at the weekend.

The pair will meet at the NIA on Sunday, and had the perfect warm-up as Raiders won 101-84 at home against Mersey Tigers and Eagles recorded contrasting wins against Glasgow Rocks and Milton Keynes Lions.

Eagles’ coach Fabulous Flournoy was a happy man after seeing his side with 97-71 home win against Rocks followed by a 96-91 success at Lions:

“It goes without saying that we are delighted with the weekend’s work,” he said. “We chose to hold Joe [Chapman] out despite the fact that if we had needed him he probably could have played. In his absence Bridgey [Andrew Bridge], Darius [Defoe] and Paul [Gause] all stepped up over the course of both games.

“We were sluggish early against the Rocks and even though they were down on numbers Sterling [Davis] ensured his guys were up for the game. They gave us all we could handle early and it was only in the third quarter that we were able to gain some defensive traction. After that they tired a little and it certainly hurt them to have two senior players sitting down and Mychal Green struggling with injury as well.

“For us Charles continued his superb form but Darius was the key to the basketball game in the way that he attacked the rim and shot the ball with confidence. Andy [Thomson] was also as reliable as ever and produced another double-double.”

Smith led table toppers Eagles in both games, with 28 points against Glasgow and 20 at MK on Sunday.

A strong second period paved the way for Raiders as 21 Lehmon Colbert points helped them to a second straight home win against Tigers.

Leicester Riders moved up to third spot with a 92-79 victory at Durham Wildcats, with Bradd Wierzbicki hitting 18 points, while Sheffield continued their challenge with a 90-77 home win against Cheshire Jets.

There was some joy for the Lions over the weekend, with an 87-80 victory at Mersey Tigers on Friday evening despite a massive 34 point, 11 rebound double-double from Kris Douse.

Finally, Guildford Heat’s resurgence continued as they recorded their third win in four games with a thrilling 92-89 overtime success at Cheshire Jets. Tayo Ogedengbe led all scorers with a 32 point haul for the Heat, while Adam Brown led the scoring for the Jets with 23 for the Jets.

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