A full house at John Sandford Sports Centre cheered home favourites Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders to back to back BBL Finals although they did lose their unbeaten home record after a stunning 29 points from Alex Owumi (196-G-84, college: Alcorn St.) gave Wolves a narrow 68-66 second-leg win.
With the BBL Cup already in the cabinet, head coach Rob Paternostro and his players will face One Health Sharks Sheffield on Saturday 09 March at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow as they look to add to their silverware haul.
Heading into the game with a handy 82-73 advantage after the first-leg in Worcester, the hosts immediately strengthened their position by scoring the first five points of this game to take their lead to double-digits in the tie.
Riders were generally in control for the most of the opening period, although a buzzer beating triple by Lithuanian forward Arnas Kazlauskas brought Wolves back to within a point at 15-14 heading into the second quarter.
But, Paul James soon had his Wolves players back in a huddle after Riders began to raise the tempo and a couple of transition baskets helped them score eight of the first nine points in the second quarter. Minutes later, they went 34-22 ahead, only for Wolves to rally in the dying moments of the half and reduce the gap dramatically to 34-30, after eight unanswered points and including buzzer beater from downtown by Owumi.
Sensing their opportunity, Wolves and specifically Owumi, picked up where they left off and stunned the home crowd with a scorching 12-2 run to grab the initiative at 42-36 and make the tie a one-shot game.
Riders needed a response and Zaire Taylor provided it with seven points in a row, a triple putting Riders back on the front-foot at 43-42. However, the pendulum swing back to Wolves in the last quarter when they threatened to turn the tie on its head by going 61-51 in front and also ahead in the tie, thanks to some great work by Sherrad Prezzie-Blue.
It set up a dramatic and nerve shredding finale and as Wolves continued to keep their noses in front on the night and threaten to spoil the party at 68-62 with two minutes left, but Taylor eased home fans fears with a massive triple to drive a dagger through the visitors' hearts.
With Wolves unable to add to their tally, Taylor made one further free-throw for Riders which sealed the deal and helped punched their ticket for Glasgow next weekend.
Wolves will be ruing 11 missed free-throws, as they allowed a glorious opportunity to advance, to slip painfully through their fingers.
Pavol Losonsky had a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds for Riders.
Townsville Heat adds Anderson to their roster, ex Cheshire P. - 1 day ago
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Townsville Heat (QBL) added to their roster 27-year old British forward Jamell Anderson (200-90). He just played at Cheshire Phoenix in British BBL league. In 33 games he recorded 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.9spg this season. The last season Anderson played at Leicester Riders (also in BBL) where in 34 games he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.5apg. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. A very spectacular season in his career... [read more]
Townsville Heat (QBL) added to their roster 27-year old British forward Jamell Anderson (200-90). He just played at Cheshire Phoenix in British BBL league. In 33 games he recorded 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.5apg and 1.9spg this season. The last season Anderson played at Leicester Riders (also in BBL) where in 34 games he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.5apg. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. A very spectacular season in his career as he was voted to Eurobasket.com British BBL All-Defensive Team. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Anderson's team won British BBL Cup for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). He represented United Kingdom at the 3x3 World Championships in Greece five years ago. Anderson has played also professionally for other British teams like Nottingham Tribe and Essex Pirates.
It's our penultimate line-up of 2016-17 and while a trio took their last opportunity to shine as their respective seasons came to an end, two of our starters will be hoping to re-appear as they head into the Play-Offs! Mike DiNunno (Cheshire Phoenix) As the curtain fell on an eventful season at Phoenix, the playmaker signed off his participation in spectacular style with a typically influential contribution. Di Nunno lit it up at Cheshire Oaks Arena against Leeds Force by harvesting a ma... [read more]
It's our penultimate line-up of 2016-17 and while a trio took their last opportunity to shine as their respective seasons came to an end, two of our starters will be hoping to re-appear as they head into the Play-Offs!
Mike DiNunno (Cheshire Phoenix) As the curtain fell on an eventful season at Phoenix, the playmaker signed off his participation in spectacular style with a typically influential contribution. Di Nunno lit it up at Cheshire Oaks Arena against Leeds Force by harvesting a massive 36 points in just 22 minutes, after sinking a sizzling eight scores from beyond the three-point line. He also had three rebounds, three assists and not a single turnover during his time on court.
Callum Jones (193-G-85, college: Pace) (Manchester Giants) They may have finished propping up the table, but there was at least a smile of sorts heading into the summer for Giants as they ended their participation with an exciting home win against Plymouth Raiders. That was largely down to a magnificent effort from Jones, as he led his team to victory with a quite brilliant line. The guard finished with a majestic double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds, while adding seven assists for good measure.
Earl Brown (Cheshire Phoenix) Finishing the season with a flourish and arguably the most consistent performer throughout a campaign of changes for Phoenix, Brown was in scintillating form against Leeds. While his team-mate DiNunno excelled in the backcourt, the forward scythed down Force by registering a huge double-double. He did the business in the paint with an astonishing 84% from the field for 28 points and also added 14 boards and five steals.
Leslee Smith (Bristol Flyers) Despite their worrying start to the season, Flyers find themselves in the Play-Offs after a weekend win double which catapulted them into seventh place. It was imperative Flyers got off to a positive start in their double-header and Smith brought the noise in a big way against Manchester. He was sensational and very much the difference-maker in a hard-fought victory against Giants with a monumental 19-point and 21-rebound double-double to delight the locals.
Tony Wroblicky (DBL Sharks Sheffield) The Sharks are now looking to defend the BBL Play-Off title they famously won at The 02 in London last May and if they manage to do it, you can expect Wroblicky to have a big hand in it. He was on fire for Sharks as they ended Worcester's record winning streak by beating them on the road and in front of the BBC Sport cameras. He weighed in with an outstanding double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds, also not spilling the ball once in 30 minutes on the hardwood.
Off the Bench - Rashad Hassan (London Lions), Kieron Achara (Glasgow Rocks), Jermaine Sanders (Leeds Force), Rahmon Fletcher (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle), Hameed Ali (Bristol Flyers), Chaz Rollins (Surrey Scorchers), Rob Marsden (Leeds Force).
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