BBL Cup: Leicester and Sheffield reach quarter-finals

Rob Paternostro court side
Rob Paternostro coached Leicester Riders to the BBL Cup in 2013 and 2014

Leicester Riders and Sheffield Sharks reached the BBL Cup quarter-finals on Friday with wins over Newcastle Eagles and Manchester Giants.

In the South Group, holders London Lions fought back to give London City Royals a first defeat of the season.

On Sunday, Cheshire Phoenix's winning streak reached five games as they beat Manchester Giants 96-85.

In the WBBL, Sevenoaks are the only unbeaten team after they survived a late scare at Essex to win 81-77.

The Riders gained revenge over Newcastle for the Eagles' win on the road at Leicester a month ago with a 76-69 win, despite trailing for almost all of the first half. Darien Nelson-Henry led the Riders' scoring with 20 points.

"It's been a solid campaign for us so far," said Riders coach Rob Paternostro. "We've had our fair share of injuries but we've continued to improve - our defence has been outstanding at times."

Sheffield qualified with an 88-70 win at Manchester, with Nick Lewis hitting 22 points for Sharks, who won the last of their six Cups in 2011.

Cheshire's fifth win in a row came against Manchester, where former GB international guard Ben Mockford again found his range, hitting five three-pointers in his 26 points.

Lions looked to be heading for a defeat when they trailed by 13 points with four minutes remaining at home to unbeaten London rivals the Royals.

Their comeback was sealed with a winning three-pointer from Jorge Romero to give them a 100-99 win which keeps at least one hand on the trophy they won in Birmingham last January.

The Lions won again, 90-80 at Plymouth on Sunday, with Brendan Peel scoring 23 points.

Elsewhere, Mark Hughes and Cortez Edwards each hit 17 points as Worcester Wolves got back to winning ways against Bristol, who responded to the loss by scoring the first 15 points of their win at Surrey on Saturday.

Worcester and Bristol are now just one win away - or a Surrey defeat away to the Royals on Saturday - from qualification. Plymouth's hopes could end on Friday if Lions beat Worcester.

The North could also be wrapped up on Friday if Leicester beat Glasgow, a result that would send Cheshire and Newcastle through to the last eight.

In the WBBL, Kate Oliver hit 25 points and took 10 rebounds as Leicester ended Nottingham's winning start to the season, 84-69 in the Midlands derby.

Nottingham had beaten Oaklands 72-63 the night before with Chelsey Shumpert scoring 36 points.

The North East derby went to Newcastle, whose 78-53 win at Durham saw the visitors in command 46-19 at half-time.

Great Britain international guard Georgia Jones found herself playing the full 40 minutes - and scoring 23 points - to lead Manchester to a 67-59 win against Caledonia, who led by nine points at the start of the fourth quarter.

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