BBL Cup: Holders Lions still chasing quarter-final spot

Bennett Koch (Sheffield Sharks)
Bennett Koch (25) had 17 rebounds for Sheffield in the win over Leicester

Cheshire, Newcastle, Worcester and Bristol booked their places in the BBL Cup quarter-finals after the penultimate weekend of group games.

With Sheffield and Leicester already qualified, the four qualifiers from the North group are now known.

Holders London Lions are still not sure of making the last eight after losing to Worcester and need to win at least one of their last two games.

London Royals beat bottom club Surrey 92-84 to stay top of the South.

Matt Scott again led the Royals with 22 points and former GB international Ryan Richards hit 19 points on his debut for Surrey.

The Royals' win, in which they were 19 points ahead after three quarters, means they will top the group unless they lose their last two games, including by 28 points or more at Bristol.

The Lions were forced to change venue to the University of East London as the Copper Box was unavailable and the holders struggled to establish a rhythm when leading scorer Brandon Peel suffered an injury in the first quarter.

"Apart from the Worcester game at the start of the season, the defeats we've had have been by just a few points," said Lions coach Vince Razaq. "We're just a few tweaks away from where we want to be."

Worcester's win was their fifth in single figures and qualified both them and the third-placed Bristol Flyers for the quarter-finals, Great Britain international Kofi Josephs again top scored for the Wolves with 22 points. Dii'Jon Allen-Jordan led all scorers with 31 points for London.

Leicester's win on Friday night, 93-58 against Glasgow, made sure Newcastle and Cheshire qualified. Jamell Anderson led the Riders with 20 points and five other Leicester players scored in double figures.

Sheffield Sharks then took over from Leicester at the top of the North standings on Sunday with a comprehensive 79-63 win over the Riders.

Nick Lewis scored 22 points for Sharks and Leicester scored only 39 points in the first three quarters, including missing 11 shots in the third quarter - seven of them three-pointers - and trailed by 25 points.

Sheffield will top the group if they beat Glasgow at home next weekend, but a defeat would gift Leicester the top seeding on the head-to-head calculation.

Newcastle's 94-66 against bottom team Manchester, behind 22 points and 10 rebounds from John Mitchell, put them into third in the North ahead of Cheshire, who qualified despite being inactive at the weekend.

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