Leeds Force 83 Cheshire Phoenix 101: Third quarter proves costly for beaten Force

Tavarion Nix slams one in for the Force.

A TENACIOUS Leeds Force slipped to another loss in the new British Basketball League campaign, slumping to a 101-83 defeat against Cheshire Phoenix.

Despite a spirited second-quarter comeback, the ruthless Phoenix dominated late-on as Force failed to build on a first win of the season a week ago.

Eric Curth holds off Andrew Bachman.

An electrifying opening saw Cheshire burst out of the gates, rallying behind three consecutive baskets from the untouchable CJ Gettys to open the contest.

Force countered through a pair of emphatic Allie Fullah blocks, as Leeds looked to shut down Phoenix’s phenomenal first five minutes.

GB international Orlan Jackman’s spectacular long-range triple kept the pressure on the home side, before American star Tre Bennett stemmed Cheshire’s momentum with a three of his own.

Former Force threat Rob Sandoval powered Phoenix into a double-digit lead with an all-too familiar lethal lay-up, as Cheshire continued to build their advantage.

Leeds' Isaac Mourier goes past Cheshire's Malcolm Riley.

Leeds skipper Samuel Toluwase’s soaring slam breathed life into the faltering Force, before a cold-blooded three from Andrew Bachman charged Cheshire into a 14-point lead to end the first quarter.

Eric Childress injected some much-needed energy into Leeds’ offence with a sensational spinning finish to open the second period.

A week into his Leeds tenure, new signing Eric Curth marvelled with an incredible acrobatic effort, as Force began to apply the pressure in search of an unlikely comeback.

A pulsating five-minute stint saw both teams duel back-and-forth, ramping up the tempo and exchanging continuous blows as a brilliant offensive showdown began to take shape.

Toluwase’s three-point salvo and Tavarion Nix’s ferocious throw-down whittled Phoenix’s lead down to six, before long-range menace Bachman answered with another triple to halt Leeds’ offensive purple patch.

Consecutive triples from Nix and Bennett capped a dominating run that saw Force demolish Cheshire’s advantage down to a meagre three points at the half.

A disastrous beginning to the second half saw all of Leeds’ hard-work unravel, with a porous defensive display seeing Phoenix pry open a 13-point advantage.

Exuding attacking flair, ex-Leeds stalwart Sandoval’s defence-splitting bounce pass unleashed May-Thompson at the rim as Force continued to stutter.

In need of a spark, captain Toluwase hauled Leeds back into contention with a vital five-point salvo.

Leeds’ lacklustre play allowed the merciless Phoenix to pounce, pouring on points and battering Force to their knees in a one-sided third quarter encounter.

Five crucial points from Childress sparked hopes of an unexpected comeback, only for a deadly triple from Tevin Falzon to kill off a resurgent and valiant Force’s chances of overturning the deficit.

Two quick-fire trebles from Nix failed to ignite a fatigued Force late on, as Cheshire comfortably cruised to an easy road victory.

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