BBL Trophy: Solent become first NBL side to reach final

February 17, 2020
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    Gentrey Thomas (Bristol)

    Gentrey Thomas led Bristol Flyers with 27 points in the win over Solent

    Solent Kestrels became the first non-BBL team to reach a BBL final when they beat Bristol Flyers 176-159 on aggregate in the Trophy semi-final.

    Bristol’s 92-73 second-leg win was not enough to overturn Solent’s 36-point advantage from the first leg.

    In the WBBL Trophy semi-finals, Durham and Leicester earned a repeat of last year’s final with semi-final wins.

    In the BBL, Glasgow Rocks’ punishing 860-mile road trip brought two wins as they joined London Lions at the top.

    Gentrey Thomas scored 27 points to lead Bristol but the Flyers’ bid for a second final of the season probably ended with their huge first-leg defeat.

    BBL top five (W-L)

    1. London (9-3)

    2. Glasgow (9-3)

    3. Leicester (6-2)

    4. Worcester (6-4)

    5. Newcastle (6-4)

    They had a 15-point lead in the third quarter but baskets by TrayVonn Wright and secure free-throw shooting from Jonathan Lashley brought Solent back to within 10 points for the last 10 minutes.

    Having become the first non-BBL team to qualify for a top-flight final in the 33 years of the system, Solent will face Newcastle or Cheshire, whose semi-final second leg comes after the international break.

    Dee Hayward, who won the WBBL Trophy with Leicester last year, was the star for Durham as they beat Nottingham 92-82 on the road in their semi-final.

    Hayward hit nine points, including two three-pointers, at the start of the fourth quarter in a 14-3 Durham streak that took control of the game.

    Her former team-mates Leicester ended Sevenoaks’ hopes of adding the Trophy to the WBBL Cup they won last month with a 72-66 home win.

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    The teams were tied with 4:35 remaining but neither side scored again until the last minute, when Brea Elmore broke the deadlock to hit four of the Riders’ decisive six-point run.

    WBBL top five (W-L)

    1. Leicester (10-2)

    2. Sevenoaks (9-1)

    3. Newcastle (9-2)

    4. Manchester (9-3)

    5. Sheffield (8-3)

    In the BBL Championship, Glasgow won 95-79 at Surrey on Saturday night and followed that up with an 87-71 win at Chester on Sunday.

    That put them top of the table with champions London Lions, who beat Bristol 75-66 on Friday. Third-placed Leicester won twice, 90-75 at Plymouth on Sunday after an easy 101-63 win over Newcastle, who were without January Player of the Month CJ Gettys.


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