TCS Chester Jets produced one of their least convincing performances as they slumped to a 95-73 defeat against Scottish Rocks at the North-gate.
With Sheffield Sharks and Brighton Bears involved in their own competition for top spot, the four teams beneath had to try to win their home fixtures in the first round of the play-offs.
A victory against the Rocks would have done much to put the Jets in command, but instead Chester ended the weekend with only a part share of fourth position.
The first quarter was both the closest and the most productive for the Jets. Ryan Huntley opened the scoring with a crisp three-pointer in the very first play, and they maintained this lead for the majority of the period with Michael Nurse and Calvin Davis outstanding. The home team had a three-point cushion after the first ten minutes.
From the start of the second quarter the whole outlook began to change.
The Rocks' outside shooters, led by David Kruse began to tighten the screw, and when the half-time buzzer went Jets trailed by 10. The second half was even worse. A 13-0 burst early in the third period led by Kruse and Jerry Williams had the Rocks 66-44 in front and Chester were never able to recover.
On Sunday Sheffield Sharks come to the Northgate (5.30pm).