Glasgow Rocks secured a fifth successive British Basketball League victory last night as their resurgence continued at Manchester's Wright Robinson College.
Donald Robinson scored a game-high 25 points as the visitors produced a decisive third-quarter surge after grinding out a 38-36 half-time lead. But Glasgow had to withstand a late rally from Manchester before escaping with the win.
The Rocks face Leicester Riders tomorrow at the Emirates Arena with Mike Ringgold, their recent signing, vowing to repay coach Sterling Davis for dragging him off the dole queue and back into basketball.
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The American centre, who had an abortive spell in Iceland last term, ended a ten-month stint out of the game when he landed in Glasgow last month and he plans to take out his frustrations on the rest of the BBL. "There's nothing I love doing more," he said. "It's made me appreciate this opportunity because so many of my friends were away overseas playing and I was sitting at home. I had to wait on the work visa for a month and I was feeling anxious. I kept calling Sterling but I had to learn to be patient. But now I really want to pay him back for waiting for me."
Title-chasing Leicester are likely to test the Rocks' hopes of making a run towards the top of the table but Ringgold believes he can help offset the loss of Kieron Achara, the Great Britain internationalist. "This is an opportunity for me," he said. "I can only control what I can do which is play defence and play hard. If I do that, we should be fine."
Elsewhere Newcastle Eagles booked their place in the BBL Cup final after being given a real scare at home by Plymouth Raiders. They were forced into overtime as the Raiders wiped out a 17-point first-leg deficit in Newcastle. Eagles eventually lost 91-83 but it was enough to secure their passage into the final in Birmingham next month. Leicester Riders are their probable opponents after they thrashed Sheffield Sharks 90-70 in the first leg of their semi-final.