BBL: Cheshire Phoenix maintain impressive winning run

David Aliu
"We have a solid group now and have started clicking," said Phoenix forward David Aliu (r)

Cheshire Phoenix beat Glasgow Rocks 80-61 on Sunday to register a sixth successive BBL Championship win and force their way into the title race.

Phoenix lost four of their first six games but, under the guidance of former NBA Development League coach John Coffino, are now up to joint-third.

Demond Watt's 23 points and 13 rebounds achieved the win that took Cheshire four points behind leaders Newcastle.

"It's all down to our defensive effort," said forward David Aliu.

"Offensively we are very talented but defence is what is getting us through. We owe it all to the coach, who has drilled that into us since day one.

"We have a solid group now and have started clicking so I'm excited for the rest of the season."

BBL Results: 5-7 December
Friday, 5 December
Leeds Force 52-71 Sheffield Sharks
Newcastle Eagles 99-83 Durham Wildcats
Saturday, 6 December
Leicester Riders 93-82 Glasgow Rocks
Bristol Flyers 72-67 Manchester Giants
Sunday, 7 December
Durham Wildcats 101-57 Surrey United
Plymouth Raiders 88-95 Worcester Wolves
Cheshire Phoenix 80-61 Glasgow Rocks
Manchester Giants 79-87 London Lions

Paul Sturgess, the world's tallest player, made his debut as Phoenix inflicted a second defeat of the weekend on the previously in-form Rocks, who fell 93-82 to Leicester Riders on Saturday.

Newcastle remain unbeaten since their opening game, as they beat local rivals Durham Wildcats 99-83 on Friday, although Worcester Wolves maintained their challenge by overcoming Plymouth Raiders 95-88 with 27 points and 14 rebounds from Robert Thurman.

Sheffield Sharks halted their four-game slide with victory against Leeds Force, while Manchester Giants fell to Bristol Flyers and London Lions, the latter boosted by 30 points from reigning MVP Zaire Taylor.

There was also a comfortable 101-57 win for Wildcats against Surrey United, thanks to 51 points from Wildcats' bench players.

Sheffield Hatters took sole ownership of second spot in the WBBL Championship as Great Britain international Stephanie Gandy inspired them to two victories, including success against fellow challengers Team Northumbria.

Nottingham Wildcats maintained their 100% record at the top of the table, surviving a scare against Barking Abbey Crusaders.

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