BBL LOGO 568With just over a month left of the 2013-14 regular season, each of the twelve teams has something to fight for. The title race looks set to go down to the wire while the battle to make the play-offs intensifies every week. Here’s a round-up from 1-12.

Paul James’ side held off a resilient comeback from Sheffield Sharks to take a two-point lead back to Worcester for the second leg of their BBL Trophy semi-final. The Wolves (20-4) have battled on without Andreas Schreiber (ankle) in recent weeks and the former Plymouth man was joined on the sidelines by Kalil Irving (shoulder). On the brink of history and play host to both Sheffield and Leicester at Worcester Arena in a favourable run-in.

The Eagles (20-5) have really stepped up their title challenge since losing the BBL Cup Final in January with nine wins in their last ten league outings. They claimed the head-to-head over Worcester last week with a win on the road and repeated the feat against Leicester at the weekend with an 84-83 triumph. In their final 8 games, Sheffield, Leicester & London (3rd-5th) all visit Sport Central while Newcastle are on the road to the bottom 5 teams including a season-ending back-to-back at Birmingham and Surrey.

Sheffield narrowly missed out on a remarkable comeback winning after recovering from 20 down to win the final quarter 14-3 only to lose 62-60 in the first leg. They bounced back from the disappointment to defeat Durham on the road and maintain their hopes of claiming the BBL Championship. The Sharks (17-5) face a tough run-in with a few stern tests on the road mixed with a busy schedule having played the least amount of league games so far. First challenge, hold on to their BBL Trophy.

A home defeat to Newcastle could spell out an end to the defence of their Championship crown. The Riders (17-7) also came back from 20 down and tied the game at 79 with just over a minute left, but fell short to suffer their seventh league loss. Last season’s treble-winners are on the road in at least six of their remaining games and can still have a say on the title race with trips to Newcastle and Worcester to come.

The Lions (15-11) were outplayed by Manchester in Sunday’s BBL TV clash and will be looking over their shoulders, but barring a catastrophic run-in, their play-off spot should be safe. London’s biggest test will be a double-header with Cheshire played at the beginning of April with the ‘Nix just a couple of wins behind the Capital side.

After being behind for a good majority of their BBL Trophy semi-final, Cheshire produced a strong final quarter to take an 80-74 advantage to Scotland for the second leg. Phoenix (13-11) will be keen to get Reggie Middleton back fit as quickly as possible as they aim to reach the Final whilst building momentum in the league to make them a real danger ahead of the play-offs. Top 4 is most likely out of reach, but 5th placed London are well within their sights.

A much needed win against Surrey came courtesy of overtime to put an end to their four-game losing streak. With just their third league win in 2014, the Raiders (12-14) have found themselves in the thick of the play-off battle with Glasgow and Manchester building up a head of steam. Plymouth face tough road trips against Cheshire and Worcester next and still have to host Leicester and Sheffield in a testing final stretch of games.

The same squad used for the entire season so far is still working hard to create history by helping Durham reach the post-season for the first time in the BBL. The Wildcats (12-15) dropped back down to eighth after a home defeat to Sheffield at the weekend, but were once again without key bench contributor RJ Evans. With only six games left, their next four could prove fatal with visits to Manchester and Worcester in amongst entertaining Newcastle and Leicester.

It was almost the perfect weekend for the Scottish side. A comfortable victory over Birmingham was nearly followed by a first leg triumph in Cheshire. However, Glasgow only trail by six ahead of Friday’s second leg clash on BBL TV. The Rocks (10-15) are just two wins off of the crucial 8th spot and have been improved of late following a run of four straight defeats in February. Five of their remaining games are against the top four whilst they still have Surrey left to play twice.

An impressive 108-93 win in London maintained their play-off surge after another high-scoring performance led by David Aliu. It was a third straight win for the Giants (10-15), the first time they have done that all season as they appear to be peaking at the right time. Their run-in consists of five home games including another final-day game with the Lions with last season’s heartbreak still fresh in the minds of the Giants.

Their vast improvement was further justified on Sunday as United (4-21) almost pulled off their fifth victory of the season before going down 92-88 in overtime to Plymouth. Recent signing Nick Freer filled the stat-sheet in the absence of Brandon McGill while Ceslovas Kucinskas added yet another ’20-10′ performance. The play-offs are now mathematically out of reach, but Surrey will be desperate to prove they can beat anyone and have five of their last 8 games to do so.

Time is desperately running out for the BBL new-boys as they chase their first victory of the season. A three-game battle with Surrey has come and gone leaving the Knights (0-27) having to upset another team in order to break their duck. They fell to a home defeat against the Rocks at the weekend resulting in just eight games remaining to avoid emulating Mersey Tigers’ winless season last year.

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