

BBL. Guildford Heat v Mersey Tigers (7pm), Leicester Riders v Essex Pirates (7.30), Plymouth Raiders v Cheshire Jets (7.30),  Worcester Wolves v Newcastle Eagles (7pm)

 Sunday 3

Glasgow Rocks v Worthing Thunder (5pm), Cheshire Jets v Leicester Riders (5.30), Milton Keynes Lions v Sheffield Sharks (5pm), Plymouth Raiders v Newcastle Eagles (4pm)


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