BBL LOGO 568Plymouth Raiders booked their place in the last four of the BBL play-offs with an 87-78 win over Glasgow Rocks on Monday night in the second leg of their quarter-final.

And with Newcastle Eagles completing an 84-81 victory over Sheffield Sharks, it means the Eagles will meet Surrey Heat in next weekend’s semi-finals while Plymouth take on Leicester Riders.

It gave Plymouth a 169-149 win on aggregate but the Scots looked on course to pull off a stunning recovery from Sunday’s shock loss in Glasgow when they pulled 31-14 clear in the second quarter.

But after trailing 45-31 at half-time, Plymouth stormed back with a 17-3 run.

And with Mike Ojo scoring a game-high 29 points, the Raiders completed the rout in the fourth with ten straight points as the Rocks season was brought to a brutal end.

“I felt we were focused,” said Rocks coach Sterling Davis. “But in the second half, we strayed away from what we were doing and dug a hole for ourselves by allowing Plymouth to dig themselves out.”

Colin O’Reilly added 25 points, plus 13 rebounds, for Gavin Love’s side who will host Leicester on Froday before travelling to the Midlands on Sunday for the return.

EJ Harrison had 21 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the Rocks.

Defending play-off champions Newcastle Eagles sealed a 169-151 victory on aggregate over Sheffield after surviving a first half push from their hosts.

Joe Chapman had 27 points as the Tyneside outfit kept alive their hopes of retaining one of the prizes they claimed last term.

In the second period, the Sharks made a concerted bid to overturn their deficit as a BJ Holmes basket sparked an 11-2 burst to take the score out to 41-30 with 2:30 remaining in the half.  The Eagles finished the second quarter the stronger side with an 8-0 tear to trim the deficit back to three points at 41-38 at the half.

Both sides traded baskets for the vast majority of the third period, and despite the best efforts of the Sharks to maintain their advantage in the game, but the Eagles got themselves right back into the game and tied the game up at 59-59.

The lead changed hands on a number of occasions in the fourth quarter with both sides trying to go for the victory, but a Kareem Maddox basket sparked a 9-0 tear for the Eagles to break the resilience of the Sharks and send the Eagles out to an 83-76 lead with 1:36 remaining in the contest.

The Eagles will host the first leg of their semi with Surrey on Friday at Sports Central with the second leg in Guildford on Sunday evening.


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