Around the NBL – Week 27 (Playoffs)

The quarter-finals of the 2016-17 NBL playoffs took place at the weekend from D1 down to D4..

Division One

Manchester Magic moved a step closer to defending their title after recording an 87-62 win at home to Bradford Dragons.

On Sunday, league and Cup champions, Team Northumbria, advanced with a 94-75 success against Hemel Storm as Malcolm Smith netted 33 points.

Lewis Champion added 23 points as the hosts poured in 34 points in the third before holding their opponents to single figures in the final period to wrap up a comfortable victory.

Meanwhile, Solent Kestrels finished strong to claim a 71-87 win away at Reading Rockets after outscoring the third seeds 31-11 in the fourth quarter.

Craig Ponder had 22 points for the home side as the Rockets led by four at the end of the third before Kestrels stormed into the next round with a team-high 19 points from Marquis Mathis.

Loughborough Student Riders were also victorious away from home as they defeated Derby Trailblazers 61-78 with Alex Roberts’ 13 points leading a balanced attack.

It was a second win in succession for the Riders in Derby having also won on the last day of the regular season with Josh Ward-Hibbert and Max Richardson adding 12 points apiece in the last eight win.

Semi-Finals
Team Northumbria v Loughborough Student Riders
Manchester Magic v Solent Kestrels

Division Two

Ipswich were the first team to advance as Luke Mascall-Wright netted 32 points in a 98-64 triumph over London Westside as they raced out of the blocks en route to a convincing win.

They will face the league champions next after Kent Crusaders eased to an 83-58 win against Derbyshire Arrows with Amin Adamu top scoring with 19 points.

Team Newcastle University progressed with a narrow 67-65 success at home to Tees Valley Mohawks, while Thames Valley Cavaliers defeated Nottingham Hoods 94-89 behind 26 points for Martelle McLemore.

Semi-Finals
Kent Crusaders v Ipswich
Team Newcastle University v Thames Valley Cavaliers

Division Three

Team Birmingham Elite moved into the D3 Semi-Finals with an 81-67 win over Brunel University Ducks with 21 points from Meris Mazalovic.

Middlesex LTBC also advanced as Modestas Krasuaskas poured in 30 points in an 87-71 victory against Stoke-on-Trent Knights, while Sussex Bears powered past Charnwood Riders 95-64 behind Hank Rivers’ 26 points.

Also, Solent Kestrels II were the only side to win away from home as they took down University of Chester with a 77-81 road success with Karl Teesdale scoring a game-high 30 points in the win.

Semi-Finals
Team Birmingham Elite v Sussex Bears
Middlesex LTBC v Solent Kestrels II

Division Four

Leeds Force Academy were the only road team to win in the D4 Quarter-Finals as they recorded a 77-89 win away at Essex Blades. The visitors put up 30 points in the fourth and were led by Micah Savery-Richards’ 23 points.

Meanwhile, Northants Taurus advanced with a 103-85 victory against Cardiff City, despite a 28-point haul from Lewis Tucker with Swindon Shock edging past Team Wolverhampton 76-75 as Spencer Wells netted 22 points.

Manchester Giants II also advanced into the last four as they were handed a 20-0 win over Middlesex Saxons.

Semi-Finals
Northants Taurus v Leeds Force Academy
Manchester Giants II v Swindon Shock

The playoff finals will take place on the weekend of 22-23 April at the NBPC in Manchester.

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