BBL Cup Midweek Round-Up: Manchester Giants qualify for Quarter Finals while Flyers and Eagles both pick up wins
2020-11-17 Eagles vs Sharks - Bench Ian MacLeod Time Out (Stephen Batey) (BBL)

The Manchester Giants became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the BBL Cup on Thursday night, beating the Cheshire Phoenix 106-64, while the Bristol Flyers and the Newcastle Eagles also picked up important wins.

The Flyers lost their opening three games of the cup, but their 65-78 win over the Plymouth Raiders has given them a slim chance of qualifying out of their group.

The Eagles 97-87 win over the Sheffield Sharks was not as significant in the grand scheme of things compared to the other results in the week, but it keeps them at the top of Group 3 with two games remaining.

Sam Cassell Jr's 25 points and Lyle Hexom's double-double inspire Giants to dominant victory

The Cheshire Phoenix so far this season have struggled to field a strong line-up, with plenty of their go-to players unavailable or injured, and the result on Thursday night was a reflection on this.

The Giants, in comparison, have gelled together really well and have been able to call upon their stars in both of their games so far - with five of their players dropping 16 or more points in the game.

A fantastic 25 points from Sam Cassell Jr, a 22 points and 10 rebounds double-double from Lyle Hexom and 21 points from Alex Ouandie were the highlight performances from the new-look Giants team, who have been a breath of fresh air so far.

Disraeli Lufadeju again led the Phoenix in scoring with 21 points, while Sol Rolls-Tyson managed a 12 points and 12 rebounds double-double - two positive performances that the Nix can look to build upon.

For the Giants, however, it's another statement victory from them against their local rivals - and they are beginning to look like one of the most entertaining teams in the league right now to watch.

Rahmon Fletcher leads the Newcastle Eagles charge with another fantastic performance

The Newcastle Eagles secured their third victory of the season so far with a routine victory over Group 3 rivals B.Braun Sheffield Sharks, thanks to a double-double from Rahmon Fletcher and another from Evan Maxwell.

Fletcher dropped 25 points and set-up 12 buckets for his teammates too, while Maxwell scored 22 and grabbed 12 rebounds - dominating in the paint.

Fletcher's performances so far have made him many people's favourite for MVP at the end of the season - and it's not hard to see why as the Sharks became the latest team that failed to stop him.

Sheffield's best performance came from Bennett Koch, who scored 20 points and was just one rebound off getting himself a double-double as he led his team in rebounds, grabbing nine.

The result puts the Eagles at the top of their group, one win away from securing qualification, while the Sharks still have a good chance after the London Lions' early season woes.

Teddy Okereafor makes debut for victorious Bristol Flyers

Great Britain international Teddy Okereafor made his debut for the Bristol Flyers in their 65-78 win over the Plymouth Raiders.

The star-signing made an instant impact with his ball movement, high basketball IQ and screens, but it was Eric Lockett who impressed the most.

The forward managed 25 points, one more than Raiders' Ashley Hamilton, to be the highest scorer in the game, while Zach Copeland led the game in assists, setting up seven buckets for his teammates.

The win was the Flyers first of the season, and just about stopped Plymouth from qualifying for the quarter-finals, as they had previously won all of their games.

The Raiders remain top of the group, albeit joint top with Surrey Scorchers - with Worcester Wolves in third and Bristol Flyers picking up the rear in fourth.