ROCKS STUMBLE INTO CUP LAST EIGHT

Glasgow Rocks defeated Edinburgh Kings 78-60 at the Kelvin Hall to book a BBL Cup quarter-final clash with Newcastle Eagles.

However the Scottish League champions were far from disgraced on their debut in the competition, daring to lead for the entire opening quarter and pushing their full-time rivals before the hosts – ignited by 22 points from EJ Harrison – asserted themselves and surged away.

“We can’t under-estimate anybody and they know how to win,” said Rocks player-coach Sterling Davis. “They’re also well coached so it’s no surprise we had to work for this. But we just didn’t have the same intensity that I saw in our last two games and that’s something we have to bring every night.”

Edinburgh’s Latvian forward Edgars Rekis sparked an improbable 7-0 start to the game as Glasgow were held scoreless for the opening three minutes. And they maintained their push for a huge upset, deservedly ending the first period 19-13 ahead of the sluggish Rocks.

However there was an air of inevitability when Davis’ men began six consecutive points to draw level at the outset of the second quarter, pushing ahead for good when Mychal Green sparked a 7-0 burst. The American guard then hit a three-pointer which extended Glasgow’s advantage to 37-29 at half-time before an 8-0 flurry immediately after the break effectively broke the Kings’ resistance.

And with foul trouble, and inexperience, bedevilling the capital outfit, the Rocks eventually swept as much as 25 clear as Edinburgh’s flirtation with the Cup came to an end.

Elsewhere, Plymouth, Leicester and Worcester also progressed into the last eight.

Worcester Coach Paul James heaped praise on his team and singled out Lithuanian duo Alex Zimnickas and Arnas Kazlauskas for special recognition as his team booked their spot in the next round of the BBL Cup.

Wolves finally saw off a determined Guildford Heat 88-77 with a strong start to the final quarter to leave their play-caller delighted,

“There was a bit more added pressure to repeat out recent form on the road, here at home,” explained James.

“We had to adjust early in the game when Richie Gordon got into foul trouble but we have a deep bench and I thought Alex Zimnickas did a really good job for us while Arnas Kazlauskas produced a fantastic performance.”

Leicester  Riders were simply rampant against a MK Lions team short on confidence and really struggling at both ends of the court. They rattled of 39 points to lead by 21 after the opening ten minutes and they never looked back as they stormed to a convincing 102-67 success.

Meanwhile Raiders completed the long trek to Newton Aycliffe and crushed home dreams almost instantly as they left Durham Wildcats cold and stalling on the start line with the first eleven points of the game. They also never missed a beat all game as they sailed to an 88-74 win with former BBL MVP Jeremy Bell making his debut for the Devon club.

Quarter-line-up: November 4: Sheffield v Plymouth, November 11: Newcastle v Glasgow, Mersey v Worcester, November 13: Cheshire v Leicester

In the BBL Championship, Guildford Heat lost 90-84 to Cheshire Jets while in a dead rubber Trophy tie, non-league London Leopards were thrashed 93-65 by Milton Keynes Lions who had already confirmed a semi-final tie against Plymouth.

Wolves on Heat

Worcester Wolves once more asserted their authority over the Guildford Heat on Wednesday evening, as they triumphed 82-75 in the last game of the group stages of the BBL Trophy.

Although the result meant that Wolves finished alongside Plymouth Raiders with a similar 3-2 record, it is the Raiders who will progress to the later stages by virtue of a higher aggregate score in their games against the Wolves.

Nevertheless, this win will boost morale at the Wolves ahead of their second game in four days against the Heat, in the BBL Cup, on Saturday at the University of Worcester.

Wolves opened the game in strong style, with eight early points from Tommy Freeman and consecutive dunks from Richie Gordon helping their side to a 22-12 lead by the end of the first quarter.

As the second period began Wolves’ coach Paul James kept his promise of taking the opportunity to experiment with his line-up, freely substituting his starters. Guildford took advantage of their opponents’ changes to claw back into the game, going ahead at 32-30 midway through the period. Following assured play from their veteran guard Julius Joseph, the Heat were able to further extend their lead to 47-40 by the half time break.

In the second half, the visitors once again started brightly as an 11-0 run saw them retake the lead at 51-47 when Gordon slammed down the third of his four dunks in the game. Five points from Joseph once more put the Heat ahead, and the scores continued to see-saw. Consecutive baskets for Callum Jones and David Watts were enough to take Wolves to a slender 63-60 lead heading into the last quarter.

As both sides continued to trade baskets, James called a time out at five minutes remaining, with his team ahead at 72-70. By the last minute of the game it was the turn of the Heat coach Creon Raftopoulos to call a halt to proceedings with his side trailing 72-80. A policy of quick fouls to slow the clock and send Wolves to the foul line ensued, reducing the deficit to 75-80 with only 31 seconds left in the game. However Freeman was able to maintain his record of 100% shooting from the line, calmly slotting home his ninth and tenth free throws as Wolves sealed the 82-75 victory.

Freeman led the scoring for the Wolves with 22 points. Gordon also impressed with a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Martin scored highest for the Heat with 22 points.

One-time Heat coach Paul James was pleased with the performance:

“We came here with a game plan, and how we wanted to play our own style of basketball on the road which was all about executing and being consistent. We did that tonight.”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print
Ad

You must be logged in to post a comment Login