Phoenix make sure of a play-off place

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Wellingboroguh Phoenix have secured a play-off place in EBL Men’s Division Three (South).

Two wins in as many days, 88-75 at Taunton Tigers and 80-76 at home to Plymouth Marjon, ensured Phoenix will finish in the top four in the division.

And with one game left, Phoenix still have a shot at top spot or second, and so guaranteeing themselves home-court advantage for the play-offs.

At Taunton, Phoenix made a strong start and led 22-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers found their form in the second period and the two sides matched each other blow for blow as the quarter was shared 24-24 to ensure Phoenix still led by nine at half-time.

Wellingborough made their decisive move in the third quarter, which they took 22-17 to lead by 14 going into the final period.

That proved more than enough of a cushion to keep the hosts at arms length, although the Tigers took the final period 21-20.

Leon Henry continued his fine form for Wellingborough by again top-scoring with 23 points, supported by Chris Fletcher with 20 and Devon Adams with 13.

Phoenix looked to maintain the momentum the following night against Plymouth but the visitors had other ideas.

They matched Wellingborough stride for stride in the first quarter, which ended 22-22, and then took the second 22-18 to lead by four at half-time.

Phoenix looked to assert themselves after the break but Marjon again stayed on course to upset the formbook as they took the third quarter 22-21 to lead by five with one period left.

At that stage, a big shock looked on the cards but Phoenix then found their form down the stretch as they took the final period 19-10 to secure the win that cemented a play-off spot.

Fletcher top-scored for Phoenix with 23 points, while Henry had 13 and Adams 11.

With one game left, Wellingborough are two points behind the top two, Newham Neptunes and Canary Wharf Baltic.

Neptunes have a game in hand on the sides below them and so look favourites to take top spot.

However, the top two then face each other on Sunday.

And a win for Neptunes will give Phoenix the chance to leapfrog Canary Wharf into second, provided they win their final regular-season game at UWIC Archers on Saturday (tip-off 6pm).