Rocks knocked out BBL Trophy by Royals

Royals aggregate lead was too much to overcome for Rocks as their BBL Trophy run came to an end Sunday night when they were defeated 71-83 at the Emirates.

It was already going to be a mountain to climb for Rocks when they came into the second leg of the BBL Trophy semi-final down 20 points having already lost 86-66 in the first leg earlier in the week.

Royals pushed out to an early lead in the first as Ashley Hamilton knocked down 6 early points in the paint. Royals would extend the lead to double digits but Rocks fought to pull it back as Bouna Ndiaye and Ali Fraser combined for 19 points in the first. However, Rocks were still trailing at the end of the first quarter by 6.

Things began to look more promising in the second quarter for Rocks as they narrowed the deficit and took the lead over the visitors after Bouna Ndiaye knocked down a three-pointer to makes the score 30-29 advantage Rocks. Rocks then went on a 2 minute run where they kept Royals scoreless, allowing them to take a 38-29 lead. Despite this, Royals would fight back towards the half, trimming Rocks lead to 44-43 at the break.

Through the first four minutes of the second half, as a result of 8 early points by Ali Fraser, Rocks went on a 10-4 lead to maintain the lead at 54-47. Nevertheless Royals would then go on a run of their own to take the lead going into the final quarter at 61-66.

Despite many attempts, Rocks could not reclaim the lead in the final quarter and Royals took the 71-83 win to qualify for the BBL Trophy Final in Glasgow on Sunday March 10th.

Ali Fraser finished the game with game-high 25 points.

Rocks now have a two-week break to recalibrate during the GB windows. They are back in action on March 8th when they travel to Newcastle to face the Eagles.

Rocks next home game will take place on March 15th and then March 17th when they host Manchester Giants followed by Worcester Wolves. Tickets can are now available to purchase on the Rocks website.