BBL Cup South Group:
Bristol Flyers 101 – London Lions 96
The Lions went into this game clearly undermanned at the centre position missing one if not two inside players so the battle lines were always going to be on the backboard.
Lions’ offence was also rolling early, with third year veteran Brandon Peel picking up a quick six points.
Fast break scores followed for Thomas-Edwards and Edozie, but Brandon Peel answered both baskets with more points inside. A flurry of points from Bristol forced a Lions time out to control the barrage.
Despite more Bristol scores, Andre Lockhart came off the bench to take two charges but the Lions trailed at the end of the quarter 33-23.
In the second quarter the Lions did better, pressing the turnover prone Flyers.
The’ backcourt found ways to score with Jordan Whelan hitting a three and Justin Robinson getting to the foul line. New signing Jules Dang Akodo, hit a high arching bank shot. With Robinson spotting up for a corner three to cut the lead to single digits, it was Bristol now forced into a time out as the Lions looked fluid.
Lions forced a turnover with a well-timed defensive trap and Captain Joe Ikhinmwin hit the go-ahead three. Bristol answered with a three from Bradley, but Dang Akodo kept the long bombs coming for London. A defensive lapse saw Chris Taylor elevating for a two handed alley-oop dunk. Coach Macaulay took his last time out of the half to settle his team.
The momentum stayed with the Lions late in the second as Dii’Jon Allen Jordan managed to sink a last second lay-up to close the gap to 55-51 heading into half time.
Flyers started the second-half with a stop and a pull-up jump shot from Champion, but Peel remained their achilles heel, this time scoring from outside the arc. Multiple turnovers followed for Flyers and Allen-Jordan was able to cut the lead to just one point with a pair of scores. A Flyers miss allowed Allen-Jordan to put Lions back ahead with a three-pointer.
Fred Thomas restored the Flyers lead with a transition three, but Allen-Jordan had the hot hand and answered straight back. Thomas-Edwards stepped up for Flyers, splashing a triple from the corner and again converting a miss into a score with his activity around the hoop.
Robinson found himself with space on the perimeter and knocked down yet another three for the visitors. Gentrey Thomas recognised an open lane to the basket and accelerated for an easy score. Peel tied up the score a second time with a pair of driving lay-ups before Thomas-Edwards picked up his fifth personal foul. Josh Rogers checked in and hit a huge three-pointer but another end of quarter bucket from London left the scores hanging in the balance at 74 points apiece at the end of the third.
Marcus Delpeche opened the fourth quarter for Bristol with a dunk but scores from Whelan and Lockhart followed and Sam Toluwase was able to give Lions another lead at the foul line.
despite more breakdowns defensively, the Lions kept finding ways to answer back. Peel cut the lead to three points with just two minutes remaining as Coach Kapoulas called timeout for Flyers to shore up their defence.
Peel imposed himself again, hitting back-to-back threes to keep the game close and reach a game-high 35 points. The Lions had found a way to get to within two looking for a stop which they duly did as Toluwase snagged a steal, a play from Robinson led to a drive from Allen-Jordan to tie the game with 17 seconds remaining, but his attempt rimmed out and the Lions had to foul and from there were not able to recover, losing 101-86