Gladiators and Sharks edge out thrillers and clinch spots in BBL Trophy semi-finals


BBL Trophy
Caledonia Gladiators 52 – 50 London Lions (14-17, 17-9, 10-10, 11-14)
(Gladiators – Durham 24, Onwas 8, Tape/Bunyan 6; Lions – Ward-Hibbert 14, Hruban 7, Greatest/Weluche 6)

BBL Trophy
Leicester Riders 78 – 79 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (20-26, 24-13, 14-23, 20-17)
(Riders – Jackson 18, Mackenzie 15, Loving 13; Sharks – Nichols 19, Koch 18, Ratinho 10)

Within the first of tonight’s two BBL Trophy video games, the Caledonia Gladiators welcomed the London Lions to the Emirates Enviornment for a BBL Trophy recreation, and edged out an extremely hard-fought win, 52-50, in what proved to be the third lowest scoring recreation throughout all BBL competitions in historical past.

The Gladiators – who posted the bottom rating by a successful group in BBL historical past – had been led by Aljami Durham with 24 factors, whereas Josh Ward-Hibbert led the Lions with 14 factors and eight rebounds.

The sport began with each defences locked in. Caledonia’s restricted London to simply 4 factors within the first 5 minutes. 

The Scots had a transparent recreation plan of constructing life as troublesome as attainable for the Londoners with their intense D, earlier than then pushing the ball off steals or defensive rebounds.

A protracted offensive rebound by Mo Soluade and a dish to Vojtěch Hruban allowed the Czech star to empty a pull-up three, giving the Lions a much-needed increase and bringing them to inside one level (8-7).

The house aspect had been on prime for a lot of the primary quarter – led by their powerful defence – that compelled one other Lions turnover, earlier than Durham scored on the quick break (12-9), forcing London Coach Schmidt right into a timeout.

He turned to his bench with slightly below three minutes to go, and introduced on large man Josh Sharma with the hope of fixing issues.

This sub made all of the distinction, with the 7ft centre dominating on the defensive finish together with his rim safety, limiting the Gladiators to simply three factors till the tip of the primary interval.

The 26-year-old additionally contributed on the offensive finish, scoring a runner hook shot on the buzzer to shut out the primary 10 minutes of play with the Lions forward 14-17.

The second quarter noticed the hosts play with the identical defensive depth, making their opponents’ life extremely troublesome – limiting them to simply 9 factors in your complete interval.

The Lions then again tried to implement a zone defence, however Caledonia managed to interrupt it brilliantly on two events.

First with Jeremiah Bailey discovering a reducing Princeton Onwas for the simple two, after which Jonny Bunyan doing the identical and dishing to Patrick Tape below the basket (22-23).

With the rating tied at 26, the Gladiators missed a few possibilities to take their first lead of the second quarter, however then Bailey stepped up and drove onerous to the basket, laying it in and placing his group forward 28-26.

The ultimate 80 seconds of the half solely bought higher for Caledonia, as a steal by Tape allowed Durham to run the quick break and rating an and-one off the euro step, extending the result in 5 (31-26), earlier than the 2 groups headed to the locker rooms.

The third quarter was one other defence-focused 10 minutes, with the 2 sides making scoring very troublesome.

The Gladiators managed to get their largest lead of the sport (33-26) throughout the first two minutes of the second half, when Durham leap stopped and used his pivot foot excellently, to ship his defender flying, earlier than laying it in.

The Lions – coming off an enormous EuroCup win on Wednesday that noticed them qualify for the playoffs – weren’t simply going to surrender.

Ward-Hibbert hit a virtually inconceivable three from the sting of the side-line, together with his defender hanging off him, bringing his group again to inside 4 (35-31).

Led by their zone defence – which considerably slowed down the hosts’ offence – London introduced the distinction to only a single possession (37-35).

They couldn’t take the lead, nevertheless, and with scoring restricted for each groups, the Gladiators went into the ultimate 10 minutes up 41-36.

The fourth quarter began in one of the simplest ways for the guests, with Luke Nelson hitting an enormous shot from downtown to make it a two-point recreation (41-39).

That was the beginning of a 7-0 run for the Lions, who managed to take their first lead (41-43) for the reason that second quarter, when Sharma intercepted a cross and rushed down the ground for a large jam.

The 2 groups then exchanged free throws, earlier than Tape gave the Gladiators a two-point lead with two-and-a-half minutes left, when he scored with a reverse hook shot from below the basket.

That’s when 18-year-old Zamoku Weluche stepped up for the Lions and hit an enormous three, to provide them the lead as soon as once more (46-47), with 90 seconds left.

Tape wasn’t completed, and on the very subsequent play, he posted up Ward-Hibbert, earlier than his hook shot gave Caledonia the lead once more (48-47).

Durham – the sport’s prime scorer – then gave his group a three-point cushion (50-47) when he crossed Jonathan Komagum and completed a tricky layup, with 18 seconds left.

The 2 sides then exchanged free throws, earlier than Soluade missed his second one on objective with 4.8 seconds left and the rating 52-50, with a view to give the Lions the prospect at an offensive rebound.

That’s precisely what occurred because the ball went out of bounds for the guests, however Bradley Kaboza’s triple was off the mark from the inbound, giving Caledonia the W.

With this dub, the Gladiators superior to the Trophy semi-finals, the place they may face off in opposition to the winner of the Plymouth – Derby match-up.

In tonight’s second Trophy recreation, the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks travelled to the East Midlands to face the Leicester Riders and managed to additionally edge out an extremely shut recreation, 78-79.

The Sharks had been led by Kipper Nichols and Bennett Koch – who scored 19 and 18 factors, respectively.

Zach Jackson’s 18 factors weren’t sufficient to assist the Riders to victory.

In full distinction to the Caledonia – London recreation, the match in Leicester was a a lot increased scoring affair, with the 2 sides going proper at one another from the off.

A fast 8-2 run by Sheffield gave the guests an early six-point lead throughout the first two minutes of motion, when Devearl Ramsey laid it in.

Leicester rapidly fought again and bought their noses in entrance (11-10) when Aaron Menzies made a layup with six-and-a-half minutes to go.

The 2 sides then exchanged buckets and leads for the following three-and-a-half minutes, earlier than a 5-0 run by the Sharks gave them a 21-26 result in shut out the primary quarter.

The second interval noticed the house aspect step up their defence, limiting their opponents to half the factors they’d scored within the first (13), outscoring them by 11.

A 9-0 run noticed Leicester get their largest lead of the sport to this point (39-32) when Marc Loving transformed each of his free throws.

Though the Sharks managed to seek out their scoring contact once more within the remaining couple of minutes of the primary half, the Riders stored scoring and went into the break forward by 5 (44-39).

The third quarter noticed one other swing of the pendulum, this time with the guests limiting their opponents to simply 14 factors, whereas they scored 23.

A 6-0 run by Sheffield noticed them take their first lead of the second half and that was culminated when Jordan Ratinho made a layup with three minutes left within the third (54-57).

The 2 groups then exchanged baskets within the remaining couple of minutes, with the Yorkshire aspect taking a four-point lead going into the ultimate 10 minutes (58-62).

Though the momentum appeared to have swung in favour of the Sharks, the Riders fought onerous to carry it again and took the lead once more when Jackson scored a layup (68-67), six minutes earlier than the ultimate buzzer.

Sheffield didn’t let their heads drop although and went on a 7-0 run – capped off by a triple from Rodney Glasgow Jr, giving them a six-point lead (68-74), with 4 minutes left of motion.

It was Leicester’s flip to dig deep and battle again, managing to tie the sport at 78 apiece when Kimbal Mackenzie made each free throws with 90 seconds left. 

The 2 sides then missed a shot every, earlier than Sa’eed Nelson was despatched to the road after a foul by Mackenzie, with 50 seconds left.

The American guard hit 1/2 and gave his group a one-point benefit (78-79), which proved to be the ultimate rating after the Riders failed to attain on their remaining two possessions.

With this win, the Sharks transfer onto the Trophy semi-finals, the place they await the winner of the Surrey – Cheshire recreation.



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