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Cheshire Phoenix 93 v 74 Surrey Scorchers

Surrey Scorchers battled hard on the road on Sunday evening but were unable to prevent the Cheshire Phoenix from taking a 93-74 BBL Championship win.

Surrey Scorchers battled hard on the road on Sunday evening but were unable to prevent the Cheshire Phoenix from taking a 93-74 BBL Championship win.

Coach Raftopoulous’ side stayed hard on the tails of their hosts in a competitive battle at the Cheshire Oaks Arena, but fell short in preventing Phoenix from securing the series winner.

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Quincy Taylor cancelled out and early 4-0 Cheshire lead with a pair of lay-ups against his former side, but it didn’t take long for Phoenix to build a dominating 9-0 run to put the opening quarter out of Scorchers’ reach.

Cheshire firmly held the momentum throughout Q2 until the dying moments when Taylor came up trumps again to throw down a buzzer-beating 3 point show from a turnover ball, allowing Surrey to tie the period at 19-all and hold a 9pt deficit at the midway point.

GB international Josh Steel lit up the court with a big shot from downtown to kick off Q3 and reduce the gap down to just 6 points. But again Cheshire were able to charge on and bring their lead back to double digits, holding a 72-55 advantage with one quarter left to play.

Caylin Raftopoulos opened Q4 with a brace of 3-point shots to again give Scorchers’ hope of a comeback, but the hosts’ late energy was enough to push them on for a convincing 93-74 home win.

Taylor topped the score sheet for Scorchers with 23 points, whilst Willie Atwood picked up 10 rebounds despite the loss.

Scorchers are on the road against next Saturday with a short trip to NBL division 1 outfit Worthing Thunder in the BBL Trophy (7.30pm tip-off), before making a post-Christmas trip to the Plymouth Raiders on Friday 28thDecember (7.30pm tip-off).

Scorchers picked up a crucial win 84-87 against the Cheshire Phoenix to confirm the club’s return to the BBL Play-Offs.

Scorchers picked up a crucial win 84-87 against the Cheshire Phoenix to confirm the club’s return to the BBL Play-Offs.

The game was nerve-racking for both sets of fans with a place in the playoffs hanging in the balance.

MPU

A scrappy game was won by some huge plays from Tony Hicks.

The BBL Player of the month scored 21 points, while Josh Steel added 17 from the bench.

Cheshire started the game well in front of their home crowd by surging out to an eight point lead in the first quarter.

Scorchers responded by pouring in 33 points in the second quarter to edge into the lead at half-time. Steel shot an impressive five for five from the field to claw Scorchers back into the game.

After the break it was Cheshire that once again held the driving seat. Some stellar defence from the home side allowed them to re-gain the lead by three points with ten minutes remaining.

Creon Raftopoulos’ side stepped up to the mark in the closing moments to ensure their playoff return. Tony Hicks stepped up to carry the team through the closing moments by making some huge baskets in the closing minutes.

The win confirms mathematically that the Surrey Scorchers are returning to the play-offs in May.

A last gasp winner saw Surrey Scorchers fall to a painful 2 point defeat at Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday evening.

A last gasp winner saw Surrey Scorchers fall to a painful 2 point defeat at Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday evening.

Malcolm Riley drained the game-winning 3-pointer on his league debut for Phoenix with the visiting Scorchers left to fall to a 1-2 record.

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Leading Scorers – Sandoval 26, May-Thompson 17, Riley 16, (Phoenix) – Hicks 23, Owumi 18, Robinson 13 (Scorchers)

Turning Point – Scorchers looked to be heading for the win – having battled back from 23 down (32-9) – when Alex Owumi drained the triple to make it 75-80, but an over-and-back turnover followed by an unsportsmanlike foul allowed Cheshire back into the game and they took their chance.

Key Stat – Cheshire struggled from beyond the arc with 29% accuracy, but made it count at the right time with the game-winner. It was a titanic effort from the starting five as they combined for all of their side’s 82 points.

Game Hero(es) – RJ Sandoval excelled with an important 26 points with just one miss, while Malcolm Riley stepped up when it mattered most with the game-winning three to deny Scorchers at the death.

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