Basketball: Rocks slip up against Towers

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The Independent Online

A wet floor at Newcastle's Metro FM Radio Arena delayed the start of yesterday's British Basketball League Cup semi-finals, but an army of mop-wielding helpers could not prevent Scottish Rocks' surprising 106-97 overtime defeat to London Towers.

In the final at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena on Sunday December 4, the Towers will meet Newcastle Eagles, who made home advantage count in last night's second semi with a crushing 95-68 win over Chester Jets.

Towers, beaten 91-70 at home by the Rocks on Thursday night in the BBL Championship and by 75-58 by Milton Keynes Lions on Saturday in a Trophy group game, hardly enjoyed an uplifting preparation for the semi-final. The Glasgow-based club kept their rivals under control for all but the final moments. The Rocks, unbeaten in all competitions this season and attempting to reach their third successive Cup final, led 34-21 at the end of the first quarter, 52-45 at half-time and 77-70 at the start of the fourth.

But Towers forced overtime at 90-90, outscoring the Rocks 13-5 up to the final buzzer to tie the game. In overtime, Towers' Chez Marks scored seven points in a 9-2 run to seal the win. Quincy Wadley led Towers' scorers with 28 points.

In the second semi the Eagles took their domination through to the end of the game, unlike the Rocks, and turned a 20-point third quarter advantage into an even more comfortable winning margin.

Jets, carried by 30 points and 16 rebounds from recent signing Jamal Brown, came back to trail 56-48 in the third. But they were dismissed by an 11-0 run including nine points from the England international Andrew Sullivan, who led Eagles scorers with 22 points, while team-mate TJ Walker produced an impressive 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.