VCARS.co.uk D2 Men round-up: Title almost decided - Mar 11, 2013
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Newham Neptunes have one hand on the VCARS.co.uk Division 2 Men title after a busy weekend schedule.
Loughborough Students Riders lost all but the merest hope of the league title and also gave up their grip on second place with a pair of losses at the weekend.
On Saturday a weakened Riders squad - with Reiss Haggith, Will Maynard and coach Drew Sullivan suiting up for Leicester Riders in the BBL Trophy final - couldn't stop Rob Valentine as he amassed 38 points to lead Derbyshire Arrows to a 91-89 win.
On Sunday they fell behind early against Manchester Magic, but battled back into it in the middle two quarters, only to be held to 12 points in the final quarter and lose 83-76, meaning that Manchester moved ahead of them in the league table.
Manchester Magic's win over Loughborough came on the back of an 81-61 home win over Team Solent on Saturday.
Magic scored 19 of the first 23 points of the game and despite being pegged back to be just 7 up at the end of the first quarter, they were never in danger of slipping up against the bottom team.
There were a couple of times in the second quarter and one in the third quarter when the lead shrank to as few as five points, but a 17-4 run by Magic towards the end of the third killed off the game.
All twelve Magic players played more than 9 minutes in the game and everyone got on the scoresheet as they inflicted a 17th defeat of the season on Solent.
Thanks to Loughborough's losses, Newham Neptunes moved within one win of the VCARS.co.uk Division 2 Men league title with back-to-back wins against London Westside on Saturday and Birmingham Mets on Sunday.
Neptunes had little trouble over the weekend dispatching Westside 86-51 and Mets 87-60 to stretch their winning streak in the division to 10 games.
Karolis Stepanavicius (32), Ladi Brown (20) and Chuky Obanye (20) combined for 72 points on Saturday and Brown again excelled on Sunday with 22 points.
Eastside Eagles kept pace with Manchester Magic and joined them in moving ahead of Loughborough as they defeated Glamorgan Gladiators 78-74 on Saturday and London United 85-79 on Sunday.
Mark Denchfield had 21 points on Saturday as Eagles eventually came out on top in a topsy-turvy game. Eagles won the second quarter 25-16 to lead 41-37 at the half, but they lost the third by 6 to see Glamorgan move in front.
Eagles took the final quarter 24-18 to secure the win and hand Gladiators their seventh loss of the season.
On Sunday Craig Pringle's 39 points helped them to overcome a 10 point first quarter deficit as they piled in 74 points in the final three quarters of the game.
London United's loss to Eagles gave them a pair of defeats over the weekend as they also lost 78-69 at PAWS London Capital on Saturday.
A 23-12 third period in Capital's favour proved critical after United had hit back to tie the game at half-time.
Isaac Nsiah led the way for the victors with 30 points as they moved clear of United in the Playoff chase.
Mansfield Giants extended their winning streak to four games on Saturday with a 106-97 overtime win against Brimingham Mets before eventually slipping up 92-87 at Glamorgan on Sunday.
Giants looked to have the game in control on Saturday as they went into the final period ahead 68-61, but Mets hit back to take the game to an extra period. Some top shooting from Giants in overtime saw them compile 19 points in 5 minutes to leave Mets too much to overcome.
The trio of Brian Reid (27 points, 15 rebounds), Dan Watts (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Dan Richards (25 points, 9 rebounds) were influential for Giants as they moved within one win of the Playoff spots.
On Sunday another fourth quarter collapse from Giants saw them break their winning streak as Gladiators took the final period 25-18 to turn a two point deficit into a five point win.
Matt Gwynne continued his incredible season for Glamorgan with 35 points and Lloyd Williams had 33. Richards and Reid continued their fine weekends with 26 apiece for Giants.
Derbyshire Arrows continued their late season resurgence with a convincing 91-69 win over PAWS London Capital on Sunday.
Combined with their win at Loughborough on Saturday and their win over Manchester last weekend, Arrows now have three straight wins against three Playoff contenders to set the stage for a Playoff run of their own.
Arrows scored 31 points in an opening quarter that was capped by a trio of triples from Rob Valentine (2) and Adria Rodriguez-Vinas. After a quiet second quarter they again lit up the scoreboard in the third, amassing 27 points to lead 71-52 heading into the final frame.
Rob Valentine continued his explosive play with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists and four other players scored in double figures for Pete Kelly's team as they moved up to sixth spot in the league table.
Courtesy of: http://www.englandbasketball.co.uk
Eurobasket.com All-British EBL Division Two Awards 2013 - May 24, 2013
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Finals MVP: Karolis Stepanavicius (198-F) of Newham Nept.; Player of the Year: Matt Gwynne (6'10''-F/C) of Cary Invasion; Guard of the Year: Thomas Ward (183-PG) of Manchester M.; Forward of the Year: Karolis Stepanavicius (198-F) of Newham Nept.; Center of the Year: Matt Gwynne (6'10''-F/C) of Cary Invasion; Bosman Player of the Year: Karolis Stepanavicius (198-F) of Newham Nept.; Import Player of the Year: Matt Gwynne (6'10''-F/C) of Cary Invasion; Domestic Player of the Year: Thomas Ward (183 [read more]
Eurobasket.com All-British EBL Division Two 1st Team 2013
Leicester Riders continued with their team building for the 2013/14 season by re-signing 6 foot 8 inch forward Anthony Rowe (203-F-85, college: N.Georgia). The 27 years old Rowe was born in Plymouth and played for his home town club for 4 seasons, after graduating from US college North Georgia, before joining Riders early last season, after a season ending injury to centre John Fraley [read more]
Leicester Riders continued with their team building for the 2013/14 season by re-signing 6 foot 8 inch forward Anthony Rowe (203-F-85, college: N.Georgia). The 27 years old Rowe was born in Plymouth and played for his home town club for 4 seasons, after graduating from US college North Georgia, before joining Riders early last season, after a season ending injury to centre John Fraley.
Rowe knocked down nearly 12 points a game, and averaged nearly 7 rebounds and just over 1 assist per game, for the Jelson Homes DMU backed Riders, which helped Rowe pick up his first silverware in the BBL.
Rowe said, "I am absolutely ecstatic to come back with the Riders. I was really pleased with the way I was welcomed into the Riders team part way through the season, and Leicester has proved a great team, a great Club, and a great organization."
"Winning three trophies was well beyond my expectations, but well deserved, because this team put in a lot of hard work. I really always wanted to stay and defend those titles and keep that success coming to the city."
Rowe admitted coach Rob Paternostro was a factor in his decision, "Rob is a great coach, and good person, and was undoubtedly part of the reason I am here. He has total respect of his players, and I feel I have learned a lot and improved immensely throughout the season."
"And as a team, I think we can step up again. It is great we have already got a number of British players back. If you look at successful teams over a number of years in the BBL, keeping a solid group of good British players is a big factor, and I really like the way the Club is getting on and getting key players under contract early."
Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro said, "Last season when Rowe arrived he fitted in really well, and proved his ability to adapt to what we were looking for quickly. Anthony can do a variety of things at both ends of the court, but most impressive is his hunger to win. He also brings a lot to the organization in terms of his outstanding work in the community."
"What I really like is, with Rowe's signing, we are building a core of young British talent in our team, when you add in Jamell Anderson and Connor Washington. These guys send a message to the younger players in our organization that if you buckle down, train hard, and listen and learn, there are openings in our team. And, of course, their signings give huge flexibility to our squad."
Leicester Riders took another step to rebuilding their championship winning team, by announcing the return of guard Jorge Calvo(190-G-87).
The 25 year old point guard, born in Ponferrada, Spain, was a huge hit with the Rider's fans last season, with his tenacious defence and in ability to run the offence, but also for his hugely engaging manner off the court. He was the first Spaniard to win a BBL Championship [read more]
Leicester Riders took another step to rebuilding their championship winning team, by announcing the return of guard Jorge Calvo (190-G-87).
The 25 year old point guard, born in Ponferrada, Spain, was a huge hit with the Rider's fans last season, with his tenacious defence and in ability to run the offence, but also for his hugely engaging manner off the court. He was the first Spaniard to win a BBL Championship.
Calvo was very keen to return to the Jelson Homes DMU backed Riders, "From very early on with the Riders, as I came to understand the great mix of players we had, I was really keen to make Leicester more than a one year stop. I believe this is a team that can get better, and I can get better with the team."
"Playing in the BBL is a different challenge to Spain, but I think it is helping to develop my game. I will be looking to do things a little different, add some things to what I bring to the Riders, but it is really working with my team-mates and coaches that will help make the difference."
"I was also excited to see that Drew Sullivan had re-signed, because he is such an important player in our team. He and Rob (Paternostro) our coach are what make the big difference to the team, so that just reinforced my keenness to come back."
Calvo thinks Riders will have it much tougher in the BBL next season, but is looking forward to the challenge, "For sure, teams are going to be gunning for Leicester, and it will be difficult. We set a standard this season, and other teams will be out to put one over on us. But I think the Riders can get better, and particularly if we can keep most of the squad together."
Paternostro was very excited to have Calvo back, "Jorge is hugely under-rated in my opinion. He handles himself extremely well, is a very smart player, and is very much a team guy. There are a lot of decisions to make in his position on the court, particularly in terms of getting other guys involved in the offence, and that is where Jorge excels."
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