Lions edge out Patriots on the road, Gladiators and Phoenix secure home victories


BBL Championship

Plymouth City Patriots 79 – 88 London Lions (16-16, 32-43, 52-67)
(Patriots: Hassan, 25; Daniels, 16; Gadsden, 15 – Lions: Zubcic, 21; Soluade, 15; Soko, 11)

Caledonia Gladiators 77 – 71 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (22-10, 40-33, 56-50)
(Gladiators: Durham, 19; Sloan, 13; Bailey, 12 – Sharks: Ramsey, 23; Ratinho, 13; Nelson/Koch, 11)

Cheshire Phoenix 82 – 70 Newcastle Eagles (26-13, 56-30, 63-53)
(Phoenix: Austin, 25; Evans, 21; Neighbour, 11 – Eagles: Gordon, 15; Hamlet, 13; French/Johnson, 11)

London Lions secured a tenth win in a row after taking down Plymouth City Patriots 79-88 in an entertaining contest at Plymouth Pavilions on Sunday. 

the lights out, Lions forward Tomislav Zubcic led the team as he hit four
triples, going 6/9 from the field en route to 21 points and a career-high eight
assists and two blocks.

vital contributor from the bench, Mo Soluade added 15 points, going 5/6 from
deep to extend London’s unbeaten streak.

teams battled in the opening minutes, with either side pressuring admirably on
the defensive end.

dealt the first blow, courtesy of guard Luke Nelson, who was left open in
transition to put away a triple.

City replied with a 7-0 run, spearheaded by recent signing Jules Dang Akodo,
who, as well as locating efficient scorer Rashad Hassan inside, confidently
split the Lions’ defence to get a layup of his own.

Patriots array of attacking options continued to be utilised, with Ty Gadsden
and Jawaun Daniels linking well on the fast break to pump up the scoring tally
for the hosts.

edged back into the game – a pair of crafty passes between Ovie Soko and Zubcic
found Soluade alone in the corner, draining a triple effortlessly.

a contentious opening quarter, the game was all tied up at 16-16.

opened the second quarter scoring in style, recording his third three-point
make of the game.

boasted a 9-0 run in the opening minutes, with Zubcic and Joshua Ward-Hibbert
working tremendously to dismantle Plymouth’s solid half-court defence.

quick burst of points from the hosts, including a putback dunk from James
Hawthorne Jr., kept the score close, but heading into halftime, the Lions led
decisively, 32-43.

riot was on the cards for the Lions entering the third quarter, starting with a
choreographed alley-oop play for Josh Sharma. 

Following that, an epic shooting display by Zubcic – going 3/3 from beyond the arc – launched Lions into a 15-0 streak.

to limit Plymouth’s shooting options defensively, London extended their lead to
22 with just over five minutes remaining in the quarter.

increased their scoring tally making good use of the free-throw line to reduce
London’s advantage.

A back-to-back pair of powerful dunks from bigs Sam Keita and Markedric Bell punctured some holes into London’s defenders.

Soluade proved dangerous, knocking down his fourth triple of the game, leading
all Lions scorers despite operating from off the bench.

to a hot start, the visiting London Lions maintained a firm advantage heading
into the concluding period of play, 52-67.

mounted a significant comeback, pouring in 10 consecutive points before
London’s Aaron Best could deliver a triple for the visitors.

back-to-back threes for Daniels suddenly chopped London’s advantage into single

persevered inside for the Patriots, scoring at will despite London’s arsenal of
seven-footers, amassing 25 points in all.

continued his impressive scoring – being physical inside to earn trips to the
charity stripe.

outscoring the Lions 27-21 in the final quarter, the Patriots came up just
short of topping the league powerhouse side, falling 79-88 at the buzzer.

result made London Lions notch a tenth consecutive win – undefeated since

As for Plymouth City, they record their seventh consecutive defeat, failing to win a home fixture since December.

Caledonia Gladiators pulled off a convincing 77-71 victory over the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks as Gladiators rookie Jeremiah Bailey continues to make a name for himself, amassing 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists on the brink of a triple-double performance.

additional factor to Caledonia’s success came from sharpshooter and recent
arrival Al Durham, whose efficient 19 points – shooting 70% from the field –
glided the Scottish side to victory.

Gladiators started the game strong, chalking seven quick points in their favour, with rookie big Patrick Tape playing fiercely under the basket to log Caledonia’s first four points.

Sloan, one of the deadliest guards in the league, then casually put away a
triple to launch the hosts firmly in the lead.

responded valiantly, as centre Bennet Koch and playmaking guard Sa’eed Nelson
connected well to provide back-to-back scoring possessions for the trailing

emphatic 6-0 run for the Gladiators soon followed, forcing Sheffield into an
impromptu timeout.

Ratinho gifted his side a calculated and-one play to show glimpses of a
comeback before Durham’s six swift points from the bench rounded off the
opening quarter, placing Caledonia ahead comfortably, 22-10.

revitalised their winning chances in the second quarter, as they constructed a
10-2 run with Ty Flowers’ dagger three-point shot forcing Caledonia into an
early timeout with the Sharks closing in to within four points of the

tremendous back-and-forth emerged between both sides as they eagerly tussled
for the lead heading into halftime.

Ratinho and Nelson continued to work effectively to keep the Sharks’ momentum, while Caledonia looked to experienced centre Fahro Alihodzic, who punished Sheffield’s interior defenders.

Ramsey tested the Caledonia defence, as his unreal acceleration made it easy to
draw shooting fouls. A meticulous free-throw shooter, Ramsey knocked down eight
of nine from the line.

less than eight seconds remaining in the half and the Sharks chomping away at
Caledonia’s advantage, guard Kyle Jimenez heroically rescued Bailey’s missed
three-point attempt, and he kicked it out again to Bailey, who connected on his
second attempt.

teams battled with conviction entering the third quarter.

5-0 start for the Sharks was soon reciprocated by a 5-0 stretch for the
Gladiators, with neither side wavering.

Sharks made several close attempts to snatch the lead Caledonia had established
since the opening quarter, but the hosts held on as they grabbed a 56-50 lead
heading into the final quarter.

brisk exchange of three-point efforts between Durham and Ratinho to start the
fourth quarter only added to the suspense, as both teams played excellent

Caledonia managed to hold the Sharks without a field goal for nearly three
minutes, maintaining a double-digit lead until Ramsey hit a layup midway
through the period.

Sharks made use of the free-throw line in the closing minutes, shooting a solid

Caledonia held off Sheffield’s comeback efforts, winning 77-71 despite foul trouble late on.

The Cheshire Phoenix were victorious, dealing an 82-70 win over Newcastle Eagles.

Larry Austin led Cheshire to victory as he scored 25 points, had six assists, and three steals, despite the Eagles’ remarkable comeback to within ten points.

began the game very positively, with a crafty move by big man Will Neighbour,
using great footwork to free up space for an easy layup.

big Hasahn French replied with a pair of jump shots to kickstart their
respective scoring campaign.

Cheshire executed a spree of buckets after Marcus Evans successfully
pickpocketed the ball from Newcastle’s ball handlers and scored on the other

away 11 points before Newcastle could register another field goal to their
name, Cheshire produced a sizable lead over the visitors, with the score
sitting 26-13 in Cheshire’s favour.

refused to take their foot off the pedal in the second quarter.

with eight unobstructed points to widen the gap over Newcastle, veteran guard
Kyle Johnson’s clean jump shot ended Cheshire’s hot streak.

characteristic long-ranged shooting abilities illuminated to begin the second
quarter, putting away a pair of triples to make the scoreline read 40-18, with
7:31 left to play.

key guards Ben Mockford (early injury) and David Cohn (ejected), Newcastle
fought well to stay in the game, despite their absence.

56-30 at the halftime break, Newcastle looked to forge a comeback effort.

began well to start the second half of action, with Gordon and French knocking
down shots and playing some solid defence against a lightning-fast Cheshire

Eagles then ramped up their defensive pressure, forcing the Phoenix to go five
minutes without a field goal, forcing Cheshire to score just seven points in
the third quarter.

a 9-0 run to end the quarter and an improved shooting showcase for the Eagles
catapulted them back into the game – trailing 63-53, heading into the fourth.

unyielding side, the Eagles proved difficult to contain for the Phoenix, who
reshaped after Newcastle’s dominant third quarter showing.

added another triple to his tally, while Michael Ochereobia worked effectively
protecting the rim from Eagles’ attacking threats.

Cheshire ahead 70-60, and 5:03 left in the game, clutch Cheshire guard Marcus
Evans pulled off a glitzy hesitation dribble jump shot from the elbow to
maintain the tentative Phoenix lead.

It was then the turn of Austin to wreak havoc for the Phoenix, getting a tough layup to drop despite Newcastle’s dedicated defensive effort.

Austin and Evans were responsible for 17 of Cheshire’s final 19 points,
managing to withstand Newcastle’s fierce comeback effort.

a last-second jump shot for Evans, the Phoenix were awarded the victory over
the Eagles, with a final score of 82-70.

make it 12 wins on the season as they operate soundly in the top five spots.

For Newcastle, who record their 14th defeat, linger hopefully in ninth, just shy of playoff contention.

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