Leeds Force have been knocked out of the BBL Cup at the hands of the Glasgow Rocks for the second straight year at the Round of 16 stage.
It was a brave performance for the Yorkshire outfit who brought the very best out of the Rocks at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow’s east end.
Jermaine Sanders was the stand-out performer for the Force with 19 points and 11 rebounds, securing his first double double in Leeds colours.
But Gareth Murray’s 21-point blast did just enough for Glasgow to secure passage into the next round.
Leeds Force silenced the home crowd early by taking the lead through Disraeli Lufadeju’s lay up to put the first points on the board in the game. Glasgow didn’t allow the visitors any breathing space as Murray made sure he kept his side in touch, even giving them a slender one-point lead.
It wasn’t until the later stages of the quarter before the basket flew in. Eddie Matthew, returning to the squad after recovering from a bout of fu, and Rob Sandoval both sank triples to open a five-point gap.
The Rocks reduced the lead to just one seconds into the second quarter as Murray dunked much to the delight of the home fans.
Sanders quickly restored the five-point lead for the Force but Glasgow again brought it down to one with two baskets in five seconds.
Glasgow looked to be taking a six-point lead into the break but two baskets in the last 30 seconds made it a one-point game at 33-32.
The Force came flying out the traps in the third as they turned a point deficit to a point lead. From there the lead kept changing hands.
Glasgow held a six-point lead with 17 seconds left in the period. It ended level as Sandoval and Sanders sank triples to tie the game.
A strong display in the final 10 minutes gave the Rocks a lead of seven before the Force found a second wind and took a point lead with just under five minutes to play.
The Rocks rallied one last time and it was enough to see off a determined Force as they held a game-high lead of nine points.
Late baskets from Lufadeju and Sanders reduced it to five but the Scottish side held on for the win to progress to the next round of the BBL Cup.