BBL Championship: Leicester Riders keep title race alive

Rob Paternostro
Rob Paternostro has been in charge of Leicester Riders since 2008

Leicester Riders extended the BBL Championship title race into the final week of the season with victory against Sheffield Sharks on Sunday.

Any slip from Rob Paternostro's side would have seen Newcastle Eagles crowned champions, after they beat Leeds Force in overtime on Friday.

But Riders rallied to take their first lead with six minutes remaining and end Sharks' eight-game winning streak.

Eagles can, however, secure their seventh league title with one more win.

Fab Flournoy's side host Manchester Giants on Wednesday before facing Cheshire Phoenix on Friday and Riders on Saturday.

BBL Championship: Round 29 results
Friday, 10 April
Manchester Giants 87-104 Leicester Riders
Newcastle Eagles 98-91 Leeds Force
Worcester Wolves 92-80 Glasgow Rocks
London Lions 71-73 Sheffield Sharks
Saturday, 11 April
Surrey United 83-89 London Lions
Bristol Flyers 91-97 Glasgow Rocks
Sunday, 12 April
Sheffield Sharks 72-80 Leicester Riders
Plymouth Raiders 90-93 Manchester Giants
Cheshire Phoenix 91-58 Durham Wildcats

Sharks had climbed to fifth following a 73-71 success at London Lions on Friday.

"It's a tough one to swallow, but we've just got to let it bounce off us," said Sharks forward Mike Tuck.

"It would be great to get that fifth spot. Six weeks ago we were 10th, so I'm very proud of what our team have done in that time. We have to stay hungry going into the Play-offs.

Lions bounced back to hold off Surrey United for an 89-83 victory on Saturday when Glasgow Rocks also beat Bristol Flyers 97-91.

Giants moved level on points with Flyers in the battle for the final Play-off spot with a 93-90 victory against Plymouth Raiders on Sunday, having lost to Riders on Friday.

Worcester Wolves meet Riders twice this week, with second place likely to be at stake, and prepared with a 92-80 win against Glasgow.

Durham Wildcats' losing run reached 12 games on Sunday as they were beaten 91-58 by Phoenix, who limited them to just three points in the fourth quarter.

Barking Abbey Crusaders caused an upset in the WBBL Play-off quarter-finals, overcoming third seed Team Northumbria.

Crusaders face WBBL Championship winners Sheffield Hatters in the final four after Vanessa Ellis' side cruised past Sevenoaks Suns.

Leicester Riders and Nottingham Wildcats meet in the other semi-final following wins against Cardiff Met Archers and Manchester Mystics respectively.

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