The BA London Leopards took control of the title race with a win over main rivals, Derby in Brentwood. Vernon Teel and Ousman Krubally combined for 48 points in their side’s 78-65 success over the Trailblazers to take their current win streak in the league to an incredible 14 games.
Both the Leopards and Derby went into the meeting with a 14-4 record knowing the winner would claim an outright lead of Division One. The second quarter proved pivotal as the home side managed to restrict their opponents to just seven points as they forged ahead. Having led by nine at the half-time interval, the Leopards did not look back finishing strongly to repel any fightback from Derby.
The top two were also in action the day before and enjoyed contrasting victories. Rishi Kakad top scored with 25 points as Derby recovered from a six point half time deficit to pick up a 72-68 win at home to the Bradford Dragons. The Leopards raced out of the blocks in their encounter at the basement side, Westminster Warriors, and opened up a 27 point lead heading into the final quarter. Westminster salvaged some pride with a valiant fourth quarter effort, scoring 37 points despite going down 108-92; Teel produced a game high 36 points while captain, Krubally added a further 27 points.
Reading capitalised on Bradford’s defeat with back-to-back victories to move ahead of the Dragons into sixth position. The Rockets defeated Worthing Thunder 92-81 at home on Saturday before edging past London Capitals 60-54 on the road a day later with 19 year old, Lewis Champion top scoring in both matches. Bristol Academy Flyers kept themselves in the hunt for the title with an emphatic 102-59 win over the Medway Park Crusaders. However, the National Cup runners-up will have to be weary of two teams closing in behind them as Worthing and Leicester are just two points adrift. The Warriors recorded an impressive 108-80 win at home to Tees Valley Mohawks despite 33 points from Michael Dodd.
Brixton and Leeds were not in action this weekend but both teams will fancy their chances of making the play-offs as they have games in hand over Bradford and Medway Park , who are seventh and eighth respectively.
1st LEOPARDS (15-4) 30pts; 2nd DERBY (14-5) 28pts; 3rd BRISTOL (14-6) 28pts; 4th LEICESTER (13-7) 26pts; 5th WORTHING (13-7) 26pts; 6th READING (11-8) 22pts; 7th BRADFORD (11-9) 22pts; 8th MEDWAY (10-11) 20pts; 9th BRIXTON (9-9) 18pts; 10th LEEDS (8-10) 16pts; 11th TEES VALLEY (4-16) 8pts; 12th CAPITALS (2-16) 4pts; 13th WESTMINSTER (2-18) 4pts